A hernia occurs when an organ pushes through a weak spot in the surrounding muscle or connective tissue and may occur in areas such as:
- Inner groin (Inguinal)
- Upper thigh/outer groin (Femoral)
- Protrusion of tissue through a healing incision or scar in the abdomen (Incisional)
- General abdominal/ventral wall (Ventral)
- Belly button (Umbilical)
- Inside the abdomen, along the upper stomach/diaphragm (Hiatal)
The two techniques to treat a hernia are laparoscopic and open repair. Laparoscopic consists of the surgeon making small incisions that allow surgical tools to reach the area of treatment, not requiring large cuts to access the affected area. Whereas, open repair requires the surgeon to make a long incision near the affected area and directly repair the weakened or damaged tissue. Discuss with your physician the best option for your hernia repair.
Regardless of which method your surgeon performs, the most frequent medical device used to repair the hernia is a mesh. The mesh reinforces the protruding tissue back into the weakened muscle and helps to strengthen the affected area.
There are several types of meshes that may be used, including:
- Absorbable Mesh – Short term solution that loses strength and degrades over time. As the material degrades, the new tissue surrounding the area will provide strength to prevent further damage.
- Non-Absorbable mesh – A permanent implant to provide long term reinforcement to the damaged area.
- Synthetic Mesh – The most common type of synthetic mesh that is made from polypropylene, a synthetic plastic. This may be absorbable or non-absorbable, or both.
- Animal Derived mesh – A mesh made-up from the animal skin or intestines. This mesh is also absorbable.
Since 2005, there have been several complications associated with hernia mesh implant resulting in hundreds of thousands of unit recalls by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A surgical mesh recall may include improper packaging, ring breakage causing perforation of bowels and fistulas, loss of laminate coating on the mesh that may cause adhesion (scar-like tissue that sticks together), and typically high rejection rates leading to complications and revision surgeries.
In addition to the mesh being defective, meshes may migrate within the body, shrink (contract), cause blockage of the large or small intestine (fistula), and fluid build-up at the surgical site (seroma). The most common adverse effects associated with hernia repair with mesh are infection, hernia recurrence, pain, adhesion, and bowel obstruction, which can be life-threatening.
If you have had a hernia mesh implant that has been compromised or experience any symptoms, pains, or have been notified of a recall, contact your physician immediately. Depending on the type of mesh and surgery conducted, hernia mesh complications can result in serious complications ranging from minor pain to possible death.
Here at Rudolph F.X. Migliore, P.C., we can provide you with the appropriate options to move forward with legal actions and lend personal service to guide you through the legal proceedings. Contact us for the help and support you may need.