Today, hernia mesh surgeries are common. A wide range of “mesh,” patch, and plug products are used during hernia and other abdominal surgeries. Mesh is a medical device used to reinforce damaged or missing tissue. It is often used in patients who have undergone abdominal surgeries, to help them recover. But since being released to the market around 30 years ago, hernia mesh has drawn intense scrutiny for the harm it can cause some patients.
Injured hernia patients typically endure lots of pain. Surgeons perform a procedure where they stitch a mesh patch or plug into the area to help reinforce the muscles and connective tissues — sort of like repairing a hole in a dam. The most common types of hernias are:
- Inguinal (inner groin)
- Femoral (upper thigh or outer groin)
- Incisional (surgical incision or scar in the abdomen)
- Ventral (at the abdominal wall)
- Hiatal (the abdomen, on the diaphragm)
- Umbilical (at the belly button).
But complications often occur. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists several of the complications commonly associated with hernia mesh:
- Infection in the surgical area
- Chronic pain
- Organ perforation or puncture
- Allergic reaction
- Mesh erosion
- Hernia recurrence
- Need for further corrective surgery.
If you have experienced any of these complications after a mesh surgical procedure, the medical injury lawyers at the Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law offer a complimentary evaluation of mesh surgeries to help you understand the extent of your injuries. We can also help you take legal action against the responsible manufacturers and, in some instances, the doctors who are involved.
What is Mesh, and Why Can it be a Problem?
Mesh is made of several substances, from synthetic to organic (sterilized animal tissue). It can be permanent or dissolve over time, like some stitches. Over the past three decades, surgeons have turned to mesh to treat people with hernias and other abdominal injuries in order to stabilize the surgically repaired area. Because of the increasing popularity of these products and the potential benefits they provide patients, the market for mesh has become flooded with several different types of mesh.
Many warnings have been accompanied by FDA recalls of substandard or counterfeit mesh products. For example, several types of mesh labeled as being manufactured by Bard were sold and used in patients with hernia surgical procedures. However, it was eventually discovered that these were knock-off products made by another company, with questionable product quality.
Most of these products have been removed from the market. But patients continue to report other problems that could be associated with hernia mesh. This suggests the FDA’s official statements may not reflect the problem’s total scope.
Sadly, Mesh Recalls are Often Issued by the FDA Later than Sooner
The medical industrial complex holds an unreasonable amount of influence over the FDA, to the public’s detriment. The agency does its best, but FDA approval and recall processes are unwieldy and based as much on product manufacturer honesty as the agency’s direct oversight. So the FDA is often slow to release public notices about risky products. In some cases, it is only after injured consumers begin filing complaints and take legal action that recalls are issued.
The hernia mesh market represents big business for medical device manufacturers. Every year, nearly a million hernia repairs are performed in the U.S. New products and variations of older ones (which lengthen manufacturer patents) are released into the marketplace. Not all extended-patent devices have proved to be safe, but they still find their way into patients, and sometimes with tragic consequences. This is why dangerous products fall through the cracks and aren’t uncovered before people are harmed.
If You’ve Been Injured by Hernia Mesh, Seek Legal Help Quickly
At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we use product liability claims as a powerful tool to win payment for the damages you have suffered, including some if not all of the following:
- Medical bills (previous and necessary future care)
- Pain and suffering
- Lost Income
- Other expenses
- Punitive damages (which play a vital role in preventing dangerous products from hurting consumers and patients in the future)
To schedule a free consultation with Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, contact us today by filling out our online contact form or giving us a call at (800) 444-5000 or locally in the Houston area at (713) 973-8888.