Hernia mesh is a surgical product used to repair hernias. The screen-like material goes under or over the weakness, or it can act as a plug. Unfortunately, surgical mesh has been linked to serious, life-threatening complications. The most common risks associated with hernia mesh implantation are perforation, infection, and adhesion. Many of these devices contain polypropylene, a type of plastic commonly used in medical products. However, according to the Polypropylene Material Data Safety Sheet, permanent implantation is listed under “prohibited uses.” As hernia mesh is intended to be a permanent product, this statement has raised many questions.
Last year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released on article on the dangers of hernia mesh implants.
“Many complications related to hernia repair with surgical mesh that have been reported to the FDA have been associated with recalled mesh products that are no longer on the market. Pain, infection, recurrence, adhesion, obstruction, and perforation are the most common complications associated with recalled mesh. In the FDA’s analysis of medical adverse event reports to the FDA, recalled mesh products were the main cause of bowel perforation and obstruction complications.”
Shortly after the above article was released, several hernia mesh products were pulled from the shelves or subjected to an official recall. Although all hernia mesh implants come with some degree of risk, certain types are associated with more injuries than others. Currently, there are more than 50 different surgical mesh products on the market. The materials used to make these products range from plastics to pig skins. If you are considering getting a hernia mesh implant, discuss the risks with your doctor before making a decision on which product is best for your unique needs. If you have been injured by any type of medical device, contact a MA defective medical products lawyer today.
Alternatives to Surgical Mesh
Depending on the type and severity of your hernia, safer alternatives to hernia mesh may exist. These include:
- Bassini repair: A suture inguinal hernia repair
- Desarda repair: A suture only repair
- McVay repair: A procedure in which abdominal tendons are sutured to the inguinal ligament
- Shouldice repair: A two-layer suture only repair that utilizes the patient’s tendon and fascia
If you are considering having a hernia repair surgery, ask your doctor if any of the above alternatives are right for you. If you have been injured by a medical device, contact a Boston injury lawyer today.
In some cases, hernia mesh should be avoided entirely. If, for example, your hernia is so small that it can be repaired with sutures, hernia mesh should not be used. Unfortunately, doctors sometimes go straight to the mesh because sutures are rarely a permanent fix. But the problem is – when a suture fails, the doctor can easily stitch it back up, whereas when the mesh fails, serious complications are common.
Risks Associated with Hernia Mesh
Although all hernia mesh comes with risks, the type of mesh and placement within the body have a significant role to play in the risks you may, or may not be, facing. For example, coated hernia mesh is more likely to cause infections than the non-coated type. Below are complications associated with various types of hernia mesh:
- Adhesion of the mesh to the bowel
- Bowel obstruction
- Severe abdominal pain
- Pain in the legs, groin, and testicles
- Sexual discomfort or pain
Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Premier Personal Injury Law Firm
If you have been injured by any type of medical product, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. Our knowledgeable, experienced attorneys will ensure that you understand your rights and options before moving forward. If you have been injured due to another’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Don’t go through this alone. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.