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Hernia Mesh and the Associated Risks

Hernia

A hernia is a painful medical condition can be debilitating, and while some people may suffer with a hernia for weeks, months, or years others must have surgery right away to correct their hernia—especially if it’s a large hernia. According to WebMD, a hernia occurs "when an organ or fatty tissue squeezes through a weak spot in a surrounding muscle or connective tissue called fascia.” The most common types of hernia are:

  • Inguinal hernia (inner groin)
  • Incisional (occurs as the result of an incision)
  • Femoral (outer groin)
  • Umbilical (belly button)
  • Hiatal (upper stomach)

Causes and Results of Mesh Migration

You’ll often hear the term “mesh migration” when reading or hearing about hernia repair surgery. Because a hernia usually involves a bulge of organ or tissue that breaks through muscle or tissue, a painful tear occurs at the point of protrusion. The causes of hernia vary, but most are caused by muscle weakness and strain caused by age, chronic coughing, chronic constipation, heavy lifting, or some type of damage that happened during surgery. When a hernia occurs during a surgical procedure, medical malpractice may have been a factor in hernia.

In many cases, the surgeon will place “mesh” over the hernia site to keep the intestine or organ from protruding through the hole caused by the tear. Many surgeons believe there are advantages to using hernia mesh rather than just sutures alone. The mesh is designed to stay in place for life and prevent future hernias, and you’re not even supposed to know it’s there. However, if the mesh becomes dislodged and travels to another place in your body—mesh migration—you may suffer serious health complications, some of which may be life threatening.

Mesh Migration: Medical Malpractice or Defective Product or Both?

If your surgeon failed to secure the mesh in its proper place, you may have a medical malpractice claim. Mesh migration may also occur if the mesh shrinks or becomes dislodged over time. Hernia mesh was initially made with materials thought to be safe, but many of these materials have been found to be defective because they move or degrade over time causing pain and sometimes serious complications. Mesh migration may take place rather quickly following hernia surgery, or it may occur over many years causing pain and symptoms along the way that go undiagnosed.

Dislodged hernia mesh has been known to puncture organs and to tangle nerves, both of which will cause excruciating pain requiring emergency treatment. Some pretty sure signs that mesh migration has occurred are pain and the re-occurrence of a hernia, and if blood is present in your urine, the mesh may have traveled as far as the bladder. But you must seek medical attention to get an accurate diagnose of hernia mesh migration.

In regards to hernia mesh malfunction, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises the following: “If you are unsure about the specific mesh manufacturer and brand used in your surgery and have questions about your hernia repair, contact your surgeon or the facility where your surgery was performed to obtain the information from your medical record.”

Seek Legal Counsel

If you or a loved one has been made ill by defective hernia mesh, you may have a product liability claim. Please don’t delay in contacting an attorney who handles defective medical device claims. There are statutes of limitations for these cases which means that you might lose your right to sue for damages if you don’t file your claim within applicable time limits.


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