Hernia Mesh has been a popular product used in hernia surgeries since the early 90s. There are several different methods and procedures available, ranging from minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery to traditional methods involving stitches and sutures for repair. Hernia mesh is one of the more common products used for repair today. To bring it into perspective, approximately 90% of hernia surgeries in the groin area use a mesh repair to aid in the healing process.
However, despite their touted success, the potential for failure is real. A infected hernia mesh repair can create lifelong problems for patients. Take the case of Joanne Quinn, a hernia surgery patient from the state of Florida. PhysiomeshTM, a type hernia repair mesh involving nylon and living tissue, was implanted inside her body as part of a routine hernia repair surgery. She later filed a negligence lawsuit against Ethicon, the manufacturer of her hernia mesh product after experiencing complications afterward.
The hernia mesh grew into her intestines, creating an infection which caused severe abdominal pain, diminished bowel motility and bowel obstruction. She underwent exploratory surgery for two hours to remedy the problem, but the doctor was unable to remove all of the mesh, as a portion was deeply embedded in the intestinal wall. She continues to experience pain and discomfort to this day and filed a lawsuit against Ethicon in 2015 for misrepresenting the product.
Obviously in her case, persistent abdominal pain was enough to warrant emergency surgery. She had a warning sign. The pain never went away. In fact, it got worse following the surgery. However, what if you don’t experience symptoms that severe? Is there a way to gauge whether or not your repair is infected? Yes, there is. There are warning signs of mesh failure/infection, you just have to know where to look. See if any of these apply to you.
Four Symptoms of Hernia Mesh Failure
- Inflammation. It is common after surgery to experience some discomfort. This occurs because the mesh repair becomes inflamed. The inflammation actually promotes new tissue growth, which should serve to strengthen the hernia repair over time. However, for many people, the inflammation does not go away and infection is the end results. If you experience continuous discomfort after surgery, a visit to your doctor for a diagnosis might be in order.
- Flu Symptoms. Many hernia mesh products have a fatty acid coating on them which will provoke a response from your immune system, especially if an infection is present. If you experience chills, nausea, fever or vomiting, it could be due to infection from your hernia mesh repair.
- Slow Heal No Heal. If your hernia mesh is infected, it could show up at the site of your incision. Essentially what happens is a build up of fluid (seroma), which prevents the incision site from healing. If your incision appears like it is not healing, or healing entirely too slow, it could be due to an infected hernia mesh.
- Warmth Near the Incision. This is an easy one to check. If your incision site feels a bit warm,. It could be due to an infected hernia mesh. Infections are known by nature to produce heat. If your incision feels unusually warm, your hernia mesh repair could be to the cause.
Hernia mesh infection is nothing to take lightly. If left untreated, it can wreak havoc on the body in the form of chronic pain as was the case with Joanne Quinn. In some instances it has even been known to create dental problems. If your teeth begin to chip or deteriorate to the point of falling out after hernia surgery, you need to see your doctor to see if you have developed a chronic hernia mesh infection.
Why Hernia Mesh Infection/Failure Requires Surgery for Removal
The reason hernia mesh failure is so dangerous has to do with what happens when the repair become infected. Bacteria clump together, forming what is known as a bio-film. They are usually resistant to antibiotics. They will only quell the symptoms for a while, the infection however, remains. Surgery is necessary to remove the hernia mesh in order for the patient to recover. If left untreated, the infection can grow back stronger.
Sometimes, as in Joanne’s case, a portion of the mesh can not be removed and is left inside the patient. They are left with future treatments, resulting in a mountain of medical bills, and chronic pain. If you have experienced any of the symptoms above after a hernia mesh implantation, or have experienced other abnormalities such as bowel perforation, give us a call. We have a team of experienced lawyers who deal with hernia mesh lawsuits. Your call is confidential and you only pay if your case qualifies for compensation. Contact us today for a risk free review.