Hernia mesh has helped patients stay off the operating table after hernia repair surgery for more than 50 years. But more and more health professionals are now speaking out against the risky surgical devices and their hidden complications which may lead to lifelong impairment and death.
Medics’ concerns over hernia mesh’s safety have been echoed by hundreds of lawsuits against the manufacturers of defective hernia mesh products that somehow ended up in patient’s bodies and gradually turned their lives into a living hell.
What Is Hernia Repair Surgery?
Surgery for hernia repair is a medical procedure to fix hernia, a condition in which the intestine or fatty tissue protrudes through the tissue known as fascia that keeps muscles together. Hernia usually appears between the chest and hips and can be felt as a bulge or lump in the abdomen or groin. It temporarily disappears or it becomes smaller if the patient lies down.
Hernia needs to be addressed as it is often accompanied by pain in the groin area when coughing, sneezing, or lifting weights. There are two main types of hernia repair surgery: open surgery and laparoscopic repair surgery. The latter procedure is the least invasive.
What Is Hernia Mesh and Is It Absolutely Necessary?
A hernia mesh is a medical device looking like a loosely woven sheet that holds organs and tissue together after hernia repair surgery. Some hernia mesh products are there to stay while others are made of biological materials that break down in time.
Hernia mesh is used in nine out of 10 hernia repair surgeries. Surgeons resort to mesh implants because the devices slash the chances for hernia to make a comeback by up to 50%. With over 1 million hernia repair surgeries being done in the U.S. every year, hernia mesh is a relatively safe medical product, but countless products had to be recalled since they had led to nasty complications.
Around 1 in 3 hernia surgeries have led to mesh side-effects, so, many patients had to undergo a separate procedure to have the mesh removed.
Defective Hernia Mesh Products: Lesser Known Complications
When a hernia mesh product leads to complications, you might not even be aware of the real cause. The most common hernia mesh side effects include infection, pain, and discomfort in the mesh area, and abdominal obstructions.
Since it is a foreign object, your body may reject the device which may lead to further complications. Lesser obvious mesh complications include:
1. Skin rash
Hernia mesh failure may translate into tenderness or pain and persistent skin rash at or close to the site of the hernia mesh. The unexplained skin rash may be accompanied by itching and warmth or heat at the site. Liquid buildup is also a telltale sign of hernia mesh complications.
2. Flu-like symptoms
If you experience flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, nausea, vomiting immediately after the medical procedure, your hernia mesh might have led to an infection. Flu-like symptoms are common signs that the body’s immune system is trying to repel infection.
Some hernia mesh implants rely on an immune response such as inflammation to speed up tissue growth around the mesh, recovery, and healing. Usually, the inflammation disappears in time but in some cases, it might not go away and led to pain, discomfort, and tenderness at the incision site. This lesser-known hernia mesh complication is very common in polypropylene mesh products.
4. Slowed-down healing
If your hernia repair incision takes ages to heal, it means that the hernia mesh may be infected. In severe cases, this symptom might be paired with inflammation, fluid buildup, swelling, and severe pain. Your doctor may try to address the symptoms by giving you antibiotics, but the cause (the infected mesh) will still be there. The best course of action in the case of an infected mesh is a surgical intervention to remove the faulty product.
5. Serious dental issues
Another hernia mesh complication no one is telling you about is severe dental issues. An infected hernia mesh may lead to sudden tooth deterioration, such as frail or cracked teeth, tooth decay, receding gums, dental pain, and rapid tooth loss. While the link between mesh implants and oral problems is still being researched, there are countless patients claiming that they did not have any of these issues prior to the mesh implant.
Who would have thought that such a tiny medical device, if defective, could lead to so many complications? Hernia mesh implants are behind numerous post-surgery complications that not even surgeons are aware of. Fortunately, as the safety of certain medical devices is seriously questioned, lawyers are stepping in to provide a chance of financial relief for victims.
If you believe that a faulty hernia mesh may be behind some of these complications, contact a defective medical device attorney immediately. A professional that has solved dozens of cases regarding faulty hernia mesh implants is also capable of referring you to some of the best surgeons out there to help you build a solid case and get fair compensation for your pain and suffering.