A very common medical problem, a hernia occurs when an organ protrudes out through a tear in the lining that surrounds it. Hernias commonly happen in the abdominal and groin areas with the intestines protruding out through damaged areas of the muscle that surrounds them. In up to 10 percent of people who have a colostomy, a parastomal hernia will develop. In order to relieve the abdominal pain and discomfort that can be caused by hernias, people often must undergo surgery to repair the damage.
The surgical repair of hernias often involves the use of hernia mesh. This surgical mesh is used to help strengthen the damaged tissue. Unfortunately, some people who have had mesh implanted to repair their hernias have subsequently suffered from a foreign body inflammation response, recurrence of the hernias and additional surgeries. Multiple companies have been forced to recall the mesh that they manufacture for hernia repair, and litigation has been filed all over the U.S. on behalf of people who have suffered injuries and losses because of the hernia surgical mesh. The injury attorneys at the Lovely Law Firm are currently reviewing potential claims involving defective hernia surgical mesh.
What is hernia mesh?
Hernia surgical mesh is a medical device that has a screen-like appearance. It may be made out of synthetic materials or from processed animal tissue. Synthetic mesh may be absorbable by the body or non-absorbable. Some types of surgical mesh that are used in hernia repairs are made from a combination of absorbable and non-absorbable materials. During a hernia repair surgery, the doctor implants the mesh to strengthen the damaged muscle in an effort to prevent the hernias from recurring. Unfortunately, many people have suffered problems that are caused by the mesh because of the materials from which it is made.
Injuries caused by hernia surgical mesh
The surgical mesh that is used to repair a hernia is made from substances that are foreign to the body. It may cause a number of different complications and injuries when it is used, including the following:
- Fistulas caused by mesh migration
- Foreign body inflammation responnse
- Bowel obstructions
- Hernia recurrence
- Organ damage
These complications may cause severe abdominal pain and force people to undergo additional surgeries.
Hernia mesh lawsuits and litigation
Hundreds of hernia mesh lawsuits have been filed in the U.S. against the manufacturers of hernia surgical mesh. These lawsuits include a number of different negligence claims, including the following:
- Inadequate testing of the mesh
- Failures to warn about the risks
- Manufacturing defects
- Knowing, reckless and intentional concealment of information about the defects
- Design defects
- Negligent marketing of unsafe mesh
- Intentional misrepresentations about the safety and quality of the mesh
Because so many lawsuits have been filed across the nation, many have been joined as a part of multi-district litigation.
Atrium C-Qur lawsuits
Hernia Mesh Lawsuits against Atrium Medical Corporation for the company’s Atrium C-Qur hernia surgical mesh have been filed in federal courts across the nation. This mesh has been associated with heightened infection rates, allergic reactions and bowel obstructions. Many of these lawsuits are based on the company’s failure to warn about the risks of this defective mesh.
Ethicon Physiomesh lawsuits
In May 2016, Johnson Johnson’s subsidiary, Ethicon, recalled its Physiomesh flexible composite mesh after two separate unpublished studies found that the mesh had much higher rates of hernia recurrences than other brands. People who received this hernia surgical mesh also had much higher rates of secondary operations after the mesh failed. The Ethicon hernia surgical mesh first received FDA approval in 2010 after receiving a 501(k) clearance, which meant that the mesh did not have to go through clinical trials or an FDA review process prior to being offered in the market. Lawsuits involving Physiomesh have been filed in multiple federal courts across the nation, and thousands of more lawsuits are likely to be filed.
Covidien Parietex hernia mesh lawsuits
Numerous lawsuits are pending against Covidien for its Parietex Surgical Mesh, Composite Mesh and ProGrip Mesh. The original Parietex mesh was released in the late 1990s and differed from other synthetic meshes because it was made out of polyester instead of polypropylene. While polyester is more flexible, it causes a similar foreign body inflammation response to the reaction to polypropylene in some people.
The mesh also has exposed edges instead of a smooth edge. This has allowed the fibers of polyester, which harden after the mesh has been implanted, to cause perforations. The mesh can continue fraying, allowing small fibers to break away and travel throughout the body. Each individual polyester fiber can subsequently cause its own inflammatory response. The mesh is also likelier to tear. When it does, a recurrence of the hernia can occur, and the mesh migration can occur.
Covidien released its composite mesh in the early 2000s in response to complaints from doctors about the ability to handle the earlier version. The composite mesh contains a thin layer of collagen to make it easier for surgeons to handle. While it did improve the handling, the collagen layer absorbs once it is inside of the body. This means that the bowels of patients who receive this mesh to repair hernias left from the placement of colostomy devices are unprotected from the polyester.
The third Covidien mesh that has been the target of litigation is the ProGrip Mesh. This product was meant to alleviate the problems that are caused by polyester fibers contracting and shrinking over time. The mesh contains thousands of small micro grips that attach to the patients’ tissue. Unfortunately, while the micro grips do help to avoid the use of sutures, they don’t prevent the shrinkage from happening. As the polyester fibers shrink, the micro grips pull on the tissue from thousands of points, causing severe pain. To remove this mesh device requires multiple surgeries, and some of the underlying tissue has to be cut away along with the mesh.
Contact the Lovely Law Firm
If you have suffered serious complications from the surgical mesh that was used to repair your hernia, it is important for you to speak to one of the injury lawyers at The Lovely Law Firm here in Myrtle Beach, SC. We are currently reviewing potential claims involving failures of several types of mesh. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.