Hernia repair is one of the most common surgeries performed in the United States, with more than one million patients undergoing the procedure every year. If you are one of this unlucky group, you know firsthand the pain, discomfort and inconvenience of a hernia. Beyond the initial injury, patients deal with the surgery and recovery period. Additionally, one in three hernia repair patients experience complications.
What typically causes complications?
The most likely culprit is a hernia mesh failure. Hernia mesh, also known as surgical mesh, is a medical device implanted in the affected area to reinforce weakened tissue or to close a gap in tissue. A surgeon implants it in the abdomen, groin or upper stomach, depending on the location of the hernia.
5 indications of complications
- Increased pain and discomfort. Bruising, swelling or a skin rash over the affected area may also occur.
- Bleeding or chronic infection, which could lead to inflammation. The skin may become hot to the touch or the wound could start secreting fluid.
- Bowel obstruction. An obstructed bowel can result from adhesion, which happens when scar tissue adheres to the mesh. This problem often causes difficulty or even an inability to use the bathroom. Severe cases can necessitate bowel removal.
- Erectile dysfunction. For men with hernias located in the groin, complications can affect their sexual function. In this case, symptoms may range from an inability to become aroused to loss of sensation to difficulty reaching orgasm. You may also experience swelling, pain or even a reduction in testicle size, due to the mesh complications reducing blood supply.
- Hernia recurrence. Complications can lead to another hernia if migration, adhesion, fistula or perforation occurs. Additional surgeries may result in more pain, more inconvenience and longer recovery times.
The risks of hernia mesh
90% of hernia repairs involve hernia mesh. Yet this device can be dangerous. Unfortunately, complications from hernia mesh are not always a natural but uncomfortable part of recovery. The construction of the device or defective packaging can cause significant damage to the recipient.
After many reports of complications and repeated legal claims against product makers, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a safety warning on this product in 2014.
If hernia mesh is the reason for your complications, the product maker is legally liable for your suffering.