Have you ever had part of your intestines or other tissues bulge through your abdominal wall? Just reading that sentence feels painful. Luckily if this happens, you are likely diagnosed with a hernia, and a doctor fixes it with simple surgery. In most cases, they install surgical mesh that provides support for the weakened tissue. This mesh can be made of animal tissue, which degrades over time while your body naturally heals itself, or synthetic material that acts as a permanent reinforcement to keep the hernia from reappearing. Unfortunately the mesh can be faulty in some cases and result in further pain, infection, recurrence, obstruction (intestinal blockage), or perforation (a hole in nearby tissue or organs).
Surgeons began using surgical mesh en masse in the 80s and by 2000, reports of malfunctions became somewhat regular. This led to certain manufacturers recalling their products from the market. Some were even discovered to be counterfeit polypropylene surgical mesh products, which were distributed by Bard and Ramm. These were recalled in 2010, but it is still important to be aware of which products your doctor chooses to put inside of you. Even legitimate products have caused concern. Ethicon’s (Johnson & Johnson) physiomesh flexible composite mesh (withdrawn from the market in 2016) and Artium Medical’s C-QUR mesh (still on the market) are responsible for side effects and complications.
Not only do hernias have a high rate of recurrence, but complications from questionable surgical mesh can exacerbate the problem further. According to the FDA, recalled mesh products were the main cause of perforation and obstruction complications. These adverse effects can result in extra surgeries to fix the complications from the original surgery, which leads to more costs, more discomfort, and longer recovery periods. There are some cases where surgical is not even recommended so make sure you go over all possible options with your doctor, or even get a second opinion.
If you or a family member have suffered from faulty hernia mesh, you may be eligible for compensation. Medical costs, lost wages, and pain can be cause for a settlement. Contact Reich & Binstock today to seek the help you deserve.