Every year, approximately 700,000 hernia surgical repairs are performed in the U.S. [SOURCE]
Approximately 9 out of every 10 hernias are repaired with a synthetic mesh implant. Mesh is used to prevent a recurrence of a hernia and to fix the torn and weakened part of the abdominal wall.
However, due to product defects, there have been thousands of lawsuits against manufacturers of surgical mesh for hernias. (Surgical error is another cause of faulty hernia mesh.)
Faulty mesh can result in a hernia recurrence. Also, the mesh implant can migrate or bunch up into a ball, causing unpleasant symptoms.
Side effects from defective mesh can occur shortly after surgery. When symptoms appear within a couple weeks after surgery, it’s easier to pin the blame on the faulty mesh. However, symptoms can also appear years after the surgery is performed. In fact, it’s common for symptoms to appear five years or longer after surgery. [SOURCE]
In addition to hernia recurrence, the following are the most common symptoms of defective hernia mesh….
- Obstruction in the intestines
- Difficulty urinating
- Fistula (Infection-causing abnormal openings, which usually occur after surgery or injury.)
- Fluid build up at the surgical site
- Impotence (This affects men who receive inguinal hernia surgery.)
Some of these symptoms can be deadly. For instance, bowel obstruction can cause necrosis (tissue death) or sepsis, the latter of which is similar to an autoimmune response. With sepsis, an infection in the bloodstream, the body is responding to the infection by releasing infection-fighting chemicals. But rather than sending the chemicals to the area of the infection, the chemicals are released throughout the body.
If you have a tear in your bowels, which connect to your large intestines, it can create severe abdominal pain. The perforation may also cause fecal matter to migrate up into the intestines. If this occurs, a dangerous form of inflammation called peritonitis may result.
Like an organ transplant gone bad, surgical mesh repair can cause the body to reject the implanted device. If your body rejects the mesh, you may experience swelling, pain, or repeated bouts of flu-like symptoms.
What To Do If You Experience Symptoms
Consult your physician. Unfortunately, if your mesh implant is deemed defective, you will most likely need to get another surgery to replace the device. If you’ve recently been told that you need surgery to repair your hernia, you can inform your doctor that you’re concerned that the risk of side effects of mesh implants may be greater than the benefit the devices offer. One of the side effects of mesh implants is that over time, the material in the net-like structure can be absorbed by the body. This may cause one or more of the hernia mesh symptoms listed above.