Every day around the globe, patients rely on medical devices. Monitors to track vitals or fitness, glasses to help us see, canes and wheelchairs for mobility… the list goes on. But not all medical devices are meant to be seen. Instead, some medical devices help surgeons repair wounds and issues inside a patient’s body.
These medical devices can look like artificial bones and joints, pins and screws, dissolvable stitches, and more. One such device surrounded by controversy is the hernia mesh. Hernia mesh is a patch made with polypropylene that surgeons use to tighten and hold tissue around a hernia repair to assist in healing and keep the hernia from coming back.
Unfortunately, as many Chicago patients have come to discover, there is much more risk than some patients are led to believe.
You’ve probably heard the term before. It’s a surprisingly common ailment! In fact, the US alone sees over a million hernia repair surgeries in a year— and those are just the ones that need repair. Many patients with hernias are able to play a sort of ‘watch and wait’ game with their hernias. Over time it will worsen and require surgery, but that time may not be this year!
Hernias don’t discriminate by age or biological sex, and there are many kinds. Of course, there is a style of hernia more common in men and those assigned male at birth, as well as for women and those assigned female at birth. Some hernias occur in children, whereas others are more likely to target the elderly.
So, what is a hernia? Unpleasant! A hernia occurs when one of your organs pushes through the lining of your abdomen or groin. In the best cases, you might see an odd bulge appear when you do certain activities. Other patients experience extreme pain from their hernias, and still, others are at risk of intestinal blockage or organ tissue necrotizing (dying).
Surgeons have two options for repairing a hernia: open surgery or laparoscopic repair. Close to 800,000 of these repairs in the US will involve a hernia mesh.
The Controversy Surrounding Hernia Mesh
Have you ever heard the term ‘product liability’? It’s when something being sold fails so spectacularly that it causes injuries. One version of this is faulty medical devices, a term that can often be used to describe hernia mesh.
In 2016, a study found that after five years, 31% of patients who received a mesh reported complications. The other numbers aren’t much prettier. The Federal Drug Association (FDA) has recalled hundreds of meshes and even caused a manufacturer to close down.
Hernia mesh are great devices— when they work. When they don’t, patients can find themselves experiencing a range of symptoms and pain levels. Hernia mesh can fail in three major ways:
• Mechanical, where the mesh breaks down
• Biological, where the mesh and the body don’t get along
• Functional, where the mesh fails to prevent the hernia from coming back
Fevers, UTIs, bleeding, nausea, and more can accompany each failure. In fact, a common list of complications from hernia mesh includes:
• Adhering to internal tissue
• Breaking down
• Causing infection and even sepsis
• Bowel obstruction
• Organ damage or necrotization
• Tissue damage
Despite the prevalent issues, hernia mesh is still the best option for surgeons. But patients or their families have started fighting back, and hernia mesh lawsuit attorneys in Chicago are stepping in to help.
The Hernia Mesh Lawsuits
Over the past several years, more and more victims or family members of victims who passed away because of their complications have started taking hernia mesh manufacturers to court. The reasons are two-fold: companies need to be held accountable for the harm they have caused, and families need help with the expenses resulting from that harm.
Even with good insurance, the cost starts to pile up. You have the initial hernia repair surgery, but then you have follow-up surgery to hopefully repair the damage from the mesh, any medications and treatments needed, and— in the worst scenarios —funeral and burial costs.
Lawyers are working closely with victims and families to gather evidence and seek justice against manufacturers that have harmed thousands of people through their products. Lawyers are helping to collect evidence, including expert testimonies, and represent families during negotiations and court appearances.
Your family shouldn’t have to suffer or risk bankruptcy because of someone else’s negligence. If you or a loved one have been harmed due to hernia mesh, seek out a lawyer today.