Have you been injured by hernia mesh? Are you eligible to file a lawsuit for compensation? We are here to help you answer those questions.
So, let’s talk about the information you need to know before you file.
Recent studies have shown hernia mesh implants causing serious complications to patients, and an analysis of the side effects shows these surgical meshes can do more harm than good.
There is difficulty in attempting one-size fits all approach, as everyone’s body is different. Different mesh designs aim to improve the odds of a successful hernia repair without serious complications. However, this goal has not been completely successful.
Some meshes are reported as migrating, enmeshing with nearby bowels or organs, and even disintegrating causing excruciating pain, infection, and/or hernia recurrence.
Some meshes have been recalled by the FDA as well as some voluntary recalls by the manufacturers, but not before hundreds, or even thousands of patients already had them implanted in their body.
So if you think you may have a case, here is what you should know before you file a hernia mesh lawsuit.
Things You Should Know Before Filing A Hernia Mesh Lawsuit
- Determine the manufacturer of your hernia mesh implant.
Identifying the manufacturer of your hernia mesh product is critical for a number of reasons. First and foremost is this will determine where your case may be filed. There are current lawsuits against companies like Ethicon and Atrium. Meshes from the following companies have been known to be problematic: Physiomesh (Ethicon), C-QUR (Atrium), Bard 3D-Max
- Know the date of your implant surgery.
It is important to be able to identify the date of your surgery, the name of the surgeon that performed the surgery, and the name and address of the hospital where the surgery was performed. If you have any documentation from the surgery such as brochures or consent forms, this can be critical information. When investigating a lawsuit, there is no such thing as too much information. The more information you have, the better equipped you will be to address any issues concerning your potential claim.
- Determine your eligibility.
Find out (through an attorney) if you are eligible to file a legal claim for compensation. Eligibility criteria can have restrictive guidelines and deadlines associated with filing a lawsuit. Your legal rights can even be impacted by where you live. A free consultation with an experienced attorney can get you answers fast.
- Act quickly, time is of the essence!
A civil lawsuit for compensation must be filed in a certain amount of time. This is called the statute of limitations. The statutes of limitations differ from state to state so it is critical to act quickly to ensure your window to file a claim has not closed.
an experienced mesh attorney.
Finding the best attorney for your situation is critical. There are attorneys with significant experience in mesh lawsuits, and who already have lawsuits in-progress, with claims filed. Hiring one of these attorneys could mean that you would be added to their pre-existing group of lawsuits. Check out an attorney’s credentials. How long have they been in practice? Have they litigated other mesh cases? How quickly do they respond to your inquiries? The answer to these questions can help you get a sense of an attorney’s reputation and competence. You will also be able to get a better sense of how hard he or she might work for you.
Need an experienced legal professional? CONTACT US NOW!
Finding The Right Hernia Mesh Lawyer
When people are injured due to medical devices, those responsible should be held accountable. You are the victim and you deserve to be compensated for your injuries.
Most medical device companies are extremely large corporations with powerful political lobbies and the money to hire armies of lawyers. Finding an attorney experienced in large scale, mass tort litigation helps mitigate the advantages these companies have.
Our goal is to ensure corporations never escape accountability for harming people when they place profit over safety.
Finding the right attorney can help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Find an attorney who will care about you and the things you are going through. One who takes the time to thoroughly explain how the lawsuit will proceed and will answer your questions.
Don’t delay, reach out to a friendly, experienced mesh lawyer. The consultation is free and there is no obligation.
The Dangers of Polypropylene Hernia Meshes
While polypropylene has been used in various medical procedures for decades, the advancement of using polypropylene in more and more areas of surgical repair has not been without significant controversy. That is especially true regarding the use of polypropylene mesh in the repair of stress urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and hernia repairs.
Polypropylene is a petroleum by-product used to manufacture a variety of items such as fishing line. Polypropylene causes an immunological response when implanted in the human body which can lead to infections. Polypropylene can also degrade in the human body.
If you received a hernia mesh product and underwent additional surgeries to remove the mesh or repair damage caused by the mesh you now have the opportunity to fight back. By filing a hernia mesh lawsuit, you could obtain a settlement or judgment to recover your financial losses and compensate you for pain and suffering.
What is a Hernia?
In the most basic terms, a hernia is a hole in the abdominal wall or fascia that allows the contents of the abdomen to protrude outside the abdominal cavity. This usually occurs at a weak spot found within the surrounding muscles or connective tissues (fascia).
When this protruding occurs, a lump forms which causes discomfort. As a hernia enlarges, levels of pain can reach excruciating thresholds.
The amount of discomfort a victim may feel is directly related to the hernia’s location, and the amount of damage incurred as a result of the hernia’s existence. Some hernias are considered “congenital” and are present at birth or are formed later in life, which are considered “acquired” hernias.
The Different Types of Hernias
Hernias can be classified as either abdominal hernias or groin hernias. There are two common types of groin hernias which are inguinal hernias and femoral hernias. Almost 3 out of every 4 hernias are groin hernias with most of these being inguinal. Abdominal hernias can be classified as umbilical, incisional, hiatal, spigelian and epigastric.
- Epigastric – Epigastric hernias are the result of fatty tissue pushing through the abdomen between the belly button and the sternum (lower part of the breastbone).
- Femoral - Relatively rare, femoral hernias occur when the fatty tissue bulges from the lower belly into the upper thigh.
- Hiatal – These hernias involve the stomach instead of the intestines and occur when the stomach bulges up through the diaphragm into the chest area. Usually asymptomatic, occasionally one may suffer from heartburn. These hernias usually aren’t treated unless symptomatic.
- Incisional – Incisional hernias are the result of incisions, usually from surgery on the abdominal area. These can occur months and even years after the surgical procedure. The fatty tissue pushes through a surgical wound located in the abdomen area. Risk factors for this type of hernia include age, obesity, lung problems and previous users of corticosteroids.
- Inguinal – Occur when the intestines push through a weakened spot in the lower belly which then affects the inguinal canal in the groin. About 96% of all hernias are Inguinal. These hernias are most common in males due to the fact, they are weaker in this area.
- Muscle - Muscle hernias occur when the muscle pushes through the abdomen and are usually the result of a sports injury.
- Spigelian – Spigelian hernias are the result of part of the bowel pushing through into the abdomen region by a stomach muscle. Its location is usually just below the belly button.
- Umbilical – These hernias are much more common in newborns than adults. They are the second most common type of hernia and occur when the intestine pushes through a muscle in the area of the belly button.
By far, the most common type of hernia are inguinal hernias located in the groin area. The second most common type are ventral or incisional hernias located in the abdomen.
Complications from Hernia Mesh Implants
Some of the most common hernia mesh-related complications are mesh migration, shrinkage, pain, hernia recurrence, infection, adhesion, and bowel restriction.
Additional Information on Hernia Types and Treatment
Abdominal hernias are the result of fatty tissue (or organ) pushing through a weakness found within a muscle wall. These muscle walls enclose the abdominal cavity.
If a hernia occurs within the abdominal wall or groin region, the resulting sac protruding through the weak area may contain pieces of intestine or fatty lining of the colon. The abdominal wall is made up of muscle and tissue. Weak spots can occur within the abdominal area, thus allowing for contents of the abdominal cavity to push through the weakened area, or herniate.
The most common type of abdominal hernias are inguinal hernias. As a fetus develops and matures, the spermatic cord and testicles descend down through the inguinal canal. After the testicles descend, the opening in the inguinal canal should close tightly.
Sometimes, however, the areas of the muscles which attach to the pelvis are weakened. Later on, if stress is placed upon this region, the weakened tissues may allow a portion of the bowel (or colon) to slip through the opening. The result can be a bulge which can cause severe pain.
Inguinal hernias occur much more commonly in men than women. This is because men need an opening in the inguinal canal (to allow for the descent of testicles), where women do not.
Femoral hernias more commonly occur in women. In the abdominal space that allows the femoral artery and vein to pass through the abdomen is where femoral hernias can occur. The fact women tend to have wider bone structuring makes them more susceptible to femoral hernias.
An obturator hernia is the least common of the pelvic floor hernias. Women with higher pregnancies tend to fall victim to an obturator hernia, because of the location of the obturator canal. The obturator canal is an opening in the abdomen to the leg. It houses the obturator vein, nerve, and an artery.
Like a femoral hernia, the fact women have a wider pelvic bone structure makes them more susceptible to obturator hernias. Another risk factor is significant weight loss.
Anterior Abdominal Wall Hernias
Mirroring each other, the abdominal wall is comprised of two sets of muscles. On each side of the body, these muscles make up the internal and external obliques, the transversals, and the rectus abdominis muscles.
Epigastric hernias occur in the epigastric region of the abdominal wall and is simply a weak spot in the abdominal wall between your belly button and sternum. These hernias are less common but will not go away without medical treatment. Very little is known about the causes of epigastric hernias.
Umbilical hernias usually occur in infants and are due to a weak spot in the abdominal wall near the belly button. These hernias will frequently close on their own without surgery.
Rare, Spigelian hernias are hernias through the Spigelian fascia which is near the outside edges of the rectus abdominis. Weakened abdominal walls are the main cause of this hernia.
Sometimes, surgery-related incisions can also lead to hernias. Called Incision hernias, these occur when a surgeon cuts open the abdominal muscles; in order, to operate within the abdominal cavity creating a weak spot. After surgery, the repaired abdominal muscles are left weak increasing the chance for herniation.
Stomach and Diaphragm Hernias
Unlike most hernias which involve the intestines, Hiatal hernias involve the stomach. When part of the stomach slips through the opening in the diaphragm, Hiatal hernias can occur. This is the area where the esophagus passes through the abdomen from the chest.
- Hiatal Hernia – Occurs when lower parts of the stomach and esophagus pass through to the chest, via the diaphragm. This is the most common type of Hiatal hernia.
- Paraoesophageal Hernia – Occurs when stomach herniates alongside the esophagus. This can lead to serious complications; as the stomach can, literally, twist in on itself (volvulus).
Traumatic diaphragmatic hernias are usually the result of blunt force trauma, stab wounds, and/or gunshot wounds. These hernias can form at the time of injury, or later.
Lastly, is the rare congenital diaphragmatic hernia which is caused by the failure of the diaphragm to completely form and close during fetal growth. This usually leads to complications of under-developed lungs or lung-related issues later in life.
Risk Factors Associated With Developing a Hernia
Generally, the risk factors for all types of hernias include age, repetitive lifting of heavy objects, chronic cough, multiple pregnancies, and recurring vomiting. A chronic cough and recurring vomiting are simply repetitive stresses to the abdominal wall or stomach that weakens those muscles over time.
There are also risk factors unique to specific types of hernias.
For inguinal hernias, the risk factors include age (risk increases with age), gender (men are eight times more likely to develop an inguinal hernia), race (whites develop inguinal hernias more than other races), family history and chronic cough.
For hiatal hernias, the most common risk factors are age and obesity. Incisional hernias are almost always linked to prior abdominal surgeries. Epigastric hernias are usually congenital and are present from birth but obesity can exacerbate the symptoms.
Repeated interaction with heavy objects can also lead to herniation. It is the repeated stress of lifting or moving something heavy which causes this.
Treatments for Hernias
Most hernias require surgical repair. Generally, there are two types of surgical options to treat hernias, which are native tissue repairs and mesh repairs.
Native tissue repairs include a number of different procedures all involving the use of the body’s own tissue.
Then there are multiple mesh-based repairs where hernia mesh is surgically implanted to treat a hernia. Generally, the type of damage incurred by a hernia and the surgeon’s preference both play a role in determining what type of treatment will be recommended and performed.
Hernia Mesh Implants
In 1955, Dr. Francis Usher started researching the use of materials to close hernia defects. Usher studied Dacron, Teflon, and Orlon but all had serious shortcomings. Usher then found a new material (Marlex) seemed to have the properties needed and started to develop a woven mesh product from Marlex.
In 1958, Usher published his technique of using a permanent polypropylene mesh to cover over the hernia defect and to help promote tissue growth which strengthens the abdominal wall against recurrent hernia developments.
Thirty years later, this method became popularized using the Lichtenstein repair which is also called the tension-free technique. It became the most widely used method of repairing hernias.
Initially, scientists believed that the stronger and thicker meshes would lead to the most fibrosis (growth of connective tissue). However, this was not true as the heavier and thicker meshes are much more susceptible to complications such as infection, erosion and immune responses.
At this point, doctors moved to using large pore, light-weight meshes. While these lighter meshes were certainly an improvement, there were still an alarming number of serious complications occurring years after surgery. Some of these newer meshes have been recalled in the past several years.
You can read more about hernia mesh complications, or if you are ready to find out if you have a claim for compensation, contact us now for a free, no obligation consultation.
Don’t delay. Your health and well-being matters.
Published by The Mesh Attorneys
Author, creator, and expert on hernia mesh-related injuries, cases, and settlements.