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Examples of Hernia Mesh Failure

The proof that hernia repair meshes were a bad idea lies in the stories of those who have suffered because of them

Friday, November 30, 2018 - The human body rejects foreign objects being placed into it and the more thin and fragile the device, the more likely it is to malfunction. Hernia repair mesh is similar to a piece of screen mesh a homeowner might clip and use to repair a tear in a screen window or door, placing the screen patch over the hole. That is how a hernia repair medical device works. The physician surgically repairs the hole in the abdomen, umbilical cord or other area and then placed the polypropylene plastic hernia repair patch over the surgical spot to support it. The problem is that the body's natural immune response is to attack the foreign object, degrade it, and then attempt to expel it with contractions. Hernia repair meshes fray at the edges, shrink, buckle and comes loose from the spot above a hernia and are then free to move downward with gravity where they can puncture or otherwise obstruct the bowels. When the hernia patch fails a revision surgery is required to extract the device, which may have broken into multiple pieces and traveled throughout the abdomen, and then to repair any underlying organ or tissue damage it has caused. Ethicon Physiomesh problems prompted a worldwide recall due to the cases and reports being filed from patients that suffered side effects from the hernia mesh device.

Hernia mesh implants have a history of failing and causing patients needless pain and suffering. According to the New Hampshire Business Review in a February 2018 article, the number of failed hernia repair devices is increasing as is the number of hernia patient that are filing claims against various hernia repair device manufacturers. "The Review" cites a 73-year old man whose hernia repair patch "curled up and failed" necessitating revision surgery that resulted in an infection. In another case, a 34-year old female hernia mesh recipient experienced her hernia mesh degrading into pieces. A second revision surgery was required to remove a piece of the hernia mesh that was left behind from the first attempted removal surgery and had attached itself to the woman's bowel. Hundreds of similar situations in the state of New Hampshire, USA have resulted in hernia repair patients filing claims against the local hernia mesh manufacturer, "Atrium Medical Corp., a medical device firm that employs 600 people in Merrimack. All of the lawsuits blame Atrium's C-QUR hernia mesh products."

Overseas, a hernia mesh failure has drawn the media's attention because a top athlete has lost five years of his track and field career and the accompanying financial endorsements when doctors used a hernia mesh device to repair his minor surgery. The Guardian reports that Dai Greene was a world-class Olympic hurdler before suffering complications from hernia mesh that caused him to miss an entire 4-year Olympic cycle. He agreed to the hernia mesh surgery because he was told that he would be back up and training within weeks. When Greene's hernia mesh became frayed it most likely caused inflammation resulting in scar tissue build-up that put pressure continuous pressure on the nerves in his pelvis and extreme pain. Greene was forced to have two additional revision surgeries to remove the malfunctioning device.

Doctors often overestimate the usefulness of hernia mesh implants citing the fact that they are made from polypropylene, an oil-based plastic polymer that is known for its strength and flexibility. The problem is, however, that polypropylene has been shown to be incompatible with human organic tissue according to a report published by the National Institute of Health.

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OnderLaw, LLC is a St. Louis personal injury law firm handling serious injury and death claims across the country. Its mission is the pursuit of justice, no matter how complex the case or strenuous the effort. OnderLaw has represented clients throughout the United States in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation such as Pradaxa, Lexapro and Yasmin/Yaz, where the firm's attorneys held significant leadership roles in the litigation, as well as Actos, DePuy, Risperdal and others. OnderLaw has won more than $300 million in four talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits in St. Louis. Law firms throughout the nation often seek its experience and expertise on complex litigation.