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Hernia Mesh Repair Patients Should Know the Risks

Young doctors are using hernia repair mesh to repair routine hernias when natural-tissue hernia repair may be a better option

Tuesday, August 4, 2020 - Hernia repair patients are starting to realize that the last thing that needs to be placed permanently inside of one's body is a two-inch by four-inch sliver of hernia repair mesh screen. Hernia repair mesh is a lot like the screen one would cut to place over and repair a hole in a screen door. Most hernia repair mesh used in the past decade has a polypropylene component thought to be incompatible with organic human tissue and the source of auto-immune problems and allergic reactions. Hernia repair mesh devices made from polypropylene may degrade and weaken the bonds keeping it in place supporting the surgically repaired hernia. When hernia repair mesh fails to adhere to the underlying tissue or breaks free, it may travel downward with gravity and damage the lower intestines and bowels, potentially lacerating them and causing internal bleeding and infection. Also, nerve damage may occur from the device becoming embedded in the underlying tissue by scar tissue. When that happens, the entire section of the organ surrounding the now-embedded hernia repair mesh may require removal. Because of the medical complications caused by hernia mesh devices, patients look to Physiomesh hernia repair mesh lawyers to help them to file a claim against the device's manufacturer.

Millions of people have had their hernias repaired with hernia mesh and are now in constant pain requiring revision surgery. In 2016, Ethicon, the maker of the Ethicon Physiomesh Hernia repair mesh device, voluntarily recalled the product when they discovered that an unusually high percentage of European patients experienced pain requiring a second surgery to remove the hernia mesh and repair the hernia properly. Many hernia mesh failure victims need multiple surgeries to locate fragments of the hernia repair mesh that have gone out in every direction. Since sharp stabbing pain is the most common symptom of failed hernia mesh, surgeons may look to multiple places within the body to try and locate pieces of the device. Symptoms of a failed hernia mesh device include but are not limited to pain, internal bleeding, obstruction or laceration of the lower intestines or bowels, sexual dysfunction, and most often, a re-ruptured hernia.

Polypropylene is an oil-based plastic that is foreign to the human body. As such, the body may more easily tolerate its own natural tissue hernia repair. The body's movement centering around its core can stress hernia mesh. Bending, stretching, and twisting place natural stress in this area. These movements can compromise polypropylene plastic hernia mesh flexibility and strength. Canada's Shouldice hospital has been performing natural tissue hernia repair successfully for over 100 years and describes hernia repair in this area as follows: "The abdominal wall is a complex multi-levelled structure made up of distinct layers of muscle and fascia (tissue) designed to contract, stretch and bear tension in a way that allows the torso to bend and twist. Anything that restricts or interferes with the normal abdominal movement puts unnatural, and often harmful, stress on the area."

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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.