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Hernia Repair Physicians Are Dealing With Hernia Repair Mesh Failures

Hernia repair doctors must deal with hernia mesh failures every day and are speaking out about the failed medical device

Tuesday, January 1, 2019 - When a medical device manufacturer like Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, voluntarily decides to withdraw a product from the market over fears for patient safety, everyone from doctors to patients to medical journalists should be concerned. While researching the safety of hernia mesh it occurred to me to seek out the thoughts and experience of the leading authorities on hernia repair to get their opinions on the safety of hernia repair mesh and also their thoughts on whether or not the medical device is even necessary. I found one of the most highly respected hernia repair specialists Dr. Shirin Towfigh. According to the website representing her practice, Dr. Towfigh is " 100% dedicated to treating all types of abdominal wall, flank, back, and pelvic floor hernias and their complications. She provides all options for expert, state-of-the-art treatment, such as open, laparoscopic, and robotic-assisted procedures. She also provides non-surgical and natural options." Dr. Towfigh's credentials span a wide array of hernia categories from speaking at major medical and surgical conferences to her position as a leader at the American Hernia Society.

The latest research has found that hernia mesh is made primarily from polypropylene, a petroleum-based plastic used extensively in plastic microwaveable containers and single-use plastic bags and frequently causes infections when used within the human body. The Dr. estimates that there are over 100,000 hernia mesh patients with infected hernia mesh, an infection so painful as to require hernia mesh removal. When the human immune system attacks the polypropylene mesh the petroleum-based plastic degrades, shrinks and hardens causing its edges to sharpen, causing stabbing pain. Once the device shrinks up it has painfully pulled free from the surgically repaired hernia and is free to migrate to other parts of the abdominal cavity and often becomes entrapped in the small intestines where blockages can occur. In addition to pain, nerve damage is a common consequence of hernia repair mesh that can affect the entire lower torso. Dr. Towfigh stated that over 10% of her hernia practice is made up of those requiring hernia mesh removal. Ethicon physiomesh lawsuit attorneys can answer questions about the hernia mesh repair recall.

On her website, Dr. Tofigh writes about the dangers and complications from hernia repair surgery using hernia mesh. "Mesh-related complication. These include mesh infection, mesh folding, and mesh-related pain or reaction. Mesh infection is usually low risk, as most hernia repairs are performed in a clean field. We have a lot of experience handling these situations, as we do see the extremes of hernia-related complications. Mesh folding may cause pain. These are called meshomas. They can also lead to recurrence. True mesh reaction is very rare. We see this infrequently and they are hard to diagnose. Once the patient is considered to be reacting to implanted mesh, mesh removal is considered. We have a lot of experience with mesh removal due to mesh infection, meshoma or mesh reaction and have published our research experience with this problem. This procedure is performed open, laparoscopically, or robotically-assisted, depending on each patient's needs. Mesh removal should not be taken lightly. It is a risky operation with many potentials for complications. It should be performed by surgeons with experience."

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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.