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Laparoscopic Surgery Can Increase the Rate of Hernia Mesh Revision Surgeries

90% of surgeons using laparoscopic surgery and hernia repair mesh together are inexperienced and lack the skills to operate the sophisticated equipment safely

Friday, June 7, 2019 - Other than leaving a smaller scar and charging much more money, experienced hernia repair surgeons are at a loss when trying to rationalize using laparoscopic hernia repair instead of traditional, open, natural-tissue methods. Proponents of natural-tissue hernia repair are just as critical of laparoscopic hernia repair techniques as they are about hernia repair mesh itself and putting the two together is a recipe for disaster. There are a number of complications that can arise from misuse of the laparoscopic equipment that can cause tissue and organ damage much worse than the original hernia it was intended to repair. Ethicon Physiomesh lawyers are pursuing justice on behalf of individuals and families that have been harmed by dangerous drugs and defective medical products

Hernia repair patients are easily sold on their doctor using the latest and most sophisticated medical devices such as a laparoscope in which the only possible benefit is the relatively tiny incision it makes compared to natural surgical techniques. This means less recovery time, less discomfort and a smaller scar. Most surgeons, however, are grossly lacking in the experience needed to operate the sophisticated and complicated machinery.

The Shouldice Hernia Hospital is recognized around the world as the leader in natural-tissue, open hernia repairs and refuses to use laparoscopy for the following reasons. "Laparoscopic techniques require the use of general anesthesia which in itself has its own well-recognized risks. Although this method is marketed by those who use it as minimally invasive, in reality, it is more invasive than open techniques as it involves penetration of the abdominal cavity. Intra-operative complications arising from damaging internal organs during surgery, bleeding as well as leaving trochar incision scars, that in turn can become incisional hernias (fatalities have been recorded in rare circumstances)."

Most importantly, Shouldice claims that it can take performing over 600 repetitive hernia repair procedures in order to become proficient in using the equipment. In the 25 plus years that laparoscopy has been around only around 10% of all surgeons choose laparoscopy and most experienced surgeons in all fields have stopped using the procedure altogether.

Shouldice goes on to quote the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine in 2004 as writing "the open technique is superior to the laparoscopic technique for mesh repair of primary hernias." Shouldice quotes the Journal as claiming that hernia recurrence rate requiring revision surgery, as well as related post-operative complications, were twice as high when using laparoscopic techniques.

The National Institute of Health that laparoscopic hernia repair using mesh is fraught with potential complications. "The most common adverse events following hernia repair with mesh are pain, infection, hernia recurrence, adhesion, and bowel obstruction. Some other potential adverse events that can occur following hernia repair with mesh are mesh migration and mesh shrinkage (contraction)."

Several hernia repair mesh products have been pulled from the market such as Physiomesh hernia repair mesh. Ethicon, the maker of Physiomesh and a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, voluntarily withdrew the product from the market in 2016 as a result of an abnormally high percentage of failed laparoscopic hernia mesh repair surgeries that required revision surgery.

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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.