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Hernia Mesh Revision Surgery Implications for Lawsuits

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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt
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Hernia mesh revision surgery is one of the hernia mesh complications that can arise from a hernia repair surgery. Revision surgery is necessary when hernia surgical mesh implants cause injury. It can also be required for hernia recurrence. 

If you require revision surgery after a hernia repair involving hernia mesh, you may be liable to file a lawsuit with a lawyer.

At Schmidt and Clark, our experienced lawyers can help you with a lawsuit settlement to get the money you deserve for your hernia mesh injuries. 

Quick Summary

  • Hernia mesh revision surgery replaces or corrects a hernia mesh implant that has failed or broken. 
  • Revision surgery is riskier than an initial hernia repair due to the device moving around the body, changes in the body such as scar tissue, and more.
  • You might need revision surgery for organ perforation, sepsis, infection, abscess, adhesion, and more.
  • The risks of hernia mesh revision surgery are postoperative depression and the need for additional surgeries.
  • The benefits of hernia revision surgery include ending chronic pain, repairing blood vessel damage, repairing punctured organs, repairing nerve damage, and more.

What Is Hernia Revision Surgery?

A bunch of doctors doing a hernia mesh surgeryHernia revision surgery is surgery to replace or correct a failed surgical mesh product. Revision surgeries can be riskier than the original hernia repair surgery. 

In revision hernia surgery, the surgical mesh can be replaced with a new one or completely removed and not replaced.

Sutures or another alternative may be used instead of hernia surgical mesh implants.

Why Is Revision Surgery Riskier Than Initial Hernia Repair Surgery?

Revision surgery can be riskier for several reasons. First, it is more dangerous because it isn't a repair, but the hernia mesh may need to be removed or repaired. Also, depending on how long the hernia mesh device has been in the body, it is likely not in the same condition as it was when placed initially [1].

For example, a mesh device that has been in the body for an extended period may:

  • Have moved throughout the body
  • Have broken
  • Have adhered to other organs or tissues
  • Be infected
  • Have been rejected by the body

In addition to the hernia mesh products condition, your body's state has also likely changed. The medical device could have caused perforation of the intestines, bowel obstruction, or perforation of other organs or tissues based on mesh migration. These are all serious complications that require revision surgery.

Revision surgery also requires removing sutures that connect the defective hernia mesh products to the body.

Scar tissue could develop around the medical device in the abdominal wall or another area, making the surgery more difficult. Revision surgery also requires a specialist surgeon.

Related Article: Hernia Mesh Patch Lawsuit Update

What Are the Reasons You Might Need Revision Surgery?

A surgeon in a surgery room

Typically, revision surgery for hernia mesh victims is necessary after several serious complications arise, including: 

  • Perforation of the bowel or intestines
  • Peritonitis
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Sepsis
  • Abscess
  • Infection
  • Allergic reaction
  • Dental problems
  • Hernia recurrence
  • Mesh migration
  • Adhesion
  • Erosion of mesh
  • Broken mesh

Revision surgery can be required if the removal of the device is necessary or the hernia mesh implanted is a part of FDA hernia mesh recalls [2].

Even though a small percentage of patients have a mesh-related complication, the number of patients with complaints can be high.
- Dr. Shirin Towfigh, Surgeon, Beverly Hills Hernia Center

Are There Benefits and Risks With Revision Surgery?

Just like any surgery, there are always risks and benefits. With revision surgery, the operation is more invasive and difficult than hernia repair surgery.

However, the revision surgery is designed to eliminate the complications caused by hernia repair, and that benefit may outweigh the risks.

What Are the Risks Associated With Hernia Revision Surgery?

A doctor explaining the risks associated with hernia mesh revision surgeryThe risks of a hernia revision surgery are similar to the risks of a hernia repair surgery. One of the highest risks is the need for additional surgeries for revision.

The main risks with revision surgery are mental and emotional, including postoperative depression.

Acute postoperative pain can cause depression and lower the patient's pain threshold, creating a cycle of pain and depression [3].

What Are the Benefits of Hernia Mesh Surgery Revision?

Many of the benefits outweigh the risks. The benefits of hernia mesh repair surgery include [4]:

  • Removal of infected, broken, eroded, or recalled defective hernia mesh devices
  • Repair of punctured organs and tissues
  • repair of nerve damage or blood vessel damage
  • Ending chronic pain from defective mesh devices

Your surgeon will advise you if it's best to have the mesh removed and replaced with new mesh not associated with complications or offer another alternative for hernia repair to prevent hernia recurrence.

Related Article: Signs & Symptoms of a Defective Hernia Mesh Device

When Does a Hernia Repair Require Revision Surgery?

A hernia mesh surgery in a hospital

Revision surgery is necessary in the case of a hernia mesh failure. Your doctor will need to run tests to understand the condition of the mesh device better and ensure the implant is what is causing pain or infection [5].

If you have had hernia mesh surgery and there is pain in the surgical area that isn't going away, then your pain:

  • is likely caused by the mesh surgery, and you should see a doctor
  • can indicate serious internal problems
  • can also be accompanied by other symptoms like fever, chills, and swelling.

Who Is Eligible for Hernia Revision Surgery?

Eligibility for a hernia revision surgery depends on several factors, including:

  • How severe the pain is and if medication helps the pain
  • The presence of an infection, especially infections resistant to antibiotics like MRSA
  • The condition of the mesh, especially if migrated, eroded, adhered, or broken
  • Hernia recurrence or return
  • Whether or not the mesh has perforated an organ or tissue
  • Whether or not the mesh is recalled

The doctor will evaluate your specific situation. All the risks and benefits of the hernia mesh repair surgery will be outlined for you. You also may be able to get revision surgery even if you don't meet any of the requirements listed above, based on your situation.

How Often Is Revision Surgery Needed After Hernia Mesh Surgery?

There aren't any accurate statistics to estimate how often it is needed. Still, revision surgery is a complication cited in many hernia mesh lawsuits and surgical mesh lawsuits against hernia mesh manufacturers. 

What Are the Medical Expenses When You Have a Hernia Mesh Revision Surgery?

A doctor looking at the medical expenses

Revision surgery is expensive, and medical insurance may not cover the entire cost. Expenses include:

  • Hospital fees
  • Examination fees
  • Surgery fees
  • Other medical expenses
  • Medications

What Are Common Hernia Mesh Products That Have Needed Revision Surgery?

Revision surgery has been necessary for medical devices used for hernia surgery by several manufacturers.

These specific mesh manufacturers have been associated with lawsuits claiming revision surgery and severe hernia mesh complications [6].

  • Atrium: Atrium is the largest hernia mesh manufacturer. Their C-QUR mesh product has been linked to several FDA recalls and personal injury hernia mesh lawsuits. 
  • Bard: Bard has several hernia mesh implant products known to be defective and have undergone FDA recalls.
  • Covidien: Covidien's Parietex mesh product is known to have serious complications and has undergone several FDA recalls and lawsuits.
  • Ethicon: Ethicon is a part of Johnson and Johnson and has been a part of several class action lawsuits due to their Physiomesh implant.
  • Genzyme: This is a small company, but their Sepramesh devices are subject to big lawsuits. 
  • Gore Medical: Gore created Gore-Tex used in hernia mesh devices that have been found to be dangerous, and the company has been a part of lawsuits

“When mesh was first invented for hernia repairs, the materials used to create the mesh were hard pieces of plastic. Over time, these pieces of plastic contributed to chronic pain”
- Dr. Todd S. Harris, California Hernia Specialists

Are Mesh Manufacturers Responsible for My Revision Surgery?

A doctor explaining who is responsible for hernia mesh surgery

The manufacturers can be held responsible for your revision surgery.

Specific criteria must be met to prove liability; however, there are a few situations in which the hernia mesh manufacturer is liable to compensate you for complications after using their products, including:

  1. The mesh was designed defectively.
  2. The hernia mesh was defectively made.
  3. The manufacturer failed to warn that their hernia mesh product causes complications.
  4. The manufacturer or designer was negligent.

In all of these situations, you must have suffered an injury that spurred the need for revision surgery as a result of a hernia mesh product, and the injury must be quantifiable in a specific monetary value, meaning:

  • You had hernia repair surgery in which hernia mesh implants were used.
  • For some reason, the hernia mesh implants caused an injury, and the damage wasn't due to your fault, and you had to have revision surgery. 

With any surgery and subsequent injury, the surgeon or facility may also be responsible for injury caused by mesh failure.

For example, suppose a doctor left another medical device in your body with the hernia mesh. In that case, you could file a hernia mesh claim for medical malpractice, and the doctor can be held liable.

Can I Receive Compensation for Hernia Mesh Complications and Revision Surgery?

A lawyer computing the compensation for hernia mesh

If you have been injured by hernia mesh, regardless of whether you needed revision surgery, you can file a hernia mesh lawsuit. There are several ongoing lawsuits in the United States.

The compensation being sought in hernia mesh lawsuits include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages 
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Punitive damages

Average Settlement

A lawyer looking at the average settlement for hernia meshA Hernia mesh lawsuit claim will vary in an average settlement. Hernia mesh lawsuits for those who have had revision surgery will range between $40,000 to $1 million.

Victims with one revision surgery who recovered quickly with minimal complications from hernia mesh products will likely receive $40,000 to $60,000.

Survivors of victims who have died from defective hernia mesh brands may be awarded over $1 million.

Victims with serious complications and multiple revision surgeries could receive hundreds of thousands of dollars. The average hernia mesh settlement will be around $120,000.

Below are case settlements of recently resolved hernia mesh lawsuits:

  • August 2022 - A Rhode Island jury awarded a Hawaii municipal employee $4.8 million after Bard failed to warn him there was a defect in the Davol hernia mesh kit he received years ago that led to his injuries.
  • May 2022 - Bard Bellwether Trial- A jury awarded the plaintiff $250,000 in the second bellwether hernia mesh trial. However, a motion was filed on each side to challenge the outcome. Bard says the plaintiff failed to prove a defect, and the plaintiff is arguing for a new trial claiming jurors were not adequately instructed on how to evaluate the burden of proof.
  • May 2022 - C.R. Bard - $184 million. In the case of Maureen Cavanagh et al. v. C.R. Bard Inc., et al., the jury of Bard's hernia mesh products was defective, awarding the victims $184 million in damage.
  • January 2021 - Atrium Medical Corporation - The jury found Atrium's mesh devices defective and ordered them to pay $1.6 million in damages.
  • March 2021 - Atrium Medical Corporation - $610 million - Rouffa et al. v. Atrium Medical Corp. - The jury found Atrium's mesh products were defective and ordered them to compensate the victim with $610 million in damages.
  • April 2019 - Ethicon- Ethicon agreed to a negotiated hernia mesh lawsuit settlement of $117 million, agreeing the device endangered the victim's life after the defective mesh device had been implanted.

Who Is Eligible to File Hernia Mesh Claims?

A lawyer and client filing a hernia mesh lawsuitYou might be eligible to file a hernia mesh litigation if you had hernia mesh surgery or revision surgery and experienced severe complications, especially if you got a mesh implant from a manufacturer that is the subject of lawsuits.

Hernia mesh lawyers can help you ensure your lawsuit is filed in time and gather evidence or necessary requirements.

Eligibility requirements may differ depending on the patient or law firm, but some basic requirements exist.

Ways to qualify for a lawsuit include:

  • Having an original hernia repair with mesh on or after January 1, 2006
  • Suffering severe injuries such as adhesion, hernia recurrence, mesh migration, organ perforation, or infection more than 30 days after the surgery date. 
  • Having had revision surgery due to complications
  • Needing additional surgery due to complications
  • Needing additional surgery due to complications but are unable to have it due to medical issues

The statute of limitations for personal injury or product liability varies by state. If you miss the deadline to file, you will be unable to recover the damages owed to you. The statute of limitations for any product liability lawsuits is generally two years.

See the other defective medical device cases our attorneys have taken on.

FAQs

How Long Does Hernia Revision Surgery Take?

On average, hernia revision surgery takes an hour to an hour and a half. The timing depends on several factors, such as how long the mesh has been in the body, the development of scar tissue, and more.

Can You Have Hernia Mesh Surgery More Than Once?

Yes, you can have a hernia mesh surgery more than once. When hernias recur at the site of a previous repair, this is called a recurrent hernia, which can happen months or years after initial surgery and will require revision surgery.

How Long Is Bed Rest After a Hernia Mesh Surgery?

Depending on the hernia type, it can be two weeks or longer. Inguinal, umbilical, and small incisional hernias usually take around two weeks to heal.

Can a Hernia Mesh Repair Rip Years Later?

Yes, a hernia mesh repair can fail anytime, from weeks to years after your surgery. The most experienced symptom of mesh failure is chronic pain. If a broken hernia mesh is left untreated, it can be fatal.

What Percentage of Hernia Mesh Repairs Result in Failure?

Some repairs can lead to a high incidence of chronic pain, from five to fifteen percent. Reports of a 90 to 99 percent success rate are common for hernia mesh repairs.

Overall, mesh repairs offer a smaller chance of recurrence than non-mesh hernia repairs [7].

Can Sneezing Damage My Hernia Mesh Repair?

Yes, especially if you have an abdominal wall incision. If you sneeze the wrong way, you can cause the incision to open. 

Is Sitting Good for Healing After a Hernia Surgery?

No, sitting isn't good for healing after hernia surgery. Sitting may be uncomfortable after surgery for several days. 

Why Can’t I Drive After My Hernia Mesh Surgery?

It is recommended you wait 24 to 48 hours after surgery to drive because you will be given anesthesia for your procedure. If your hernia is located in the abdominal wall, you may be asked to wait a few more days before driving to reduce strain. 

Is Walking Good for Healing After Hernia Mesh Surgery?

Yes, walking increases circulation and helps to promote blood flow, which will help the damaged tissue around your hernia repair and strengthen the underlying muscles or tissues.

When Should You Contact a Lawyer?

If you have had a hernia revision surgery and suffered complications, you should contact a lawyer to file a lawsuit.

It is important to contact an attorney quickly due to the statute of limitations on personal injury claims. To receive the money you deserve for your injuries, an attorney will need to begin working on your case as soon as possible. 

The experienced personal injury lawyers at Schmidt and Clark can help you receive compensation for your injuries due to defective hernia mesh.

Our lawyers can help you gather medical information for evidence, and expert witnesses, help you file your claim, and even represent you in court if needed.

Contact Schmidt and Clark today and get a free lawsuit evaluation.


References:

  1. https://www.drugwatch.com/hernia-mesh/removal/
  2. https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/implants-and-prosthetics/hernia-surgical-mesh-implants
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4736276/
  4. https://www.calljed.com/hernia-mesh-revision-surgery.html#:~:text=For%20instance%2C%20severe%20pain%20can,help%20prevent%20future%20health%20problems.
  5. https://www.claritysurgicalny.com/blog/all-about-mesh-removal-after-hernia-repair
  6. https://www.drugwatch.com/hernia-mesh/
  7. https://bostonhernia.com/faq/how-likely-is-it-that-a-hernia-will-come-back-after-repair/

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