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Organ Tissue Perforation Related to Hernia Mesh Products

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Hernia repair surgery with defective mesh products has led to adverse health effects like organ perforation. If you or your family members have experienced hernia mesh surgery and had a perforation, you may be able to file a hernia mesh lawsuit. 

Personal injury lawyers at Schmidt and Clark have successfully represented thousands of personal injury lawsuits. We can help you receive compensation for severe complications caused by your hernia surgery.

Quick Summary

  • A hernia happens when an organ, the intestine, or fatty tissue squeezes through a weak muscle or tissue.
  • There are several types of Hernia, including inguinal, femoral, incisional, ventral, umbilical, and Hiatal. 
  • A hernia mesh is a surgical device used in hernia repair.
  • One of the most severe complications after hernia repairs is a hole in neighboring organs or tissues called organ perforation.

What Is a Hernia?

A hernia is a condition that happens when an organ, the intestine, or fatty tissue squeezes through a weak spot around a muscle or tissue. Hernias often happen in the abdominal wall [1]

Types of Hernia

A person suffering from hernia

There are several types of hernias. The most common are:

  • Inguinal Hernia: a hernia of the inner groin
  • Femoral Hernia: a hernia of the upper thigh or outer groin
  • Incisional Hernia: a hernia through an incision in the abdomen
  • Ventral Hernia: a hernia of the abdominal wall
  • Umbilical Hernia: a hernia of the belly button
  • Hiatal Hernia: a hernia of the abdomen along the upper stomach

Hernia Causes

A combination of pressure and an opening in the muscle or tissue causes the majority of hernias. The pressure pushes the organ or tissue through the opening. Anything that increases abdominal wall pressure can cause a hernia, such as obesity, lifting heavy weights, diarrhea, or chronic coughing or sneezing. 

Inadequate nutrition, smoking, and overexertion can weaken the muscles and tissues and contribute to developing a hernia [2].

Treatment Options for Hernias

A doctor explaining treatment options for hernias

Hernia repair is a standard procedure, with over one million repairs in the United States every year. Eight hundred thousand are inguinal hernias, and the rest are different types.

Treatment options for hernias include:

  • Watchful Waiting: Your doctor will watch the Hernia to ensure it isn’t growing or causing issues. This is an option for a person with no symptoms or problems with the Hernia.
  • Laparoscopic Surgery: The surgeon makes small incisions in the abdomen to allow surgical tools to repair the Hernia. This can be done with or without hernia mesh.
  • Open Repair: The surgeon makes an incision near the Hernia and repairs the weak muscle. This can also be done with or without hernia mesh.

Hernias have a high possibility of recurring, so surgeons often use surgical mesh to help strengthen the repair and prevent a recurrence. Surgical mesh can also improve outcomes through decreased operation time and minimized recovery time. However,  elective incisional hernia repair is among the highest rates of recurrence [3]

After someone has had surgery to fix a hernia, it can be devastating for the hernia to return, especially if it means more surgery.”
Dr. Ryan Howard, Surgeon, University of Michigan

What Is a Hernia Mesh?

Hernia mesh is a surgical mesh that is used to repair hernias. The surgical mesh gives support to the tissue that the Hernia damaged. Hernia surgical mesh implants are spread across the gap to connect the tissue to help the tissue repair. Several types of surgical mesh are made from 

different materials for different body parts [4].

Why Do Surgeons Use Hernia Mesh Products?

The only alternative to mesh is suturing. Surgeons don’t like to use sutures due to hernias’ recurrence rate.

Mesh products are used because the risk of hernia recurrence is lower. However, studies show the benefits of mesh are offset by its complications [5]

What Is Organ Perforation From Surgical Mesh?

Doctors discussing organ perforation that is from surgical mesh

Based on studies by the Food and Drug Administration, one of the most severe complications after hernia repairs is a hole in neighboring organs, tissues, or organ perforation.

This can happen in three different ways [6]:

  • Improper mesh placement
  • Improper surgical techniques
  • Hernia mesh failure

The most common cause of organ perforation from mesh is hernia mesh failure. When the defective mesh is used to repair a hernia, it can fail and result in mesh migration or eroding.

The mesh implant can perforate another organ or tissue as it moves around the body. 

The organs most at risk for organ perforation are:

  • The bladder
  • The urinary tract
  • The bowels
  • The blood vessels

What Symptoms Arise From Organ Perforation?

The symptoms that arise from organ perforation are similar to mesh failure symptoms.

Symptoms include:

  • High fever
  • Chills
  • Increased heart rate
  • Infection
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Low blood pressure
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bleeding 
  • Severe pain

What Are the Symptoms of Bowel Perforation?

A doctor discussing the symptoms of bowel perforation

The symptoms of bowel perforation include [7]:

  • Vomiting
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Abdominal pain
  • Unable to pass gas
  • Bloody stool
  • Blood pressure change

What Are the Symptoms of Bladder Perforation?

The symptoms of bladder perforation include:

  • Pain when urinating
  • Inability to urinate
  • Blood in the urine
  • Severe pelvic cramping

What Are the Symptoms of Perforation of Blood Vessels?

A patient listening to a doctor discussing the symptoms of perforation of blood vessels

The most frequent symptoms of perforation of blood vessels are:

  • Bloody Stool Or Urine
  • Excessive vaginal bleeding
  • Weakness
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Pressure

What Complications Are Caused by Organ Perforation?

Organ perforation is a medical emergency. A perforated organ can release material into the body.

For example, a gastrointestinal perforation can leak waste into the body, which can enter the bloodstream leading to sepsis. Sepsis can lead to loss of limbs or death.

How Is Organ Perforation Treated and Diagnosed?

Organ perforation is diagnosed through the following:

  • A physical exam
  • Bloodwork
  • Urine tests
  • Stool tests
  • CT scans
  • Ultrasounds
  • Cystography

Once the diagnosis is confirmed, treatment includes:

  • Surgery to repair hernias
  • Surgery for mesh removal
  • Cauterization of blood vessels
  • Removal of leaked fluid from mesh migration
  • Antibiotics for infection
  • A blood transfusion

Are There Specific Mesh Products That Have Been Shown to Cause Organ Perforation?

Any defective mesh product can lead to organ perforation if the mesh fails or migrates from the surgical site. The Bard Composix Kugel mesh patch has been known to cause organ perforation. It is usually used for ventral or open inguinal hernia repair. Lawsuits have risen from mesh failure.

When Should You Find a Lawyer?

A person hiring a lawyerIf you have had a surgical repair for a hernia and are experiencing symptoms of organ perforation, contact your doctor immediately.

In several cases, the manufacturers of defective mesh products used for hernia repairs have been found liable and have had to pay damages to victims.

In case you were injured by defective surgical mesh devices, you can receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. 

Hernia Mesh Lawsuits

Hernia mesh manufacturers are undergoing legal problems in the United States, including class-action surgical  Hernia mesh lawsuits and individual medical practice lawsuits. Over 16,000 pending cases have been filed involving defective mesh devices.

Hernia Mesh Average Settlements

A lawyer working on paper works

It is difficult to say how much you would receive from a hernia mesh lawsuit settlement. However, there are several similar past settlements to provide insight.

The cases below are all examples of settled hernia mesh lawsuits:

  •  2022 – A Rhode Island Court awarded a Hawaii municipal employee $4.8 million, finding that Bard had failed to warn him of a defect in the hernia mesh kit he received years ago. 
  • 2022 – Bard – $184 million. In this case, Cavanagh et al. v. C.R. Bard Inc., the jury found that Bard’s hernia mesh products were defective, awarding the victim $184 million. This case is one of the largest hernia settlements to date.
  • 2021 – Atrium Medical Corporation – $610 million – Rouffa et al. v. Atrium Medical Corp- The jury found that Atrium’s mesh products were defective and ordered them to compensate the victims with $610 million.
  • 2019 -Johnson & Johnson – The defendant agreed to a hernia mesh lawsuit settlement of $117 million, confirming that the device endangered the plaintiff’s life after a defective medical mesh device was implanted.

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FAQs

Can Hernia Mesh Cause Issues Years Later?

Yes, hernia mesh can cause issues years later. The most common complications include pain, bowel obstruction, hernia recurrence, adhesion, and infection.

Who Qualifies for a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit?

Anyone who has suffered severe injuries, such as organ perforation, infection, mesh migration, etc., more than 30 days from their hernia repair date qualifies for a lawsuit.

How Long Does Hernia Mesh Stay in the Body?

Mesh will remain in the body permanently. It is designed to give permanent reinforcement to the hernia repair. 

How Long Will It Be to Settle a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit?

A hernia mesh lawsuit will take one to three years to settle, depending on the case. Only in rare circumstances will it take less than a year to resolve.

Get a Free Lawsuit Evaluation

If you have experienced an injury from defective mesh used for your hernia repair, you are eligible for compensation.

Filing a Bard hernia mesh lawsuit can give you the funds you need to deal with the resulting medical bills from the organ and tissue perforation caused by hernia mesh products.

The qualified personal injury lawyers at Schmidt & Clark, LLP can help you seek damages in your hernia mesh lawsuit. Our personal injury lawyers are handling several cases nationwide and accepting lawsuits in all 50 states.

Schmidt and Clark can help you with a free lawsuit consultation to help you seek legal action.


References:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/understanding-hernia-basics
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/hernia
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23219350/
  4. https://www.nghs.com/2020/11/19/importance-of-using-mesh-in-hernia-repair-surgery
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27750295/
  6. https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/implants-and-prosthetics/hernia-surgical-mesh-implants
  7. https://www.healthline.com/health/gastrointestinal-perforation

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