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The Signs & Symptoms of a Defective Hernia Mesh Device

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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt
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Hernia mesh is often used in hernia repair surgeries to strengthen the tissue or muscle around the hernia to support weakened tissue. Defective hernia mesh or hernia mesh failure can lead to injury, allowing you to seek compensation for damages from your injuries.

Patients with hernia repair surgery using surgical mesh should be aware of the symptoms associated with hernia mesh failure.

The professional lawyers and Schmit and Clark can help you answer common questions, outline the signs and symptoms of hernia mesh failure and file a hernia mesh lawsuit. 

Quick Summary

  • Common symptoms of defective hernia mesh include fever, chills, bruising, swelling, infection, chronic infections, and more.
  • One of these symptoms is not necessarily indicative of defective mesh products; complications usually arise with two or more symptoms.
  • See a doctor anytime you develop any symptoms associated with the defective mesh, as symptoms can develop anytime after surgery.
  • The average settlement of a hernia mesh lawsuit depends on several factors, including the severity of complications, the number of medical bills, and the impact of the injury on your day- to-day-life. 

What Are Common Symptoms of Defective Hernia Mesh?

A doctor checking for a defective hernia mesh

Signs and symptoms of a defective hernia mesh can be similar to other medical conditions or illnesses, which is why hernia mesh rejection can go unnoticed. 

The common signs and symptoms of defective hernia mesh include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Pain
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Chronic infection
  • Trouble urinating
  • Erectile dysfunction

Related Article: Hernia Mesh Lawsuits Update

What Is a Fever?

The human body’s average temperature ranges from 99 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. A fever happens when your body temperature is higher than usual.

A mild fever is above the normal range of up to 103 degrees Fahrenheit. A high fever is 104 degrees Fahrenheit or more.

Anyone with a fever that stays for three days or longer should see a doctor, except:

  • Toddlers: See a doctor if a fever lasts longer than a day
  • Infants: See a doctor immediately if the fever is over 100.4°F [1]

When a fever happens after hernia mesh surgery, you may assume it's simply a side effect of the surgery. Still, when a fever occurs months or years later, it becomes less evident that it is linked to failed hernia mesh. 

What Are Chills Caused by Fever?

Chills are the sensation of coldness, like shivering, but accompanied by fever. 

When chills follow a fever, people often assume it's related to a virus like the flu or cold, but it may be related to an infection from defective surgical mesh.

What Is Pain or Chronic Pain?

A man suffering from chronic back painPain is a sensation coming from the nerves reacting to the brain to pinpoint tissue damage and warn you by causing pain.

 Pain is experienced differently by everyone and can be short-term, long-term, mental, or physical. Because everyone explains pain differently, pain related to mesh failure can go unnoticed.

Chronic pain is pain that lasts longer than a few months. If the pain results from a hernia mesh procedure, severe pain will likely occur along the area of hernia repair.

What Is Skin Bruising?

Skin bruising is an injury that discolors the skin and is caused by damage to blood cells under the skin that pool together near the skin’s surface.

A bruise can appear after you bump yourself into an object. An unexplained bruise could be the result of a bleeding disorder.

When bruising is related to hernia surgery, it usually happens on or near the repair site and will appear soon after the hernia repair. If you experience bleeding inside the incision, you may need additional surgery to open the skin and stop the bleeding [2]

What Is Swelling in the Body?

A woman suffering from pain swelling

Swelling in the body is a reaction to inflammation or fluid buildup in the body. 

Swelling can happen in the following areas:

  • On the outer skin 
  • Near the skin, such as in muscle tissue 
  • Internally where it isn’t visible 

Swelling can be a symptom of several medical conditions. There may be an infection when swelling includes warm red skin and pus.

With hernia repairs, there may be visible swelling at the wound site. Swelling can be a sign of infection due to mesh failure. 

What Are Nausea and Vomiting?

Nausea is the uneasy feeling that is felt when you feel like you need to or are going to vomit. Vomiting is the emptying of the stomach via throwing up. It can be voluntary or involuntary.

Both can be side effects related to defective hernia repair and several other illnesses.

What Is a Chronic Infection?

A chronic infection is an infection that stays for an extended period of time. 

Microorganisms cause chronic infection, such as: 

  • Viruses
  • Bacteria
  • Fungi
  • Parasites 

Chronic infections can become fatal. Also, there may not be noticeable symptoms at first with chronic infections. With hernia mesh complications, the typical cause of chronic infection is a bacterial infection.

Bacteria resistant to methicillin, like MRSA, are the leading bacteria associated with hernia mesh complications and typically require the removal of the mesh implant [3]

What Does It Mean to Have Difficulty Urinating or Defecating?

A person suffering in the toilet

Difficulty urinating means that you are unable to urinate or defecate properly, which can be defined as:

  • Difficulty starting to urinate
  • Being unable to empty your bladder
  • Constipation
  • Being unable to pass gas

When you are unable to go to the bathroom properly after a laparoscopic hernia repair, this could mean that a large or small intestine or bowel obstruction has occurred. This often happens months or years after laparoscopic surgery. 

What Does It Mean to Have Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is a condition that happens when a male can’t achieve or sustain an erection.

 Erectile dysfunction can be the result of the following:

  • An adverse reaction to a medication
  • Too much alcohol consumption
  • Fatigue

Erectile dysfunction can indicate a medical condition, such as a defective hernia mesh implant. The mesh may be broken, shrunk, or eroded, resulting in hernia mesh migration and causing reduced blood flow. 

Is Only One of These Signs or Symptoms Indicative of Mesh Failure?

A doctor talking to a patient about the symptoms of mesh failure

Usually, no. One sign or symptom doesn’t necessarily indicate a defective hernia repair, but it’s best to see your doctor for any of these symptoms.

Usually, signs or symptoms of hernia mesh failure result in two or more symptoms.

Examples of the most common events related to defective hernia mesh products include [4]:

  • Infection: An infection can include fever, chills, vomiting, swelling, and pain.
  • Recurrence: Hernia recurrence can include infection, difficulty urinating or defecating, and nausea or vomiting.
  • Adhesion: Adhesion can produce chronic pain, fever, swelling, and vomiting if it goes undiagnosed for a long time.
  • Obstruction: Obstruction such as bowel obstruction or intestinal obstruction includes abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, inability to use the bathroom, and swelling. 
  • Perforation: Defective mesh can perforate organs and result in bowel perforation, perforation of the abdominal wall, or other areas depending on mesh migration. Common symptoms of perforation include fever, chills, pain, infection, constipation, inability to urinate, bloating, nausea, bruising, vomiting, or bleeding.
  • Seroma: Seroma is the buildup of fluid under the skin, especially near a surgical site. Signs of seroma include chills, fever, swelling, and infections.

When to See a Doctor for Symptoms of Defective Failed Mesh?

A woman calling a doctor to ask about defective hernia mesh

When you have experienced hernia surgery using hernia meshes, you should see your doctor if you develop any of the symptoms above, especially if they happen for no other reason.

Injuries caused by defective mesh material have been known to occur:

  • Immediately after surgery
  • Over the years or a decade later
  • Developing within a year or greater

Due to symptoms being able to appear anytime, ensure that when you visit your doctor, you notify them that you have had an open hernia repair.

If you know which mesh medical device was used in your mesh repair, that is also information to tell your doctor. If there is an FDA recall or other serious complications known to come from the device, your doctor can check into it and treat you properly.  

In case you experience mesh infection from failure, you will likely need mesh removal surgery to prevent hernia recurrence. Mesh removal surgery can be more difficult for those that have had their mesh longer due to scar tissue buildup. 

In the United States, we perform around one million hernia repairs every year.”
- Dr. Shirin Towfigh, Surgeon, Beverly Hills Hernia Center

Average Settlement Amounts

A lawyer writing down on a bookVarious reports by lawyers have estimated the average hernia mesh payout between $70,000 and $90,000

The average settlement amount you can receive in hernia mesh lawsuits depend on several factors, including the severity of the hernia compilations, the number of medical expenses, and the impact of the injury on your ability to live your life.

Individuals injured by defective mesh are generally liable to receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and occasionally punitive damages. Severe cases may result in higher settlements.

See the other defective medical device cases our lawyers have covered.

FAQs

How Do I Know if My Mesh Medical Device Has Been Recalled?

You can find out if your mesh medical device has been recalled by checking the FDA for an issued recall or the manufacturer for a recall. Your medical records can be reviewed to identify the exact mesh medical device used in your surgery.

How Many Years Does a Hernia Mesh Implant Last?

A hernia mesh repair typically lasts five years, based on information from the Journal of American Medical Association or JAMA [5]. However, each implant varies depending on the mesh type and other complications.

Can an MRI Diagnose Hernia Mesh Complications?

An MRI can diagnose a hernia mesh recurrence or pain in the mesh position. The use of an MRI prevents unnecessary surgery.

How Do I Know if My Body Is Experiencing Mesh Rejection?

You will know if your body is experiencing mesh rejection through symptoms like pain, swelling, flu-like symptoms, vomiting, and nausea. You can also experience tenderness around the implant area as well as redness or stiffness. 

How Is an Infection Related to Hernia Mesh Failure Diagnosed?

Hernia mesh failure is often diagnosed with CT scans and postsurgical fluid collections. CT scans continually diagnose mesh complications in the abdominal wall along with bowel obstruction and hernia recurrence [7]

When Should I Contact a Lawyer for My Defective Mesh Complications?

After a doctor has confirmed your serious complications were caused by a defective hernia mesh implant, you should contact a hernia mesh lawsuit lawyer as soon as possible. Each state has various statutes of limitations on filing your case. 

At Schmidt and Clark, our experienced Medical Device Litigation Group can help you gather evidence like medical records, collect expert witnesses, file your lawsuit, and even represent you in court if necessary. We are currently taking hernia mesh lawsuits throughout all 50 states.

Contact Schmidt and Clark today to get a free lawsuit evaluation for hernia mesh lawsuits. 


References:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/first-aid/fevers-causes-symptoms-treatments#1
  2. https://surgery.ucsf.edu/conditions--procedures/inguinal-hernia.aspx
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3641368/
  4. https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/implants-and-prosthetics/hernia-surgical-mesh-implants
  5. https://media.jamanetwork.com/news-item/study-finds-mixed-results-for-use-of-mesh-for-hernia-repair/

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