Hernia mesh lawsuits stem from people who experience problems after undergoing hernia repair in which doctors utilized surgical mesh. Studies show that using hernia mesh results in better success rates in terms of patients not needing hernia surgery again. However, other undesirable outcomes traced back to hernia mesh leave questions about its safety.

What is a Hernia?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, "A hernia occurs when an internal organ or other body part protrudes through the wall of muscle or tissue that normally contains it. Most hernias occur within the abdominal cavity, between the chest and the hips."

Individuals with a hernia often see and/or feel a bulge in the affected area. They may experience discomfort, pressure, a burning sensation, or sharp pain.

Some people are born with weakened muscles that lead to hernias. Others develop weakened muscles because of events that tax the abdominal and groin areas, such as pregnancy, persistent coughing, straining because of constipation, or repetitive physical exertion like lifting heavy objects. Older folks and those who are overweight also tend to be at a greater risk of developing hernias.

The Role of Mesh in Hernia Surgery

Patients and medical professionals certainly want to maximize the success of hernia surgery so that it won't need repeating. Doctors use surgical mesh – a flexible material with holes in it -- to support weakened or damaged tissue. After the hernia surgery, new tissue grows into the small holes over time to anchor the mesh.

Hernia mesh can be made of synthetic material or animal tissue. Some types of mesh are non-absorbable – they stay in the body permanently. Others are absorbable, meaning they degrade over time.

Possible Problems from Hernia Mesh

Because of its helpfulness in the healing process and the avoidance of repeat surgery, hernia mesh gets used in about 80 percent of the more than one million hernia repairs performed in the United States each year. However, not all patients report a positive experience with hernia mesh.

Sometimes, the body mistakes the mesh as a foreign object and tries to take action. Other times the mesh shrinks, loses its form, hardens, moves, or adheres to somewhere other than the intended place.

Consequences of such situations can include:

  • Bowel obstruction, perforation, or other internal injuries
  • Acute or chronic pain
  • Infection
  • Incontinence
  • Sexual dysfunction

Filing a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit

Through the years, the Federal Drug Administration has recalled various brands of hernia mesh that seem to have the most issues. Atrium Medical, Bard Davol, and Ethicon are among the companies that have had questions raised about certain products.

If you had either an open or a laparoscopic procedure to repair a hernia and later experienced problems such as the ones listed above, consider seeking legal counsel. The professionals at Legal Help Services offer free examination of your potential hernia mesh case. They can assist in evaluating medical records to see if your surgery involved hernia mesh, and if so, which brand the doctor used. They also can offer advice on the next steps you might take to receive compensation for your medical bills as well as your pain and suffering.