Doctors perform more than one million hernia repairs each year in the US and an estimated 90% of these surgeries rely on hernia meshes. Hernia mesh surgery has a range of benefits, including reduced time on the operating table and a quick recovery, but there has been a surge in mesh-related infections (and subsequent lawsuits stemming from this). Here are some signs and symptoms of hernia mesh erosion and what to do next if you think you're suffering from a complication.
Using mesh to repair hernias became popular in the 1980s due to the quick recovery time and reduced likelihood of recurring hernias. However, despite these benefits, various studies have found that the rate of complications stemming from hernia mesh surgeries was higher than using sutures and nearly one-third of people experience at least one sort of complication. This has led to much debate on whether or not meshes are actually causing more harm than good for hernia patients.
Hernia mesh erosion is a serious complication that can happen if the mesh moves or migrates and becomes attached to another organ or tissue. Not only might it block that organ's function, but it may also damage and perforate it, causing an even more serious complication which requires further surgery and a longer recovery time.
Thankfully, there are certain signs and symptoms you can look out for after your surgery which can alert you to whether you're suffering from hernia mesh erosion and allow you to take swift action.
Your Wound isn't Healing Properly
As with any surgery, your wound is going to hurt for a while and you shouldn't expect to be running any marathons or lifting any heavy weights at the gym anytime soon. However, you should still pay attention to how your surgical incision is healing because this is an obvious indicator of how the healing process is going. If your incision feels overly sore, tender, is taking an abnormally long time to heal or looks as though it's infected, consult a doctor immediately. An infected hernia mesh might very well be the reason why the wound isn't healing the way it should.
Inflammation of the Area
Although mesh is designed to be implanted within the body, your body will still recognise it as a foreign substance and may react to it in the same way as it would react to viruses and bacteria. This may cause the tissue area around the mesh to become inflamed and sore to touch. For some people, the pain might be bearable but for others, it can become a chronic issue. Whichever it might be, it's important that you seek medical attention immediately - particularly if you experience unbearable pain because it's likely there is a more serious underlying cause.
Continuing on from the above point, chronic pain can be a sign of a more serious underlying cause. The mesh may have become stuck to parts of your internal organs, such as the bowels. In these cases, it's possible for the mesh to kink the intestine and cause blockages, which require surgical correction. The mesh might even have eroded through the walls of the intestine which can lead to leakage of the bowel's contents, as well as pain.
This is usually if the mesh has been placed inside the abdominal cavity, but the same principle applies if you have had an inguinal mesh surgery. In these cases, the mesh may migrate and erode into your bladder, uterus or even the skin. In the case of hernia mesh erosions, corrective surgery is always required so ensure that you report chronic pain immediately.
If you experience flu-like symptoms, it could be a sign that you're suffering from a hernia mesh infection caused by erosion. If your mesh migrates to somewhere in your body that it shouldn't be and becomes stuck to an organ or tissue, your body will step in and attempt to fight the infection. This is why you're experiencing flu-like symptoms. The moment you start feeling nauseous, vomit or experience chills and a fever, see your doctor immediately.
I'm Suffering from Serious Complications. What Do I Do Next?
If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, especially chronic pain, the first thing you should do is to consult your doctor. The doctor will be able to examine you to determine what might be causing these issues.
If a hernia mesh erosion or infection happens to be the root cause, it may be time to consider a lawsuit. There are several things you should know before you proceed down this legal route. The first step you should take is to find out which hernia mesh implant you have. Currently, lawsuits are only being made against a handful of hernia mesh manufacturers so contact your surgeon or medical facility to find out which one you have before you proceed to file the claim.
Check That You're Eligible
There is strict criteria in place for who can file a hernia mesh claim. If your case doesn't meet this criteria, it's very unlikely that you'll make it to court, never mind receive any form of compensation. One of the most notable factors is whether your surgery took place between October 2010 and June 2016. If so, you are eligible.
There are other important factors in place, so if you'd like more clarification and advice, the best thing to do would be to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney. They can advise you on the next relevant steps to take as well as check whether you're eligible or not.
Find An Attorney Who is Experienced in Dealing with Hernia Mesh Lawsuits
It's vital that you search for and choose an attorney who is experienced in handling hernia mesh lawsuits, as well as personal injuries. At Coxwell & Associates, PLLC, we are an experienced team of personal injury attorneys in Mississippi. We have over 35 years experience helping Mississippians. We have worked on high profile cases and helped our clients achieve the compensation they deserve.
It's unfair you should suffer the repercussions. You were offered a solution to your hernia troubles and instead, you're facing greater difficulties. By talking to our team, you can find out if you're eligible to start a hernia mesh lawsuit.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.