What Causes A Hernia Mesh To Fail?

A hernia mesh is a medical device used to provide additional support for weakened or damaged tissue. According to the U.S. Food and Drugs Administration, a hernia mesh can be absorbable — degrade and lose strength over time — or non-absorbable, remain in the body permanently. The latter often happens without any complications.

However, since there are different types of hernia mesh from several manufacturers, the device sometimes fails. Mesh failure often causes serious problems, and most people have to undergo revision surgery to fix it. This article looks at the different reasons why a hernia mesh would fail.

It also covers symptoms of hernia mesh failure. If you find yourself a victim of a defective hernia mesh device, our Los Angeles mass tort attorneys at Rueb Stoller Daniel can help you. We offer excellent legal advice and representation.

What Are the Symptoms of a Hernia Mesh Failure? 

Symptoms of hernia mesh failure may not appear until weeks or years after the surgery. If left untreated, it could lead to life-threatening complications. Below are ways to know if your hernia mesh failed.

  • Pain from excessive scar tissue, inflammation, nerve damage, or mesh shrinkage. A failed inguinal hernia repair causes groin and testicular pain.
  • Infection if bacteria builds up on the implant. It causes flu-like symptoms, fatigue, fever, swelling, and tenderness around the surgical site.
  • Bowel obstruction caused by scar tissue. It may cause constipation, vomiting, bloating, and nausea. A complete obstruction is a medical emergency.
  • Hernia recurrence brought on by breakage, degradation, or movement from the original surgical site.
  • Bulging at the hernia site. It can also be a sign of dislodged mesh or infection.
  • Sexual problems (Impotence) in men when the hernia mesh impinges on nerves and the spermatic cord or causes inflammation.

What Causes Hernia Mesh Failure? 

Several factors could make a hernia mesh fail. It ranges from product design, surgical technique, and pre-existing medical conditions.

Product Design 

Most mesh materials are from synthetic materials or animal tissue like the intestine or skin. When the material is too heavy, it would likely cause an infection that will lead to failure. If the mesh is too small and prone to shrinkage, it can also fail.

Also, a mesh may not encourage tissue ingrowth. The latter is crucial to keeping the material in place and creating a strong repair. Other complications that could lead to mesh failure are:

  • Infection
  • Breakage
  • Shrinkage
  • Migration
  • Rejection

When you experience failure due to product design, you can file legal action against the manufacturers. There are several mass tort cases instituted by those who suffered mesh complications. Find out how you can be a part of it from our Los Angeles, mass tort attorneys.

Surgical Technique

The expertise of your hernia mesh surgeon is important to the success of the surgery. Generally, hernia mesh surgeries can be open or laparoscopic. No matter the one you choose, you must consider the doctor’s surgical technique.

The technique determines whether your hernia mesh will stay in place or fail. Note that hernias are more likely to reoccur in open surgeries than laparoscopic. However, the latter has a steep learning curve, and not every surgeon can perform it excellently. If your hernia mesh fails because of your doctor’s lack of skill, you can sue them for damages.

Health Conditions, Medications, and Cancer Treatments

Preexisting health conditions, medications, and cancer treatments are other reasons why a hernia mesh would fail. Either of the three significantly increases the risk of mesh failure. Thus, it is better to manage any condition and stay off meds that would cause your mesh to fail if possible.

Some of the risk factors for hernia mesh failures are:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Anemia
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Certain autoimmune diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.
  • Jaundice
  • Male gender
  • Impaired blood clotting (coagulopathy)
  • Obesity
  • Radiotherapy
  • Malnutrition
  • Smoking
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Steroids

What To Do if Your Mesh Fails

Mesh failure on its own is not life-threatening. However, some of its symptoms, like infection or bowel obstruction, can endanger your life. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned earlier, see your doctor immediately.

The doctor will carry out a physical examination and might require an MRI to see the extent of the failure. The primary treatment for mesh failure is surgical removal. But if there is an infection, the doctor will recommend intravenous antibiotics.

What Can a Mass Tort Lawyer Do For You?

Victims of defective hernia mesh devices are entitled by law to receive compensation for the harm suffered. If you are one of them, our Los Angeles mass tort lawyers at Rueb Stoller Daniel will advise you on your rights and commence a civil lawsuit on your behalf. Contact us today to discuss what your options are.