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An Australian Man’s Story – Understanding Hernia Mesh Injuries

05/14/2021
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The transvaginal mesh litigation over the past decade has revealed just how devastating surgical mesh can be for women. However, women are not the only group of individuals injured by mesh. Men and women alike are suffering the consequences of hernia mesh injuries, and while hernia mesh and transvaginal mesh injuries are certainly not the same, they can be equally painful and disabling.

An Australian man who fell victim to hernia mesh is just one example of how devastating hernia mesh injuries can be, affecting people worldwide. As reported by www.9news.com, an Australian man underwent hernia mesh repair surgery in 1985 when hernia mesh was the “new thing.” The man was told by his doctors that he would be patched up using a “revolutionary new procedure.”

The man underwent the hernia mesh procedure at the age of seventeen after suffering a groin injury on the job. Little did he know, the man would go on to have an additional seven hernia mesh revision procedures over the next seventeen years, causing permanent and catastrophic damage.

Now at the age of fifty-eight, the Australian man has been unable to work, suffers from chronic pain, and has thirty-two titanium staples in his hip. The man felt that “something wasn’t right” after the initial placement of hernia mesh in 1985. When the man walks, he “can feel something scratch like sandpaper” on his bowel, and he is confident the mesh is causing this pain and discomfort.

After pushback from his doctor, the Australian man finally had the hernia mesh implant removed in December of 2020. Since the removal procedure, the man’s condition has improved “remarkably.” Although the man’s condition has improved, he still suffers from permanent injuries that have only compounded each time he has undergone a revision procedure since 1985.

What is Hernia Mesh?

Hernia mesh, like transvaginal mesh, is a piece of synthetic material comprised of polypropylene. Hernia mesh implants are medical devices intended to remain in a person’s body permanently. While the implants are supposed to be permanent, the polypropylene material does not do so well inside the body.

In fact, the polypropylene material used to manufacture most hernia mesh products is not intended to be used inside the human body as a permanent medical device. Rather, the polypropylene used to manufacture hernia mesh implants is traditionally used to make plastic drinking bottles and plastic food packaging.

Because of the nature of polypropylene, many patients’ bodies reject the hernia mesh, causing significant injuries. The hernia mesh is akin to bubble gum getting stuck in hair. Hernia mesh binds to tissues inside the body to the point that removal of a hernia mesh device requires removal of human tissue that has adhered to the mesh.

While some hernia mesh products are initially successful in “patching up” a hernia, the success is short-lived. The longer hernia mesh stays in the body, the more time the implant has to adhere to tissue. The material also becomes stiffer and can puncture internal organs. Moreover, the material can migrate after implantation in the body, which can lead to a whole host of new injuries.

Signs and Symptoms of Hernia Mesh Injuries

Hernia mesh injuries share many of the same characteristics as transvaginal mesh injuries; however, hernia mesh injuries have certainly not gotten as much attention until recently as lawsuits involving transvaginal mesh injuries have slowed down.

While any hernia procedure – whether mesh is used or not – carries complications and the potential need for revision procedures, the rate of revision procedures following placement of hernia mesh is considerably high. Signs and symptoms of hernia mesh injuries include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Chronic pain;
  • Mesh erosion;
  • Adhesions;
  • Recurrence of hernia;
  • Swelling and/or redness at the incision site;
  • Chronic infection or abscess;
  • Difficulty urinating or having bowel movements (such as bowel obstruction); and
  • Injuries to internal organs, such as punctured intestines.

Any complication a patient experiences following implantation of hernia mesh may be linked to the defective nature of the hernia mesh product, with few exceptions (such as in the case where a surgeon negligently implanted hernia mesh). In some cases, liability may be shared between an implanting surgeon and the manufacturer(s) of the hernia mesh implanted in a patient.

Key Claims Against Hernia Mesh Manufacturers

The hernia mesh litigation shares many of the same qualities as the transvaginal mesh litigation. In both litigations, mesh manufacturers failed to warn patients and doctors of known risks that can cause serious and permanent injuries.

For instance, patients are not told that the key ingredient to hernia mesh is a material that is not supposed to be inside the human body – polypropylene. Had patients been informed that the implant going into their bodies is comprised of a material not intended to be used inside the human body, they likely would not have agreed to undergo hernia mesh procedures.

Patients receive warning information from their doctors. As such, if hernia mesh manufacturers fail to warn about known risks associated with their products, doctors cannot share suck risks with their patients.

In addition to failing to warn patients and doctors of known risks, claims against hernia mesh manufacturers include design defect, negligence, and breach of warranty, among others. Overall, the failure to warn and failure to ensure hernia mesh is safe and effective for its intended use are claims at the forefront of the hernia mesh litigation.

Contact Searcy Denney to Speak with a Hernia Mesh Lawyer

If you have been the victim of hernia mesh injuries or a loved one has suffered at the hands of defective mesh, now is the time to act to find out whether you or your loved one has a potential legal claim. Our hernia mesh lawyer understands the devastation associated with hernia mesh injuries that are often permanent.

To find out whether your or your loved one has a potential legal claim and may be entitled to compensation, contact a hernia mesh lawyer at Searcy Denney today by calling (800) 780-8607 or by completing a case inquiry form on our website.

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