When it comes to health care, there is no doubt that we are privileged to live in today’s era of medical advancement. Doctors and scientists continue to develop new and effective treatments for all types of problems. Manufacturers constantly develop new medical devices, drugs, and therapies.
But that does not mean that everything is perfect when it comes to our medical treatment. Doctors and other medical care providers still make errors. Manufacturers sometimes make faulty devices and/or fail to properly warn users of their inherent dangers or side effects. When that happens, innocent people can suffer injuries.
In this article, we will discuss issues surrounding hernia mesh and why there are so many related lawsuits.
What is a hernia?
Most of us have heard of hernias, even if we don’t know the exact definition. According to WebMD, a hernia results when fatty tissue or an organ squeezes through a weak area in the surrounding connective tissue or muscle. Below are the most common types of hernias:
- Inguinal – inner groin
- Hiatal – inside the abdomen at the upper stomach
- Femoral – upper thigh / outer groin
- Ventral – ventral wall
- Incisional – at the point of an incision / scar
- Umbilical – belly button
Hernias are considered to be relatively common. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, approximately 5 million people in the United States have hernias. Surgeries to repair hernias are common. In fact, the FDA reports that every year more than 1 million hernia repair surgeries are performed in America.
Hernia repair with surgical mesh is common
Surgical mesh is a sheet, woven loosely, from animal tissue or synthetic material, used as support in surgeries. While hernia repair surgeries can be performed with or without surgical mesh, the FDA reports that more than 90 percent of groin hernia repair surgeries now use mesh.
Complications related to surgical mesh
Surgical mesh is believed to improve some patient outcomes. For example, there is literature that shows a lower recurrence rate when mesh is used. However, the FDA also notes that in some situations, the use of mesh may not be recommended. The FDA further reports that the following are the adverse events that most frequently follow hernia surgery with mesh:
- Hernia recurrence
- Bowel obstruction
Mesh migration and mesh shrinkage may also occur. Some mesh products have now been recalled by the FDA.
Hernia mesh lawsuits
Thousands of hernia mesh lawsuits have been filed by patients who have suffered personal injuries. Sometimes, the suits allege products liability based on defective design or defective manufacturing. Some lawsuits claim there has been an improper failure to warn. In some instances, patients file medical malpractice claims against the doctor who performed the surgery.
If you have been injured in a hernia surgery using surgical mesh, it is important to speak with an attorney. A legal representative can help you identify the particular surgical mesh used in your surgery. A lawyer can also help you evaluate your claim, and make sure that you do not miss important deadlines, such as the statute of limitation.
Call with questions
If you believe you have been injured as a result of a defective medical device or medical malpractice, we know you will have many questions about your rights and how to proceed. The experienced products liability and personal injury lawyers at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield are here to answer those questions. Please call us for a free consultation. We believe that the best way to make society safe is to hold wrongdoers accountable for their actions.