Hernia repair is a very common surgery with more than one million surgeries performed in the U.S. each year. Surgical mesh is the preferred choice for resolving both ventral (abdominal) and inguinal (groin) hernias. While a successful hernia mesh surgery can reduce recovery time and the risk of a hernia recurring, numerous patients have experienced complications. Ultimately, a defective hernia mesh can cause serious injuries that require additional surgery to repair or replace the mesh. If you have experienced complications as a result of defective hernia mesh, it is critically important to have proper legal representation.
O’Connell & Aronowitz is a premier personal injury law firm serving clients in Albany, Latham, Saratoga and throughout upstate New York. Well-versed in product liability law, we have a well-earned reputation for helping our clients obtain just compensation. By filing a hernia mesh lawsuit, you may be able to recover damages for the harm you have endured. Knowing that being injured by a defective medical device is an overwhelming experience, we will offer you knowledge, compassion and the personal attention you deserve.
What is a hernia?
A hernia occurs when an organ or fatty tissue pushes through weakened muscle or connective tissue in the abdomen. Hernias can be caused by anything that increases pressure on the abdomen, such as lifting heavy objects, persistent coughing or sneezing or chronic diarrhea and constipation. Additionally, obesity, smoking and poor nutrition can weaken stomach muscles, increasing the risk of a hernia.
How is a hernia treated?
Although a hernia can only be repaired through surgery, some physicians may recommend watchful waiting for those who do not have complications or other symptoms such as pain and discomfort. If surgery is necessary, there are two types of procedures — open repair and laparoscopic repair:
- Open repair hernia surgery: a large incision is made near the area and the weak muscle or tissue is repaired
- Laparoscopic repair hernia surgery: several small incisions or holes are made to the abdomen to allow surgical tools to be inserted to repair the hernia
Both procedures can be performed with or without mesh, however surgical mesh procedures generally result in better patient outcomes since there is a reduced risk of complications and/or a recurrence of the hernia.
What is hernia mesh?
Hernia mesh is a medical device that is designed to provide support and prevent the organ or tissue from pushing through the abdominal wall while simultaneously adhering to the damaged area. Generally, there two types of hernia mesh — absorbable and non-absorbable. Absorbable hernia mesh is designed to slowly dissolve as tissue regrows, repairing the hernia naturally. Non-absorbable mesh is a permanent prosthetic that does not dissolve, provided that the mesh is not defective.
What are the complications of hernia mesh surgery?
While hernia mesh is generally successful in treating hernias and preventing a recurrence, there is a risk of other complications, including:
- Bacterial infection
- Severe abdominal/groin pain
- Seroma (fluid buildup under skin)
- Bowel obstruction
- Bowel Perforation
- Failure to adhere to damaged tissue
- Mesh folding
- External skin rash
Such complications may be the result of defective hernia mesh which will require revision surgery or removal of the mesh device. Nonetheless, companies that produce medical devices have a duty to ensure the safety of their products.
Which hernia mesh products are defective?
Unfortunately, problems have been reported with some of the most widely used hernia mesh brands — Physiomesh and C-Cur.
Physiomesh, manufactured by Ethicon (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson), was voluntarily recalled in May 2016 after numerous patients experienced complications. Shortly thereafter, the makers of C-Qur, Atrium Medical Corporation, began aggressively marketing their product to doctors, despite the fact that the FDA had issued several warnings to Atrium. In any event, patients with defective Physiomesh or C-QUR mesh may experience complications, such as:
- Severe pain
- Recurrent hernias
- Contraction of the mesh
- Adhesion to the intestine
- Bowel blockage
In addition to Ethicon and Atrium hernia mesh devices, problems have occurred with a wide range of surgical mesh devices, including Bard/Davol, Covidien meshes, Gore Dualmesh and many others.
Defective Hernia Mesh Attorneys
At O’Connell & Aronowitz, we believe that medical device makers that provide unsafe products to the public must be held accountable. Our legal team will take the time to learn about your medical history, document the injuries you have sustained from the defective hernia mesh and explore your options for compensation. Depending on the circumstances, we may recommend filing a individual lawsuit against the medical device maker.
It is important to note that strict liability applies in product liability lawsuits. This means that the manufacturer, distributor or seller of a defective hernia mesh can be held liable if an individual is injured, regardless of whether or not the responsible party was negligent. If your claim is successful, you are entitled to compensatory damages for medical costs, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering and other losses. Finally, if the defective hernia mesh causes complications for many patients, a class action lawsuit can be filed against the medical device maker. When you become our client, you can rest assured that we will fight tirelessly for you.
Please contact our office today to speak with one of our attorneys.