Hernia repair surgeries are one of the most common surgeries performed in the United States, with approximately a half million surgical repairs performed each year. During recent years, serious complications following surgery have been linked to a number of the different types of hernia mesh products used in these surgeries. The attorneys at Davis & Crump, P.C. are currently investigating cases related to hernia mesh injury in all 50 states.If you or someone you know had a mesh product implanted to repair a hernia, it is important to understand the basic facts related to hernia repair to determine whether you may have a lawsuit.
What is a hernia?
Hernias occur when an organ, intestines, or fatty tissue squeezes through a hole or weak spot in a muscle. Anything that increases abdominal pressure can cause a hernia, including obesity, weight-lifting, constipation, or pregnancy.
There are several types of hernias:
- Inguinal: inner groin
- Femoral: upper thigh or outer groin
- Incisional: surgical incision or scar in the abdomen
- Ventral: abdominal wall
- Umbilical: belly button
- Hiatal: inside the abdomen on the diaphragm
Why are mesh products often used to surgically repair hernias?
Hernias have a high risk of re-opening (called “recurrence”). To reduce this risk, most surgeons stitch in a mesh patch or plug to help reinforce muscles and connective tissues. They can be synthetic or non-synthetic, permanent or absorbable. Some patches work better than others. For example, Physiomesh, made by Ethicon, was withdrawn from the market in 2016 due to higher rates of recurrence.
What are symptoms of hernia mesh surgery complications?
- Hernia recurrence
- Scar-like tissue that sticks tissues together (adhesion)
- Blockage of the large or small intestine
- Organ perforation
- Mesh migration
- Mesh shrinkage (contraction)
- Needing another surgery
What hernia mesh products are currently involved in lawsuits?
ETHICON: Physiomesh Hernia Mesh
Ethicon pulled Physiomesh off the market after two large studies in Germany and Denmark found higher rates of hernia recurrence and re-operation compared to similar hernia patches. Ethicon sent surgeons a Field Safety Notice with a list of affected products and blamed the problem on “multi-factorial issues.”
Did Ethicon recall their hernia repair mesh? No. In May 2016, Ethicon recalled the unused stock of Physiomesh in Europe and Australia, but only issued a “market withdrawal” in the United States.
Several lawsuits related to Ethicon’s Physiomesh have been filed. In September 2016, a lawsuit was filed by a woman from Florida who was seriously injured by Ethicon Physiomesh. She claimed that it blocked her intestines, caused chronic pain, and could not be completely removed because it was embedded in her abdominal wall.
In April 2016, a lawsuit was filed by a man from Illinois who was implanted with Physiomesh in 2013. In July 2015, he developed symptoms of an infection and was diagnosed with two abscesses and an intestinal fistula. His case is set for trial in January 2018 before Judge J. Phil Gilbert.
DAVOL, C.R. BARD: Composix Kugel Mesh Patches
From 2005 to 2007, C.R. Bard and Davol issued three recalls for Composix Kugel Mesh patches because the “memory recoil ring” could break and cause a bowel perforation or intestinal fistula. In June 2010, another Class I recall was issued for counterfeit hernia mesh sold under the C.R. Bard or Davol brand-name.
In 2010, Christopher Thorpe was awarded $1.5 million after he suffered severe internal injuries when his hernia mesh patch broke inside his body. In 2011, C.R. Bard paid a $184 million settlement to resolve over 3,000 hernia mesh lawsuits.
Hernia Mesh Lawsuits
Thousands of people who were injured by bad hernia mesh patches and plugs have filed lawsuits. These lawsuits are not part of a class action. Instead, they are individual lawsuits that were centralized into one federal court, called a mass tort lawsuit. The problem with class actions is that they are not designed to maximize compensation for individuals with the most serious injuries from hernia mesh.
How do I know if I have a hernia mesh claim?
Davis & Crump, P.C. is currently accepting hernia mesh induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know was injured by hernia mesh, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation.
Fill out a free claim evaluation or call us at 1-800-277-0300 to get started.