When painful or growing hernias strike, one medical treatment physicians might turn to is the implanting of hernia mesh. These medical devices are used in open repair surgeries to support weakened tissue or to seal off openings through which a hernia passes. Ideally, the mesh will fortify the hernia repair and decrease the rate of hernia recurrence.
According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), mesh repairs have skyrocketed since the 1980s. Less than 10 percent of groin hernia repairs did not use hernia mesh by 2000.
Some Mesh Repairs Can Cause Medical Complications
Unfortunately, mesh repairs can cause adverse events. Some of the most common of these, according to the FDA, are:
- Hernia recurrence
- Bowel obstruction
Sometimes a hernia mesh repair can result in the mesh either migrating or shrinking. Often, these complications are linked to recalled mesh. In fact, these devices have been the main cause of obstruction complications and bowel perforation. Bowel obstruction occurs the mesh implant sticks to the large or small intestine. As the mesh moves, it twists the bowel, causing an obstruction. This condition can be life-threatening and demands immediate medical attention.
Serious infections can also result from mesh implants, particularly with certain types that are especially prone to infection. When implanted, they pass the infection to the patient. Alternatively, the mesh might erode through soft tissue, prompting the development of additional infections.
You can see the most updated information on recalled mesh devices at the FDA Medical Device Recall website. If you received a mesh implant and know which type the surgeon used, you can search for it in the Medical & Radiation Emitting Device Database.
Lawsuits Against Atrium Hernia Mesh Maker
Plaintiffs from around the country have filed lawsuits against New Hampshire-based Atrium for its AC-QUR mesh products. Several issues have become apparent, all of which contributed to the problems that the mesh devices promoted for patients.
First, Atrium designed the C-QUR to solve adverse reactions by coating it with a derivative of fish oil. However, instead of solving the problem, the coating largely contributed to the problem, according to attorneys for the plaintiffs. The lawyers also argue that the plastic mesh, as well as the Federal Drug Administration (FDA)’s medical device approval process, also played significant roles in the plaintiffs’ unfortunate experiences with the medical devices.
As of May 26, 2020, the number of hernia mesh lawsuits against Atrium Medical Corp. had reached 2,136, according to NH Business Review. The number of cases has continued to climb as September trial dates approach. See the complaint filed in the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire).