The process of hernia surgery was revolutionized with the development of implantable fabric meshes. These meshes became extremely popular as they offer a faster recovery period and does not need any elaborate surgical intervention. The surgeons can choose to repair the condition by pulling together the natural tissues or by using these medical meshes to bridge the abnormal opening without creating any tension.
The benefits of hernia meshes are many however there have been plenty of reports which said the risks of these devices. The nature of the complaints became such that in 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a class I recall (which is the most serious label) on counterfeit surgical mesh.
Patients should be familiar with potential complications so that they know where to look out for and when to seek medical treatment in case of a hernia repair surgery. A hernia mesh revision surgery (also called a hernioplasty) might be required if the hernia mesh procedure is a failure.
There are different types of hernias formed in the human body and the most common ones reported include:
- Inguinal: inner groin
- Femoral: outer groin
- Hiatal: upper stomach
- Umbilical: belly button
- Incisional: resulting from an incision
While some hernias are treated non-surgically, many need to be operated. Physicians use the surgical mesh to strengthen the hernia repair. Made out of synthetic material or animal tissue, these meshes provide extra support to the weak and damaged tissues.
But with the number of reports about the hernia mesh complications increased, the FDA stated “Hernias have a high rate of recurrence, and surgeons often use surgical mesh to strengthen the hernia repair and reduce the rate of recurrence. Since the 1980s, there has been an increase in mesh-based hernia repairs—by 2000, non-mesh repairs represented less than 10% of groin hernia repair techniques.”
Resulting in a host of unnecessary complications, the following are the most common complications after hernia mesh procedure.
- Infection: This is the most common complication caused by a reaction from the mesh material or when there is a weakened immune system. It can be cured with antibiotics, but often requires corrective surgery to remove the mesh and prevent any further set of infections.
- Adhesions: It’s not strange for adhesions (scar tissue) to appear around the implant site. When that happens, there can be a series of health hazards as the organs growing together stops functioning properly.
- Bowel obstruction: This complication can occur when the scar tissue starts developing around the implant site and hinders the bowels. The only way to fix a bowel obstruction is by removing the mesh particles blocking the path surgically.
- Bowel perforation: Sometimes the mesh can perforate the colon or small intestine, and it may lead the fecal matter leaking into the rest of the body that leaves the chance of major infection. Bowel perforation, also can only be fixed with a surgery, but the damage caused is often permanent.
Patients should immediately inform the doctor is there are any symptoms of:
- Severe abdominal pain
- Bleeding (sometimes with urine)
- Flu-like symptoms
- Redness or increased temperature
If you’re experiencing the undue symptoms after undergoing a hernia mesh repair, you need to get medical treatment as soon as possible. After you receive treatment, it’s a wise to consult with a lawyer to discuss the legal options.