Hernia is a tear or break in the muscle wall surrounding the organs of the abdomen and upper leg and groin areas of the body.  When the muscle wall weakens due to overexertion, persistent cough, prior injury, surgery, among other causes, the organs within the abdomen may protrude through the weakened muscle tissue, in many cases causing pain.  Hernias may or may not have symptoms but are likely to get worse or cause other symptoms if not repaired and will not go away without treatment.

Treatment of hernia is accomplished usually by surgery to mend the muscle tear, and in many cases, surgeons will use a mesh product imbedded within the muscle tissue to reinforce the torn muscle tissue. Mesh products may also be used to strengthen tissues in lung, chest, open heart, and other surgeries.  Over 100,000 procedures per year employ hernia mesh to repair body tissues.  With this level of usage, over 2-3 decades, problems have surfaced with the use of certain hernia mesh products which have had serious side effects in many cases requiring additional treatments including surgery to repair.

Mesh Issues

Mesh products are made of processed animal tissue or synthetic plastic products such as polypropylene.  Animal tissue mesh products will be absorbed by the body over time and have few side effects but may allow for recurrence of the original hernia.

Synthetic mesh products are more permanent, but due to introducing a non-organic material into the muscle tissue, complications have surfaced.  To mitigate the effects of synthetic mesh, the mesh may be coated with an organic material to insulate body tissues from the plastic material making up the mesh.  These composite mesh products have the highest potential for causing additional complications.

Synthetic and composite mesh has been known to cause allergic reactions, to irritate internal tissues, and, and may migrate out of position coming in contact with and even damaging internal organs.  When this occurs additional treatment or removal of the mesh may be required.

Symptoms of Mesh complications may be serious and include:

  • Pain
  • Infection
  • Recurrence of hernia
  • Fistula – organs connecting abnormally
  • Scar tissue forming adhesions
  • Migration of mesh
  • Nerve damage
  • Sexual complications
  • Obstruction of the large or small intestine
  • Bowel perforation

Products which have caused complications

While many mesh products are used with few complications, several manufacturers and brands of mesh have created significantly higher numbers of complications than others.  The brands which have had the highest number of regulatory and legal actions are:

  • Ethicon Physiomesh Mesh
  • Ethicon Proceed Mesh
  • Atrium C-Qur (pronounced “see-cure”) Mesh
  • R. Bard Kugel Hernia Mesh
  • R. Bard 3DMax Mesh
  • R. Bard Ventrolex Mesh
  • R. Bard Perfix Mesh
  • R. Bard 3DMax Mesh
  • Coviden Medtronic Parietex Composite Mesh

Recent Legal Developments

There are over 8,000 lawsuits involving hernia mesh in the federal system, and thousands more in various state courts in the United States.  The federal lawsuits have been consolidated into 3 Multi-District Litigations (MDL) , by manufacturer.  The largest MDL involves C. R. Bard/Devol products.  The most recent actions of the court in the MDL involves the scheduling of three imminent bellwether cases to take place this year.

The first of these cases is scheduled to begin in May 2020, with a second case beginning in July 2020, and the third beginning September 2020.  While these bellwether cases will settle on their own merits and are not binding on the settlements of other plaintiffs, they will show how juries react to arguments on this subject matter, and are expected to have impact on the manufacturer, C. R. Bard and its willingness to offer a global settlement for injured parties in thousands of remaining cases.

The Richard Harris Law Firm sues when Medical Products Manufacturers injure their users

Manufacturers of medical products must ensure that their products are safe and will not cause additional complications which may require additional expensive treatments or surgeries to correct.  Manufacturers should know whether a product they sell may have such potential to cause side effects, and when known, must communicate those potential side effects to medical providers and patients through product communications and labelling, so that users can make an informed decision before use.  When this does not occur, patients may be entitled to obtain compensation through the legal system, by way of a lawsuit.  If you have suffered additional complications after the use of a one of the surgical mesh products listed, you may have a cause of legal action.  Call our firm today to discuss your potential case at 702-444-4444.

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