Did you, or someone you love, endure adverse side effects after your Ventralex hernia mesh implant? Call: (888) 529-3111 - We may be able to help.
A hernia is a small bulge that occurs when an internal organ pushes through a weakened muscle around the abdominal wall. Abdominal hernias are most prevalent in the groin, upper thigh, and belly button. Given how common hernias are encountered, it’s estimated that five percent of the population will develop a hernia at some point during life. Depending on the size or severity, some hernias may require medical treatment. However, if a hernia grows too large or causes severe discomfort, a surgical procedure is generally recommended.
Surgical mesh is a flexible woven sheet that is used as reinforcement for organs and tissues during surgery. Such device can be applied in reconstructive surgery as well as in a pelvic organ prolapse although, hernia repair is how this device is most commonly used.
Surgical mesh comes in the form of inorganic and biological materials. Absorbable mesh is made from animal tissue and will disintegrate over time when new tissue forms around it. Nonabsorbable or permanent mesh is made of synthetic materials. Such stays in the body in attempt to provide long-term support for the hernia repair.
Over one million hernia surgeries are performed each year. During the procedure, a six to eight centimeter incision is made over the hernia, thus resulting in the bulging fatty tissue to be pushed back into the abdomen. At this point, many surgeons will place a flat sheet of woven mesh over the weakened abdominal spot where the hernia first appeared. The abdominal wall is then sealed with stitches or sutures.
There is a belief that hernia mesh serves as extra reinforcement, or as a patch that prevents the hernia from recurring. However, such mesh is also connected with a series of complications. Studies have found that hernia patients who have had mesh implants are at a higher risk for postsurgical side effects, in comparison to those individuals whose surgeons decided to refrain from using the mesh. These complications include:
Nearly a third of patients who have hernia mesh implants encounter complications with the most common issue being debilitating pain. This chronic pain can substantially affect a person’s quality of life and may lead to a loss of work, depression and in some cases, opioid abuse.
Often times, swelling and discomfort can be attributed to the material in non-organic mesh. This synthetic product is rejected by the body which leads to inflammation. Certain cells that regulate the body’s inflammatory response are impacted negatively when a foreign substance is present. Occasionally, this issue will dissipate on its own, but if the inflammation persists, such can affect the body’s nerves which causes chronic pain and infection.
There are several reasons why a hernia mesh can fail, most of which are based on the characteristics of the implant that was used. In some cases, problems can arise when the surgeon doesn't use an appropriately sized mesh to patch the abdominal hole. Often, the hernia mesh breaks inside the body, but there are times when the mesh shrinks or moves out of place. Regardless of the reason for complication, it’s highly advisable to contact an experienced lawyer with the skills necessary to supply knowledgeable legal advice. In addition, it's also important to seek immediate medical attention when experiencing any side effects after a hernia repair procedure. Though an attorney may be able to help you pursue greater legal options, speaking with your personal care doctor will help benefit the longevity of your current health status.
Such hernia mesh infections can have dangerous health consequences. Sometimes the infections can be cured with antibiotics but in most instances, the mesh will have to be removed with a surgical procedure. When an infection occurs on a hernia mesh, it’s common for a biofilm to form as multiple films of bacteria begin to adhere to the surface of the mesh. The organization of this bacteria makes it resistant to antibiotics. If the infection is severe, several surgeries may be required to remove all of the biofilm, as well as the infected tissue.
In one research trial, 63 percent of patients with hernia mesh infections had the Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in their systems. These particular bacteria are highly resistant to antibiotics. MRSA can cause many medical problems such as skin infections, sepsis, pneumonia and blood infections.
Symptoms from hernia mesh infections typically occur after a few weeks. Tenderness, swelling and heat are usually experienced around the mesh. The infection can also lead to fever, chills, muscle pain and excessive fatigue. Mesh infections can have serious health consequences that can have a negative impact on daily activities. Some of the complications that can arise from these infections involve:
Due to the wide array of complications that have resulted from hernia mesh implants, many people find it necessary to seek the services of an attorney in claiming reparations for their suffering.
The medical company, C.R Bard, manufactures the Ventralex ST hernia patch which is made of polypropylene and polyglycolic acid. The mesh was approved by the FDA in March 2011 and was subject to a limited recall due to packaging in the same year. The Ventralex patch has been shown to cause many of the side-effects mentioned above. People who have experienced complications from Bard’s hernia patch are filing lawsuits against the company asserting that the mesh is defective and incompatible with human tissue. Settlements are being offered for pain and suffering, medical bills and lost wages.
In April 2018, a woman was awarded $68 million as reparations for complications arising from Bard’s pelvic mesh implant. The verdict included punitive damages due to what the jury described as “malicious” disregard for the victim’s well-being. Other hernia mesh lawsuits have resulted in a $1.5 million verdict and a $184 million settlement. Many factors should be contemplated when thinking about filing a lawsuit. Below are a few reasons to consider before taking legal action:
When dealing with the pain, stress and uncertainty resulting from surgical complications, it’s important to have options. Thoroughly researching an attorney who meets your needs is the first step in maximizing the potential for a successful outcome. Look for an attorney who can establish trust and has a proven track record in successfully litigating hernia mesh lawsuits, much like the product liability attorneys at our law firm. For any questions or concerns you may have regarding your Ventralex mesh implant, contact our firm immediately - we're here to help.
Jack Ter-Saakyan has been a member of the California State Bar since 2009. Mr. Ter-Saakyan strives to provide each client with an informed understanding of the client’s legal rights, obligations, and options. Mr. Ter-Saakyan zealously advocates on behalf of his clients during all stages of his client’s cases.
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