As recently as November 8, 2017, a hernia mesh lawsuit took place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in which the plaintiff, Caroline Ideluca, claimed that she had undergone hernia surgery in 2003 that included the C.R. Bard Marlex Mesh and needed a second surgery to correct damage caused by the defective mesh. She claimed that the manufacturer was negligent for designing a defective mesh and using proper materials in the design and manufacturing of the mesh that would have kept it from constricting and/or migrating to other organs.
She also claimed that as a result of the failure of the mesh, she experienced severe abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting and had to be rushed to a hospital emergency room for treatment. A CT Scan performed in November 2015 revealed that she was suffering from a small bowl obstruction and incarcerated incisional hernia and required an exploratory laparoscopy. During the surgery, doctors discovered that the Marlex Mesh was “densely adhered” to her bowel. The mesh had to be surgically removed and she required a bowel resection.
One of the most common surgeries undertaken during a year is for hernias. It is said that as many as half a million of these surgeries occur in the United States per year.
What Exactly Is A “Hernia”?
Hernias concern the muscles that surround the intestines, stomach, and colon. These muscles ensure that these body parts do not pull away and slide into places they aren’t suppose to go. However, under extreme stress, these muscles are weakened or tear causing a hole in which one of these organs can slip.
This condition can occur due to increased pressure in the abdominal cavity. This pressure can be caused by a number of things including:
- Lifting a heavy objects
- Straining during a bowel movement or urination
- Chronic lung disease causing fluid in the abdominal cavity
There are several different types of hernias including:
- Inguinal or groin hernia accounts for about 75% of all abdominal wall hernias that occur. This classification of hernia is divided into two types –-indirect inguinal hernia and direct inguinal hernia. The indirect inguinal hernia follows the corridor made by the testicles when they were formed during fetal development. This corridor normally closes before birth, but if it doesn’t it can serve as a possible location for a hernia later with the hernia sac bulging into the scrotum. A direct inguinal hernia occurs a little to the inside of the location taken during an indirect inguinal hernia where the abdominal wall is thinner. It only rarely extends into the scrotum and yet causes pain that is hard to differentiate from testicle pain. This type of inguinal hernia occurs in middle-aged and elderly men due to the weakening of the abdominal wall.
- Femoral hernia is commonly suffered by women and occurs when the femoral artery, vein or nerve leaves the abdominal cavity and follows the path of the femoral canal to the thigh resulting in a bulge in the middle of the upper leg. In this case, the femoral artery, vein or nerve is not able to push back into place and cuts off blood supply.
- Umbilical hernia accounts for about 10% to 30% of all hernias and can be observed in a child at birth due to a bulge at the belly button. This occurs because of an opening in the child’s abdominal wall, which would normally close before birth.
- Incisional hernia occurs when abdominal surgery causes a weakness in the abdominal wall.
- Spigelian hernia is rare and occurs along the edge of the rectus abdominus muscle and through the spieglian fascia, which is lateral to the middle of the abdomen.
- Obturator hernia is extremely rare and occurs mostly in women causing a bulge from the pelvic cavity through an opening in the pelvic bone. Although no bulge is visible, the hernia can cause a bowel obstruction as well as nausea and vomiting.
- Epigastric hernia occurs between the navel and lower part of the rib cage in the midline of the abdomen and is made of fatty tissue. It rarely includes the intestine and forms in a location of a weakness of the abdominal wall.
- Hiatal hernia occurs when part of the stomach pushes through the diaphragm and settles in a small hole in the esophagus. Small hiatal hernias can cause no symptoms. However, larger ones can cause pain and heartburn.
- Diaphragmatic hernia is a birth defect that causes an opening in the diaphragm, which permits abdominal content to push through into the chest cavity.
Symptoms of a hernia can vary from a noticeable, but painless lump to a severely painful and tender bulge of tissue that can’t be pushed back into the abdomen.
Surgery is necessary for more severe hernias during which the bulge is pushed back into the abdomen and then covered with a mesh.
Remedies For Bad Hernia Surgeries
Problems can occur with hernia surgeries due to the type of mesh used and how that mesh is attached. These problems can result in the need for revision surgery.
Patients who have undergone hernia surgery in which a defective mesh was used can seek remedy in court.
Hernia mesh lawsuits have been filed concerning the use of defective meshes offered by several manufacturers. These lawsuits have the goal of helping patients receive money for medical expenses due to revision surgeries, pain and suffering and other damages as well as to hold manufacturers of surgical products accountable for their performance.
Hernia mesh products and manufacturers of those products that have been sued include:
- Ethicon (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson) and its products Physiomesh and Proceed Ventral Patch.
- Covidien (formerly know at Tyco) for its product Parietex.
- Atrium and its product C-Qur
- C.R. Bard/Davol and its products Marlex Mesh, Visilex, Composix, Composix EX, Spermatex, 3D Max, Sepramesh, Perfix Plug, Ventralex, and Kugel.
Problems with the Marlex Mesh were exposed more than 10 years ago and yet many patients received the product during hernia surgery unaware of its risk of complications.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the use of the Atrium C-Qur in March 2006. It featured a polypropylene mesh with an outer coating of gel made from three fatty acids. The design has been linked with severe infections, allergic reactions and other problems.
The Ethicon Physiomesh was introduced in March 2010 and includes a unique, multilayered design that was meant to improve function. However, due to a high number of failures, the Ethicon Physiomesh was recalled in May 2016.
Patients who may not consider participating in a lawsuit because they do not know what mesh was used in their hernia surgery are urged to call an attorney, who can find this out through medical records or the surgeon.
If you or someone you know suffered from unexpected side effects due to a defective hernia mesh, you may have a case. Our experienced lawyers at The Eichholz Law Firm, who are well versed in the subject, can determine whether you have a case against hernia mesh manufacturers including C.R. Baird or others. We can help you achieve a money reward that will pay for expenses resulting from the bad surgery and any new surgeries that may be necessary as well as for pain and suffering. Call us today.