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Surgical Mesh Implants for Hernia Repair may Cause Chronic Pain

Posted on in Defective Medical Devices

A lot has been noted about the dangers of transvaginal mesh implants, most commonly used for pelvic organ prolapse repair and/or stress urinary incontinence, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Transvaginal mesh is only one type of surgical mesh used however—a device generally implanted to “repair weakened or damaged tissue.” Another common use for surgical mesh devices is for the repair of hernias. Hernia repair, according to the Wall Street Journal, is “one of the most common surgical procedures [yet it] carries a risk many patients don't consider: chronic pain after surgery.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, more than one-third of patients who undergo hernia repair suffer “long-term chronic pain and restricted movement after surgery.” This type of pain is similar to that experienced by women who have had transvaginal mesh implants, but because a hernia operation is a much more common procedure, this type of device affects more patients. Synthetic mesh, “though better than traditional sutures at reinforcing the abdominal wall, can irritate nerves and carry a slightly higher risk of infection,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

According to a different report issued by the FDA, the use of surgical mesh implants to repair hernias has increased steadily since the 1980s. “By 2000,” the FDA reports, “non-mesh repairs represented less than 10 percent of groin hernia repair techniques.” The risks associated with surgical mesh implants for hernia repair have spurred a couple product recalls—one is the Bard Composix Kugel Mesh Patch, another is one in which a counterfeit material was used.

Regardless of how the hernia is treated, according to the Wall Street Journal the risk of post-operative pain is high. “Studies show that patients undergoing minimally invasive surgery have a quicker recovery and less short-term pain than with open repair,” such as would be necessary with surgical mesh implants.

If you or someone you know is experiencing intense post-operative pain after a surgical mesh implant—for a hernia or any other reason—the most important first step is to contact a defective medical device attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Newland & Newland today.

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