The Most Important Thing To Ask Your Doctor Before Hernia Surgery

If you’re scheduled for hernia surgery — or considering having the operation — you really need to educate yourself on the details.

There are an estimated 700,000 abdominal hernia surgeries performed each year in the U.S. — making it one of the most common surgical procedures in the country. But unfortunately, there have been many occurrences of severe complications with regard to hernia mesh — a medical device used to reinforce the muscles surrounding the defect.

It’s crucial before having hernia surgery, you ask the questions:

“Will you need to use hernia mesh in my procedure? If so, what kind?”

Hernia Repair Surgery — and the Need for Hernia Mesh

Your doctor should explain everything that will happen in the procedure. Here are brief explanations of how the two types of hernia surgery are performed:

  • In a laparoscopic hernia surgery, the surgeon makes several small incisions in the abdominal area — creating openings for various surgical devices to repair the problem.
  • In an open repair hernia surgery, the surgeon cuts near the location of the hernia to repair it, as well as the weakened muscles around it.

So why is there a need for hernia mesh? In order to prevent a hernia from recurring, surgeons will usually implant a hernia repair mesh plug or patch to reinforce the muscles in the area.

What You Need to Know About Hernia Mesh

Hernia repair mesh devices are available as patches, mesh sheets, woven mesh and permanent mesh. Here are some types of mesh that are available:

  • Synthetic mesh can be made from a variety of different materials that are either absorbable or non-absorbable, depending on the patient’s needs.
  • Some natural mesh devices are made from animal (pig or cow) skin or intestines.
  • Absorbable mesh is meant to degrade over time, allowing new tissue to grow and provide support to the affected area.
  • Non-absorbable mesh is designed to provide permanent support to the repair.

Know Your Hernia Mesh Products

When you ask your doctor what kind of hernia mesh will be used for your hernia repair surgery, consider the brand. There are many different brands on the market, and some have proven to be problematic.

One company’s product disintegrated inside the patient’s body and resulted in severe infection, so they were ordered to recall the device by the FDA. Another company had to pull its mesh product from the market in 2016 due to a 20% failure rate, which led to recurrent hernias that required additional surgery to repair.

And yet another company had four different hernia mesh products linked to different complications; one product, used in male patients, reportedly attached to the spermatic cord — leading to a risk of testicular loss if hernia mesh removal was needed.

We Can Help Patients Dealing with Hernia Mesh Complications

Clearly, there are many things to know about hernia mesh surgery. If you had hernia mesh repair surgery and are now dealing with post-surgical complications, please contact the hernia mesh attorneys at Baron & Budd immediately. You can reach us online or call 866-829-0176 to discuss your legal options.

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