What is a Hernia and How Does it Occur?

In order to truly understand the purpose of hernia mesh, it’s important to first understand why it’s used by doctors and surgeons to treat the symptoms of a hernia. There are many ways to treat the symptoms of a hernia, and there are also some serious problems associated with the use of hernia mesh to treat this medical problem.

What is a Hernia?

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a hernia occurs when an organ, fatty tissue, or intestine bulges through a weak spot or hole in the surrounding connective tissue or muscle. Quite often, a hernia or hernias occur in the abdominal wall. In some cases, a hernia can become visible to the eye when straining or bearing down and may appear as an external bulge of some kind.   More information from the FDA

Types of Hernias

There are many different types of hernias that can occur, however, the most common hernias are:

  • Femoral: outer groin or upper thigh
  • Inguinal: inner groin
  • Umbilical: belly button
  • Hiatal: inside the abdomen, along the upper diaphragm/upper stomach
  • Incisional: through an incision or scar in the abdomen
  • Ventral: general abdominal or ventral wall

What Causes a Hernia?

It is common for a hernia to be caused by a combination of things: a weakness or opening of muscle in the connective tissue and pressure. It’s this pressure that causes internal tissue or organs to push through an opening or weak spot. While hernias occur most often later in life, they can also be present at birth due to muscle weakness. Likewise increased abdominal pressure, due to other issues like obesity, poor nutrition, overexertion, or lifting heavy objects can increase the likelihood of a hernia

How is a Hernia Treated?

Surgical treatment for hernias is very common. Each year, over one million surgeries for hernia repairs take place in the United States. Many of these surgeries involve the use of hernia mesh, which can lead to possible health complications.

According to the FDA, “Hernias have a high rate of recurrence, and surgeons often use surgical mesh to strengthen the hernia repair and reduce the rate of recurrence. Since the 1980s, there has been an increase in mesh-based hernia repairs—by 2000, non-mesh repairs represented less than 10% of groin hernia repair techniques.”

There are many serious complications and medical problems attached to the use of hernia mesh. If you have experienced any issues or problems with hernia mesh, contact us today.

Hernia Mesh Complications and Their Cause

There are many options available for the treatment of hernias. Due to the fact that hernias have an extremely high rate of recurrence, many surgeons use surgical mesh to strengthen the repair of a hernia and in theory, also reduce the rate of a hernia recurring.

Why is Hernia Mesh Used for Hernia Treatment?

While hernias are a common medical issue, a surgical treatment should be used to mitigate or heal the problem, not cause further complications and medical problems. According to the FDA, since the 1980’s there has been a significant increase in repairs made using a mesh product. So much so, by the year 2000 non-mesh repairs accounted for less than ten percent of groin hernia repair techniques.

Complications Caused by Hernia Repair Surgery

Based on FDA’s analysis of medical device adverse event reports and of peer-reviewed, scientific literature, the most common adverse events for all surgical repair of hernias—with or without mesh—are pain, infection, hernia recurrence, scar-like tissue that sticks tissues together (adhesion), blockage of the large or small intestine (obstruction), bleeding, abnormal connection between organs, vessels, or intestines (fistula), fluid buildup at the surgical site (seroma), and a hole in neighboring tissues or organs (perforation).

The most common adverse events following hernia repair with mesh are pain, infection, hernia recurrence, adhesion, and bowel obstruction. Some other potential adverse events that can occur following hernia repair with mesh are mesh migration and mesh shrinkage (contraction).

Many complications related to hernia repair with surgical mesh that has been reported to the FDA have been associated with recalled mesh products. Pain, infection, recurrence, adhesion, obstruction, and perforation are the most common complications associated with the recalled mesh. In the FDA’s analysis of medical adverse event reports to the FDA, recalled mesh products were the main cause of bowel perforation and obstruction complications.

If you are experiencing these symptoms, you don’t have to suffer through the pain anymore. Contact our office to report your issues associated with hernia mesh surgery so we can get you the justice you deserve.