A number of hernia mesh manufacturers have recalled their defective products after receiving reports of mesh failure, including serious life-threatening complications and deaths.
The Hernia Mesh Patch: A Brief Overview
For individuals who are undergoing hernia repair surgery, the mesh patch is typically used to close the hernia and help heal the tissue. Mesh patches include a “memory recoil ring,” a small plastic ring embedded in the patch that permits it to be folded over and then deployed once inside the abdomen. Unfortunately, a number of these memory recoil rings have broken after being surgically implanted, setting off a number of extremely severe side effects that can require additional medical treatment and even more surgery for the unsuspecting patient.
What Side Effects have been linked to Hernia Mesh Patches?
Numerous studies have been conducted indicating that the memory-recoil ring which surrounds the mesh patch does indeed have a tendency to break. When this breakage occurs, a number of adverse side effects can result including (but not limited to):
- Bowel obstruction – Partial or complete blockage in the intestines that does not allow the intestinal contents to pass through normally.
- Bowel perforation – Occurs when an opening forms in the intestinal wall, and its contents flow into the abdominal cavity.
- Chronic enteric fistulas – Abnormal connection that forms between two parts of the intestine. This condition has been known to cause extreme abdominal pain.
Multiple FDA Recalls
In three separate product recalls dating as far back as 2005, C.R. Bard Inc. and its subsidiary Davol Inc. in association with the FDA have initiated recalls of the Kugel patch (just one of a number of defective mesh patches). The manufacturers initially sent out a recall, urging doctors to stop using some versions of the Kugel patch because a plastic component imbedded in the hernia patch could possibly break causing various injuries to a patient’s internal organs. Under the Freedom of Information Act, the New York Times recently obtained documents indicating that the manufacturers of the Kugel patch did not accurately report the possible severity of complaints to the FDA.