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Hernia Mesh Complications

Riddle Brantley LLP   |  April 21, 2020   |  

More than one million people have hernia repair surgery in the United States each year, and hernia mesh complications are common. Hernia mesh complications may include adhesion, bowel obstruction or perforation, infection, migration and even rejection.

After hernia mesh surgery, some people report symptoms of pain, mesh failure and hernia recurrence. Hernia mesh complications may occur immediately after surgery or years later and some of these complications can be deadly.

Almost one-third of the people who undergo hernia surgeries will experience some type of complication, with excessive pain being the most frequent complaint.

Hernia Mesh Complications - Lawsuit Eligibility - Riddle & BrantleyIn some cases, hernia mesh injuries may result from defective hernia mesh implants. In these situations, victims may be eligible for a hernia mesh lawsuit and be entitled to financial compensation. Our hernia mesh attorneys are actively investigating these claims. For a FREE, no-obligation consultation please call 1-800-525-7111. There are no attorney fees unless we win your case and you receive compensation.

IMPORTANT: If you have suffered any of these or other hernia mesh complications, contact your doctor immediately. These conditions can be severe and even life-threatening.

Common Hernia Mesh Complications

Hernia Mesh Adhesion

One of the most common hernia mesh complications is mesh adhesion.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states these adhesions occur when scar-like tissues stick together. Ongoing, often severe pain may be a patient’s only symptom of mesh adhesion. This condition may be very serious and can lead to life-threatening bowel obstructions.

Intraperitoneal hernia surgery leaves mesh in contact with the intestines. Consequently, the intestines and the repair can stick together around the mesh. Some manufacturers have developed different material and coatings to prevent adhesion. However, the problem still occurs in some surgeries.

A 2009 study in the British Journal of Surgery which found that the body can absorb these coatings over time. The mesh then encounters the intestines and causes a problem. Researchers believe the coating may reduce adhesions for up to a week, but after a month they have negligible effect.

Bowel Obstruction from Hernia Mesh

Another common and potentially dangerous hernia mesh complication is bowel obstruction.

Hernia mesh may cause a bowel obstruction if it adheres to the intestines after surgery. Mesh can create obstructions when it migrates in the body. Should the mesh move, it can entrap loops of the intestines.

Symptoms of bowel instruction due to hernia mesh complications can include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Inability to pass gas or stool

Bowel obstructions are dangerous and need immediate attention and treatment. If left untreated, an obstruction can cut off blood flow, causing some of the intestine to die. Surgeons may remove part of the intestine if hernia mesh causes a bowel obstruction.

The FDA has alleged that recalled, potentially defective mesh is a major cause of bowel perforation and obstruction.

Hernia Mesh and Bowel Perforation

Another common and potentially dangerous hernia mesh complication is bowel perforation.

Bowel perforation may happen when hernia mesh punctures or erodes into the bowel.

Bowel perforation symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain (may be severe)
  • Abdominal rigidity

A perforation in the bowel allows fecal matter as well as bacteria into the abdominal cavity. This may cause peritonitis, a dangerous form of inflammation. Peritonitis may also cause sepsis, a sometimes-fatal blood infection. Bowel perforation should be considered a life-threatening medical emergency.


Minor infections around the suture site on the skin may be treated with antibiotics and are relatively common after hernia repair surgery.

However, deeper chronic infections around hernia mesh may be harder to treat and are considered potentially serious hernia mesh complications.

Patients may need surgery to remove the mesh which is usually accompanied with intravenous antimicrobial treatments.  Chronic infection may occur years after hernia mesh surgery.

Symptoms of infection include:

  • Inflammation
  • Fever
  • Flu-like symptoms

Hernia Mesh Rejection

Some materials in hernia surgical mesh may trigger the body’s immune response. If this happens, the body may reject the mesh.

Symptoms of mesh rejection include:

  • Swelling at the surgical site
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Redness
  • Flu-like symptoms

Hernia Mesh Migration

Another potentially serious hernia mesh complication is mesh migration.

Should hernia mesh detach after surgery, there is a risk it can migrate through the abdomen. This may lead to adhesions, abscesses, fistulas, obstruction or perforation. Detachment is more likely to occur following minimally invasive laparoscopic hernia surgery.

Migration can result in pain, or it can be symptom-free until more severe damage is caused.

Hernia Recurrence

A common complication of hernia surgery is the recurrence of the hernia. Although surgeons began using hernia mesh to overcome this problem, mesh is no guarantee against recurrence.

The idea is that mesh may further reinforce any weakened tissue. However, mesh migration and detachment (see above) can cause the hernia to return.

The patient’s overall health and lifestyle are also factors in contributing to hernia mesh complications.

Ripped Hernia Mesh

If you feel pain or think your hernia has returned, these could be signs that your hernia mesh has ripped. However, these symptoms could also be related to other complications as well. Surgery may be the only way to know for certain if a hernia mesh is ripped or torn.

Immediately after surgery, mesh may rip from the sutures or tacks holding it in place. Although rare, this can happen if the patient lifts something heavy or overexerts himself or herself. If this happens it may cause the hernia to reoccur.

It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions as they will set limits on activity in the first few weeks of recovery.  This will give the scar tissue time to form around the mesh and strengthen the hernia repair.

Mesh Shrinkage

Mesh also runs the risk of shrinking. It may also rip lose from sutures of tacks. This can result in mesh migration (see above).

Mesh Erosion

Lastly, in time mesh may erode in the body.  This causes the mesh to break into pieces.  The edges of these pieces can cut or perforate tissue.

Have you suffered injury due to defective hernia mesh?

It is important to understand that hernia mesh complications can occur shortly after surgery or years later.

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  1. Difficulty urination, passing gas or stool
  2. Excessive pain, bruising, or swelling
  3. High fever (101 degrees or higher)
  4. Increased drainage or redness from the incision
  5. Nausea, vomiting or other flu-like symptoms
  6. Stiffness in your abdomen

Justice for Victims of Hernia Mesh Complications

Hernia Mesh Injury Lawsuit - Riddle & BrantleyIf you or a loved one has experienced complications after hernia mesh surgery, you may be entitled to compensation in a potential hernia mesh settlement. 

We are here to help.

The experienced hernia mesh attorneys at Riddle & Brantley have represented victims of defective medical devices since 1985 and we would love to help you fight for justice if we can.

Manufacturers with hernia mesh under recall or subject to warnings include:

  • Ethicon
  • Atrium
  • Covidien
  • Bard

Brand names potentially affected include Physiomesh (Ethicon), C-QUR (Atrium), Parietex and Parietex Progrip (Covidien), and 3D-Max, Composix Kugel, Ventralex and Sepramesh (Bard). These hernia mesh implants have been reported as causing significant complications.

For a FREE consultation with a hernia mesh lawsuit attorney, please call 1-800-525-7111 or complete the short form below.

The consultation is free, and we don’t get paid unless we recover compensation for you.

Please call 1-800-525-7111 today and let’s review your case.

“This settlement has changed me and my family’s lives.”

Linda B., Riddle & Brantley client

We believe Justice Counts for those injured due to potentially defective hernia mesh and we are proud to fight on behalf of victims across the country.

For a FREE, no-obligation consultation with a hernia mesh lawyer, please call 1-800-525-7111.

You don’t have to do this alone and you may be entitled to financial compensation.

Please call 1-800-525-7111 today and let’s review your case.