Hernia Mesh Lawsuit
As one of the most common types of surgeries performed in the United States, hernia surgeries also account for a high rate of chronic pain and restricted movement resulting from the defective mesh that’s used to fix the hernias.
The Wall Street Journal reported that up to 30 percent of patients suffer after hernia surgery. Mesh devices made from polypropylene plastic are known to irritate the nerves, carry a high risk of infection and cause increased pain. A specific kind of mesh called the Kugel patch, which is manufactured by Davol, Inc., is linked to even more problems. The flexible plastic ring that holds the Kugel patch in place, called the memory recoil ring, is known to break and cause severe internal injuries.
Types of Hernia
A hernia is a bulge of fat, intestines or other organs that push through weakened muscles. There are five main types:
- Inguinal hernia -- Most common type of hernia. Located in the lower abdomen near pubic area.
- Femoral hernia -- Located in the groin area. More common in women.
- Umbilical hernia -- Located near the navel. Common in infants.
- Incisional hernia -- Also called a ventral hernia. Happens in area of previous abdominal surgery
- Epigastric hernia -- Located near the breastbone. More common in men.
To repair these problems, patients undergo various types of surgical repairs. By far, the most common is using synthetic mesh to cover the area and make it more secure.
Hernia Mesh Problems
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said there are several complications related to all types of hernia mesh:
- Intestinal Blockages
- Fluid Build Up
- Hernia Recurrence
- Bowel Obstruction and Perforation
- Mesh Shrinkage
- Mesh Migration
Hernia Mesh Recalls
The recalls of problematic hernia mesh began in 2005, when the FDA recalled Proceed Ventral Patch. Made by Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon division, Proceed was constructed of layers of polypropylene plastic that are now known to separate once implanted, called delamination. This increases the risk of adhesions, bowel perforation and bowel fistulas, which cause chronic pain, infection and fever. Today, the Proceed is back on the market.
The same year the problems with Proceed started emerging another, more widespread hernia mesh recall began. Davol, a subsidiary of C.R. Bard, has recalled the large and extra large sizes of its Composix Kugel Hernia Patch, all of which had memory recoil rings. The company said the plastic ring breaks causing internal injuries that could be life threatening.
Hernia Mesh Litigation
Today, up to 4,000 Kugel mesh cases are consolidated in Rhode Island federal court. The multidistrict litigation (MDL) case includes several Davol hernia devices:
- Composix Kugel Hernia Patch
- Kugel Hernia Patch
- Ventralex Hernia Patch
- CK Parastomal Hernia Patch
- Modified Kugel Patch
- Composix E/X Hernia Mesh
- Composix Mesh
- Composix L/P Mesh
- CruraSoft Patch
In 2010, a North Carolina couple was awarded $1.3 million for injuries from the Composix mesh patch. Just months later, Bard settled about 2,600 Composix mesh cases for about $184 million. Today, thousands of other cases are awaiting trial as attorneys try to hammer out settlements for the remainder of the cases.
- Landro, Lisa. “A Secret for Patients Undergoing Hernia Repair.” The Wall Street Journal. February 28, 2012. Retrieved from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203833004577249344022834000.html
- Meier, Barry. “History of Hernia Patch Raises Questions on Implant Recalls.” The New York Times. March 16, 2007. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/16/business/16hernia.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Hernia Surgical Mesh Implants. Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/ImplantsandProsthetics/HerniaSurgicalMesh/default.htm