When someone visits the doctor, he or she typically assumes that any treatment the doctor is going to recommend has been thoroughly tested to ensure that it is both safe and effective for use in human patients. Sadly, this isn’t the case when it comes to hernia mesh. For those who might not know, a hernia is a medical condition where an organ protrudes through a muscular wall that is supposed to contain it. Typically, a hernia requires surgery to push the organ back behind the muscle wall. Then, the mesh is used to reinforce the muscular wall to prevent the hernia from coming back. Unfortunately, there are major problems arising with hernia mesh, leading to a litany of hernia mesh lawsuits against the manufacturers.
Recently, an article was published in the United Kingdom showing that too many types of hernia mesh are being used in patients visiting doctors and surgeons for hernia repairs. While some of these mesh types are effective, there is no way that more than 100 types of mesh have been clinically tested and shown to be effective. The end result is the disasters that have already unfolded in numerous patients. The complications of poor hernia mesh implants can be catastrophic.
Evidence has shown that certain types of mesh aren’t only ineffective but downright dangerous for use. Some types of mesh end up cutting into nerves, blood vessels, and other types of soft tissue. This can leave someone unable to run, walk, or engage in the activities they previously enjoyed. In some cases, hernia mesh can even leave women unable to bear children. Clearly, something needs to be done to help alleviate the tremendous amount of stress caused by hernia mesh. Right now, hernia mesh devices can be approved if they are similar to other products that have been manufactured in the past. This means that some forms of hernia mesh reach the open market without ever having been tested in a clinical trial. They might never have been placed in a human body before they are used in patients for the first time.
For this reason, there is still a tremendous amount of secrecy surrounding hernia mesh and how it is approved. Some experts have indicated that some hernia meshes that reach the open market are only tested on animals for a short time. One example is placing hernia mesh in rabbits, leaving it in for a few days, and then looking at the rabbits to see if they are okay. This raises a number of red flags. First, rabbits are not people and their bodies are fundamentally different. The idea that rabbits are similar to people is a big stretch. Second, hernia mesh isn’t left in patients for a few days. Typically, it stays in place for life. Therefore, patients in trials, even if they are rabbits, need to be followed for a much longer period of time before any results can be drawn.
Now that problems are starting to arise, hernia mesh recalls are being issued. Regulatory agencies are starting to crack down on the use of untested hernia mesh. Sadly, for many people who have already undergone procedures to have this dangerous mesh implanted, it might be too late. While there are cases where the hernia mesh can be removed, this requires going back to the operating room a second time. Then, the mesh needs to be replaced with a different option. Some of the complications, particularly those involving nerves, are permanent. Fortunately, there are always professionals who are willing to lend these patients a helping hand.