Hernia Mesh Problems Are Not Going Away

//Hernia Mesh Problems Are Not Going Away

Hernia Mesh Problems Are Not Going Away

Hernia mesh, WikiCommons

Hernia mesh, WikiCommons

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, October 19, 2016 ~ They Did It Again… And They Aren’t Going to Stop, Hernia Mesh Problems Are Not Going Away and Are Finally Being Recognized Once Again by the Legal Community, Sponsored Content Hollis Law Firm 

By now, everyone is familiar with the transvaginal mesh litigation.

In the last decade, over 100,000 pelvic mesh lawsuits have been filed. But the companies haven’t learned their lesson, they just look at the lawsuits as the cost of doing business. And apparently they’re right, because their businesses are doing better than ever. While everyone was distracted with the pelvic mesh litigation, the companies found a way to make even more money selling defective hernia mesh. Why are these companies continuing this egregious behavior?

The US Legal System has Failed

Anti Mesh rally in WV federal court. June 2015

Anti Mesh rally in WV federal court. June 2015

The United States legal system, arguably the best in the world, is responsible for ensuring the integrity of other professions and protecting the general public. However, the US legal system has failed to regulate the medical industry. As a result, the medical industry has been corrupted, hundreds of thousands of US citizens have been severely injured, and many have lost faith in the entire medical community.

The United States legal system allows for the award of punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to reform or deter the defendant or others from engaging in conduct similar to that which was the basis for the lawsuit. In order to deter future similar conduct, punitive damages have to be large enough to really financially hurt a company. Considering Johnson & Johnson’s $70 Billion yearly income, or Boston Scientific’s $7 Billion yearly income, it would take a lot to convince these companies to change their ways.

Plastic mesh

Plastic mesh

Part of the problem is that pharmaceutical and medical device companies have been very successful at limiting the number of cases that to go to trial every year. Compounding that problem, judges have been reducing the verdicts that juries award, including the punitive damages! Just last year a judge reduced a $100 million pelvic mesh jury verdict to $10 million.  The judge noted that prior punitive damage awards in mesh cases ranged from $1 – 8 million. How is a few million going to punish a company that brings in billions every year? It doesn’t, and it didn’t. It only incentivized the mesh manufacturers to continue what they had been doing, but on an even larger scale. We didn’t punish these companies for what they did with pelvic mesh, now we must deal with the much more widespread problem of hernia mesh.

The Hernia Mesh EpidemicGavel 500

As everyone focused on the pelvic mesh litigation, the companies shifted into the expanding the hernia mesh market. Currently there are over 1 million hernia repairs performed in the US every year. Skilled hernia repair specialists have always been able to repair hernias without mesh, but that’s not profitable to the medical device companies. The companies then devised ways for general surgeons to attempt repairing hernias using mesh. Laparoscopic procedures were easier for general surgeons to perform, but required placing the mesh closer to the patient’s internal organs. When mesh comes in contact with internal organs, it will typically stick to the organs and cause severe injuries. In an attempt to prevent this complication, the manufacturers applied cheap absorbable coatings to the mesh and then raised the price exponentially. The companies increased the cost of their product while simultaneously expanding the market and demand. The hernia mesh device market is estimated to be worth 3.7 billion by 2020. General surgeons have profited from the proliferation of mesh implants. They have finally found a way to get paid as much as a specialized surgeon. Everyone is benefiting… except for the patients.

Atrium C-Qur mesh from website

Atrium C-Qur mesh from the web

Coated Hernia Mesh

The coatings on hernia mesh are prone to degradation by most forms of sterilization. This has caused companies to alter their sterilization processes so as to not degrade their hernia meshes. However, the sterilization changes have resulted in many contaminated hernia meshes being implanted. Many of the improperly sterilized hernia mesh products contain dormant bacteria called endospores. Endospores can remain dormant for months or even years after being implanted into the human body. Once the endospore reactivates itself, a hernia mesh infection can occur out of nowhere. The attorneys at Hollis Law Firm have been seeing high rates of infection associated with coated hernia mesh.

Chronic Mesh Infections

Nearly all hernia mesh that becomes infected will continue to be infected until the mesh is fully removed. Hernia mesh infections are extremely difficult to cure, because the infection develops into a biofilm, which functions as an ecosystem of bacteria covering the entire mesh. Biofilm research is still in its infancy, because biofilms haven’t been much of an issue until now. Biofilms are usually only found in nature, not in the human body – with the exception of dental plaque which is a type of biofilm. What has been discovered about biofilms in recent years is disturbing and effectively explains the sudden explosion of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria: A Threat to Us All

Mutations must occur for bacteria to become antibiotic resistant. Bacteria can mutate 60 times faster once a biofilm is formed! Bacteria are able to survive antibiotic levels 100 to 1,000 times higher once a biofilm is formed. It has also been discovered that bacteria are able to transfer their acquired antibiotic resistances to other types of bacteria in a process known as horizontal transfer. Many hernia mesh biofilms contain several different types of highly antibiotic resistant bacteria when they are explanted. Many patients also develop pneumonia and other infections that become extremely hard to treat due to the bacteria’s acquired antibiotic resistance from a hernia mesh biofilm. Patients with infected hernia mesh have become walking incubators for the most resistant forms of bacteria imaginable.



There are currently hundreds of thousands of US citizens with an infected hernia mesh. Unfortunately most surgeons refuse to remove the mesh or are unable to remove the mesh. Mesh often grows into the patient’s organs due to how deeply the mesh was implanted. Explanting a mesh that has attached to the underlying organs may risk bowel perforation, needing a colostomy, and even death. A majority of general surgeons that implant mesh are not skilled enough to remove the same mesh. Instead, patients are maintained on high doses of IV antibiotics for months or even years. Antibiotics will not kill a biofilm, they will only temporarily suppress the symptoms. Once the dose of antibiotics has been reduced, the biofilm comes back even stronger. The Hollis Law firm has observed that most of our clients that have a hernia mesh biofilm have subsequently developed dental problems. This is due to the biofilm’s tendency to create systemic infections throughout the body.

uncoated-hernia-mesh-ventrio-by-bardUncoated Hernia Mesh and Inguinal Hernias

The coating on hernia mesh isn’t the only problem. The coating only exists to cover the base material, polypropylene, which has always been a big problem. Uncoated polypropylene mesh is often used to repair inguinal hernias. Inguinal hernias affect men more than women, ten times more, in fact. The inguinal canal is very narrow and compact. Within the male inguinal canal is the spermatic cord, which attaches to the testes. Over time, the mesh erodes into the spermatic cord and other nerves, causing debilitating pain. Many men are left with the option of removing their testicle or trying to cope with the unrelenting pain.

Hernia Mesh Pain

Pain caused by hernia mesh is something that needs a lot more attention. Hernia mesh is made up of thousands of little pores. Over time a patient’s nerves will regrow into the mesh pores. As the mesh begins to erode and migrate through the body, it pulls and stretches the nerves. The pain caused by nerves stretching is unbearable, yet many physicians tell patients the pain is psychosomatic. Pain can be the most severe complication of a hernia mesh, even worse than those who have had their entire bowel removed. There are athletes and veterans in their 20’s and 30’s that have had an inguinal hernia repaired with mesh and are now disabled because they can’t walk due to the pain. Many patients have committed suicide due to their persistent hernia mesh pain, and countless more have admitted to contemplating it. Those with hernia mesh pain need help, and physicians need to listen.atrium building

Hernia Mesh Lawsuits

The current hernia mesh litigation is still in its infancy. Expect many more attorneys to start taking hernia mesh cases in the coming months and years. The pelvic mesh litigation has taken years to start resolving, and the hernia mesh litigation will be no different.

If you have been implanted with a hernia mesh since 2000 and are experiencing complications, contact the Hollis Law Firm at 1-800-701-3672 for a free hernia mesh lawsuit evaluation. More information is also available at https://hollislawfirm.com/case/hernia-mesh-lawsuit/.

By | 2016-10-25T09:00:39+00:00 October 19th, 2016|Your Turn|20 Comments

About the Author:

I’m National News Editor, Jane Akre and I began Mesh Medical Device News Desk aka Mesh News Desk (MND) in the summer of 2011 just after the Food and Drug Administration issued an explicit warning to the public that complications associated with surgical mesh used for prolapse repair (POP) and incontinence (SUI) are NOT rare! That was the starting point for the litigation you see today and thousands of lawsuits have been filed by women whose lives have been altered, some permanently, by the use of this petroleum-based product.


  1. Deborah J October 19, 2016 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    Wow! This article compacts so much information…I have endured this trauma since 2008, current urogyn treats me as if I’m trying to steal money from the two manufacturers that implanted mesh which has poisoned my body.

  2. Disgusted October 25, 2016 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    There must be a practical way to get this news out there. It seems the battles are being lost all the time. There is such a huge disconnect between the doctors and the problems. Meanwhile, more and more are being permanently damaged. I hear so many people say that they’ve never heard of these problems. It sickens me.

  3. Bj Fendler October 25, 2016 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    I just had my mesh removed and it had calcified! Mine was implanted in1995. My family and I have been suffering for 21 years of narcotics, psych meds, disability, rehab, doctors and financial hardships.

    • Ed August 27, 2017 at 10:08 am - Reply

      How are you holding up after the removal.? I hear horror stories all the time. Do you recommend a surgeon? My life has become horrible since 09. Thank you

  4. Nell le October 28, 2016 at 11:00 am - Reply

    My colon was removed and cr bard mesh was implanted for the lg hernia and reattachment of colen and intestine the year was 99 I have had all kinds of bad problems ever since what do I do?

  5. Karen T November 1, 2016 at 8:24 am - Reply

    I have 3 hernia mesh in me 1 in my throat I have coughed up little puss balls for over a year at 63 years old I will most likely die before anything is done 🙁 good luck and God bless to everyone ????

  6. Oneda G June 9, 2017 at 5:49 am - Reply

    All of this info is really scary. I have had 2 hernia repairs and now having complications. Abdominal pain, nausea , vomiting and frequent diarrhea. I wish I could have them both removed after hearing this. Good luck to all.

    • Jane Akre June 9, 2017 at 6:05 am - Reply

      Do you know what type of mesh you have? Do you have your medical records? Keep them, it’s a good idea.

      • neda June 10, 2017 at 7:18 am - Reply

        Thanks Jane for your reply. I don’t know what type of mesh was used but I have contacted my surgeon for that info. Also have requested all medical records. Will see where this goes. Good luck to all.

        • Latonga June 27, 2017 at 10:47 am - Reply

          I had a hernia mesh in 2013. I have the Bards LP composix and been having all kinds of complications do you know if Diverticulitis is also a side effect because it’s an infection any one can answer please!!

  7. Frank July 10, 2017 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    I just wanted to comment that males with multiple open hernia repairs seem less likely to be accepted for litigation by attorneys. I have been turned down by three law firms already despite obvious distress from all meshes used (goretex and polypropylene). However, I can see that more surgeries equals higher risk of pain and it is not considered a case that is easy to win for any attorney. So, I am saying that it may be a waste of your time as it seems that very few go to court and earn any real money for the claimant.

    • Jane Akre July 11, 2017 at 4:06 am - Reply

      Right now, the coated meshes are in vogue for litigation, but who knows in the future. Perhaps polypropylene will be targeted next. As more science comes in, there is more damaging information about its lack of biocompatibility in the body.

  8. Steve August 31, 2017 at 3:59 pm - Reply

    Quick comment about my bilateral lap. hernia mesh removal. done June 16, 2017 and I’ve had all my pain resolve and the chronic rashes are gone. Went to Dr. Ramshaw in TN. Would do it again in a heartbeat.

    • Jane Akre August 31, 2017 at 7:39 pm - Reply

      Thank you for the feedback….others appreciate it!

  9. Brenda H January 12, 2018 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    I had incisional hernia following repair of a busted pelvis from a MVA, repaired once with Proceed, removed after a few short months with Perietex mesh with partial Proceed left… I have lost my sexual function, lost my teeth, I have suffered horrible pain all while also acquiring Lyme disease in which I have all found out about. I had a death wish as I can’t take anymore pain and suffering.. but now that I know how everything I have has contributed to how bad I feel. I have a new wish for life, and for justice for I have suffered and endured so much for the past 12 years… I wish for a road to recovery both in mind and body and hey, in pocket would be nice too

  10. Sarah F February 2, 2018 at 10:02 am - Reply

    I am in stage 4 kidney disease and have vasculitis from hernia mesh. The doctors wont touch it and tell me i need to just go home and deal with it.

    • Jane Akre February 3, 2018 at 12:48 pm - Reply

      I”m sorry…are you a candidate for kidney dialysis?

  11. Pat Char February 13, 2018 at 8:25 am - Reply

    A rash was mentioned in one of the comments above. Did a rash appear right after surgery or years later? What did you do to treat it?

  12. Steven Lamontagne June 23, 2018 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    I worked at a hardwood sawmill in the 90’s which was very heavy grueling work . I had 2 inguinal hernia repairs on each side ( total of 4 ) last one being in 2005 . The last 3 years pain had steadily started and has gotten unbearable the past 6 months. The family doctors did tests and mesh wasn’t even discussed with me as an issue but has recently has been linked as the source of my problem. The urologist told me I have a very serious mesh failure and it was going to have to be corrected through surgery . I’ve contacted numerous law firms who handle these cases but have been told by everyone that they cannot help me. why is there a time limit on someone’s health ! It’s ridiculous and unfair.

    • Jane Akre June 25, 2018 at 12:40 am - Reply

      I’m not a lawyer, but Steven, life happens… in the last ten years there could be numerous factors that effect your health – stresses and strains, accidents, etc.If I hit you in 2005 and in 2018 you say your failing eyesight is due to my hitting yo in 2005, does that make sense? The assumption is that if you are injured, you will bring an action soon afterward or as soon as you know. Problems for many women with mesh, is their doctors denied it was the mesh. Time is of the essence in a potential injury case…. check with a lawyer, always.

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