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Patients Require Long-Term Tracking for Hernia Mesh Infections

 

Prolene hernia mesh removed after 1.5 yr.

Prolene hernia mesh removed after 1.5 yr.

Mesh News Desk, February 1, 2016 ~ General Surgery News reports January 26, 2016 on a long-term study of hernia patients finds infections can take more than a year to emerge and infections are very common.

The study, conducted by the Carolinas Medical Center, in Charlotte, N.C.  found anywhere from 17 percent to 66 % of patients have an infection after a ventral (midsection) hernia repair using mesh.  More than 30% of those infections occurred an average of 2.2 years after the implant.

The study stresses the need for the long-term tracking of hernia patients.  See General Surgery News here. 

The medical center is a major referral center for hernias. One-hundred sixty-one patients were involved in this particular study which spanned over a decade.

Dr. Vedra Augenstein, Carolinas Medical Center

Dr. Vedra Augenstein, Carolinas Medical Center

On average it took 2.2 years after a mesh implant before it was infected and half of the patients presented with an infection 90 days after mesh implant. Antibiotic treatment time period average 7.6 months and patients had had an average of 2.6 ventral hernia repairs.

Even though efforts were made to leave the mesh in place. Less than 10 percent of patients could leave the mesh in place, the other 90 percent had to have the mesh explanted.  Of the meshes that could remain in place (salvaged) were lightweight polypropylene meshes with one third of patients able to avoid explantation.  All of the patients with heavier polypropylene mesh, specifically Composix, made by C.R. Bard/Davol, had to be removed due to infection.

Mesh fistulas took an average of 2.3 years to develop with an average time of 4.3 years.   Presenting the findings was lead author Vedra A. Augenstein, MD who said less than ten percent of the meshes could be salvaged.

She suggested following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to follow patients for a minimum of one year after implant to rule out infection.   And for an infection that may be in the works, she suggested tracking a patient’s C-reactive protein and erythrocyte sedimentation rate.

Dr. Augustin presented her findings at the 2015 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) which met in October in Chicago.  See the program here

Also presented was a discussion about the “myth” that biologic meshes cannot get infected and a concern that they too have a high recurrence rate.  #

13 Comments

  1. Nanny Bug says:

    Jane I had my abdominal mesh repaired around 6 months after it was done it started seperating . Within a few months of that it had started giving me horrible problems . It had literally caused my abdominal wall to collapse . I was in a ten hour surgery to remove thousands of pieces of mesh . I was cut half in to to get all the mesh out . Two hours of the surgery was cleaning out damage from vaginal mesh !! I swear mesh period has nearly killed me . I have terrible problems Jane !!!

  2. Toni says:

    Any updates on this trial? Hoping it goes to jury soon with a good outcome for our side.

  3. Jo Sanders says:

    Looking for medical assistance with abdominal hernia mesh problems

  4. Kim says:

    Jane,

    I had pelvic mesh that had eroded and two pieces went thru my bladder from that it had weakened my vaginal wall and resulted in a surgical hernia. Last year I had the hernia fixed and the Surgeon told me they were putting in another mesh and assured me it had been on the market for over 20 years and worked just fine. Now I am reading this and I am very concerned as I want all of the pelvic meshed removed as I am having a horrible time with it and believe it is eroding again as they only did a partial removal. Is this another lawsuit or would they combine this with the pelvic mesh suit?

  5. Jeremy Stuckey says:

    Just had a hernia fixed using a mesh today, 12/30/16 I trust my Doctor/surgeon 100%.
    The hernia is just right of my belly button about 2 inches and about .5 in above.
    4 yrs ago the same doctor fixed an umbilical hernia for me, this is a new hernia and is not related.

    One thing I would like to note is the severity of the post op pain. 8/10 being 10 is on fire. An 8 is extreme pain, like I took a shot gun blast to the stomach. Holy %*& it hurts.
    Worse than the Kidney stone I had 15 yrs ago.
    We’ll see how things go eh!.
    Jeremy.

    • Steve says:

      I HAD THE SAME SURGERY BUT MINE HURT FROM DAY1.THEY RECALLED THE MESH IMPLANT CAUSE OF LONG TERM COMPLICATIONS.THE MESH WAS RECALLED IN MAY 2016 THEY PUT THE RECALLED MESHIN ME .SO IVE CONTACTED A LAWYER WHO LOOKING AT ANY WRONG DOING.GOOD LUCK!

      • Steve says:

        I FORGOT TO MENTION THEY PUT A RECALLED PRODUCT IN ME AFTER THE RECALL DATE.I WOULD CONTACT A LAWYER THIER ALL OVER THE INTERNET

  6. mary b says:

    Hi jane thanks for the good work i have a class action lawsuit i live in SC but my lawyer is is denver can you change to a lawyer of your choice or is it better to stay with the class action lawsuit i have had 5 surgeries on J&J mesh the mesh wrapped around my colon cut my colon into had to have a colonoscopy for about 5 months before attached lots of problems i dont hear from my lawyer his assistant said they only take one case at a time that would take forever they would be thousands of women that would die first should i change lawyers or stay with the lawyer in denver what is your opinion i know you are aware on most of these things so many women dont know ..and thanks for letting women know more about these things..mary

    • Jane Akre says:

      Mary- You can talk to another law firm, the case belongs to you. Your case has the most value if you have had some removal surgeries. I know that doesn’t necessarily make sense… but also being very badly injured should count.

  7. ERIN says:

    I HAD AN OPEN INCISION HERNIA REPAIR WITH MESH IMPLANT DONE IN AUGUST 2016, I HAVE BEEN IN PAIN EVER SINCE. MY DOCTOR THINKS IM CRAZY. I CANT TOUCH MY STOMACH WITH OUT BEING IN PAIN. IM NAUSEATED ALL THE TIME I HAVE HORRIBLE JOINT PAIN TIRED ALL THE TIME. I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO, MY DOCTOR SAID EVERYTHING WAS FINE ACCORDING TO CT SCAN BUT MY PROBLEMS WOULD NOT SHOW UP ON A SCAN EVEN IF THERE WERE ISSUES……HELP DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO.

    • Wanda H says:

      Hi Erin!
      I am sorry to hear that you are having these problems. Your story sounds just like mine. My ventral hernia was repaired with mesh on 6/16/16. I was not told of the potential problems with mesh. Mine hurt from day one as well. My surgeon said that sometimes it takes time so I gave it almost another year and it only got worse and I started having nerve pain and it progressed until it covered my entire body. I went to the ER twice and went through tons of tests after I went to see my surgeon on May 8, 2017 to let him know that it had to be the mesh and told him that I was losing the ability to walk and it was a struggle just to check the mail. He said it sounded like a gastro problem and sent me on a wild goose chase that cost me thousands and wasted precious time as my condition worsened. I went to him for the third and final time on May 31, 2017, the same day you wrote your comment on here. He prescribed me some smooth muscle relaxer (a year’s supply to be exact) and told his nurse to have me come back in a month. That appointment was scheduled for yesterday, June 30, 2017. Thankfully, after that third appointment (which he charged me for all three office visits), I decided to start doing some research on my own and found out that if you are having terrible pain and it started after your mesh was implanted, that it is more than likely the mesh. I found a great removal surgeon, Dr. Kevin Petersen, in Las Vegas and one week after I had a phone consultation with him, my husband and I flew to Vegas (we live in NC) and had my 9 cm round Parietex composite mesh removed. It had scar tissue all over it, and there was inflammation. The inflammation was what was causing most of the pain. The surgery cost $9100 not including travel expenses and it was worth every penny. I was supposed to have had 3 MRIs done the week of my surgery and they would have probably cost me about as much as the surgery itself so I cancelled the MRIs and went to Vegas. I am recovering nicely, but still have the nerve pain. I have to basically do nothing for 12 weeks and hope that the nerves will heal. But I can’t tell you how thankful I am to have it out. The severe abdominal pain is gone and I can live with the nerve pain if it doesn’t heal completely. You will not get any better until you get your mesh out and have the hernia repaired (the mesh only covers the hole and doesn’t actually repair the hernia). Dr. Petersen at http://www.noinsurancesurgery.com is a great place to start. There is also Dr. Bruce Ramshaw, in Tennessee. Unfortunately, he didn’t have any openings at that time until early fall and I had to have mine out as soon as possible. There is also a wonderful support group on facebook called Fighters and Survivors of all Transvaginal Mesh and Hernia Mesh/Plugs that I highly recommend joining. I wish you the best and would love to keep up with your progress if you decide to join us on the fighters group.

      • Jane Akre says:

        Wanda-Wonderful news for you. You had not had the mesh in for a very long time, so it might have been a bit easier to explant. Congratulations.

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