Over 100,000 hernia surgeries are performed every year in the United States, and more than 80% of these surgeries now include the implantation of hernia mesh. In many cases, hernia repair surgery is uneventful and patients make a full recovery. However, in some cases, the hernia is repaired using polypropylene mesh, which can lead to serious complications, including adhesions, small bowel obstructions, infections, erosion or mesh rejection and the need for further surgery. Recent studies have shown that the use of these meshes is often not advisable and contraindicated, yet these products continue to be marketed and used, despite these issues.

Our law firm, Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer,  has been appointed as lead counsel for all plaintiffs against hernia mesh maker Ethicon (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson) in lawsuits involving Ethicon's Physiomesh® and Proceed® brand surgical mesh and is accepting cases by those injured by defective hernia mesh no matter the manufacturer.  

If you or a loved one has undergone repair surgery for mesh failure, loosening, migrating, or if your mesh has become infected or eroded into organs, you may be entitled to compensation. If you do not know the manufacturer of the mesh that failed, we can help you to find that out. For a free case evaluation, call 855-943-1338 to speak directly to an attorney about your legal options. There is no charge for the consultation.

What Is Hernia Mesh? 

Hernia mesh is a surgical implant used during hernia repair surgery to provide additional support to weakened muscle or connective tissue. Hernias occur when muscle or connective tissue weaken or develop holes, and an organ, intestine or fatty tissue squeezes through the hole or the weakened spot.   

Hernia mesh is a screen-like device, made of either synthetic or animal-source materials. Hernia mesh products are manufactured by a number of companies, including Boston Scientific, Atrium Medical, Ethicon,  Bard, and Covidien (a subsidiary of Medtronic). Modern experience with hernia mesh implantation dates back to the 1950s, but the use of hernia mesh did not become a standard method of repairing hernias until the late 1980s, with the introduction of new surgical techniques. 

Surgeons may implant either an absorbable or a non-absorbable hernia mesh. Absorbable hernia mesh is designed to break down and disappear a short time after the surgery. Non-absorbable hernia mesh however is designed to be a permanent implant. 

The use of permanent hernia mesh products, such as Ethicon’s Physiomesh and Proceed, has been linked to a high incidence of adverse health consequences and complications, including: 

  • chronic pain
  • adhesion (mesh adhering to an organ or scar-like tissue sticking two organs together)
  • fistula (abnormal connection between organs, vessels, or intestines)
  • bowel or intestinal blockage
  • infection
  • hernia recurrence
  • hernia mesh migration
  • hernia mesh rejection 

These are serious complications, often requiring hospitalization and additional surgery to correct the adverse impact on a patient’s health. 

Hernia Repair Surgery: Hernia Mesh Complications and Long-Term Risks

Hernia mesh is known to be at risk of migration, rejection, and adhesion. Complications from the use of hernia mesh products like Bard’s Perfix Plug® and Ethicon’s Proceed may lead to severe health problems, including bowel and intestine blockage, mesh migration and erosion into bowels or organs, intestinal adhesions, infection, and hernia recurrence. 

The Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons lists the following symptoms as associated with complications from hernia surgery involving hernia mesh: 

  • persistent fever over 101 degrees F
  • bleeding
  • increasing abdominal or groin swelling
  • pain that is not relieved by your medications
  • persistent nausea or vomiting
  • inability to urinate
  • chills
  • persistent cough or shortness of breath
  • foul smelling drainage (pus) from any incision
  • redness surrounding any of your incisions that is worsening or getting bigger
  • inability to eat or drink liquids  

How Wilentz Can Help 

If you or a loved one has undergone repair surgery for mesh failure, loosening, migrating, or if your mesh has become infected or eroded into organs, you may be entitled to compensation. If you do not know the manufacturer of the mesh that failed, we can help you to find that out.  For a free case evaluation, call us to speak directly to an attorney about your legal options. There is no charge for the consultation.