Repairing a hernia isn’t easy. What many think is a one-time procedure can spiral into an ongoing nightmare involving revision surgeries, infections, and hernia recurrence. In fact, the hernia recurrence risks can often be more dangerous than the original repair procedure itself. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that using mesh to repair hernias can improve most patient outcomes. But the type of mesh that surgeons use during these repairs is critical for a successful outcome. Faulty mesh devices are linked to increased risk for repeat surgeries, infections, and internal adhesions. So how can you be sure which mesh implant is least likely to result in hernia recurrence?
Here’s a closer look at various mesh implants currently on the market, and the safest options for avoiding a hernia recurrence.
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Choosing the Right Hernia Mesh Implant Material
There are many different hernia mesh brands to choose from. Most are manufactured by major pharmaceutical companies — but they’re not all created equal. Companies typically manufacture hernia mesh devices using either synthetic materials or animal tissue. The synthetic versions usually combine absorbable and non-absorbable materials into a woven, fibrous mesh. However, animal-derived products usually include disinfected, completely absorbable animal tissue from the intestine or skin. To see a complete hernia repair product list, click here.
Ask Your Surgeon About Possible Risks and Benefits for Each Mesh Type
Be sure to discuss the risks and benefits for each mesh implant with your surgeon. Certain brands, such as Ethicon’s Physiomesh, can cause severe complications, including:
- Chronic pain
- Hernia recurrence
- Internal adhesion (scar-like tissue that becomes stuck together)
- Intestinal blockage
- Mesh migration and shrinkage
- Revision surgery
Fortunately, there are other options.
Studies Show AlloDerm May Have Lower Hernia Recurrence Rates Than Other Mesh Implants
A 2013 study shows that AlloDerm biological mesh may be the safest hernia repair mesh. The study looked at 11 articles published since January 2, 2012. Among these, they chose 1529 records from randomized, controlled clinical trials, screened them for inclusion eligibility, then analyzed them. While surgeons used AlloDerm more often than any other mesh implant, it also turned out to be the best option.
AlloDerm hernia recurrence rates ranged from 0-50%. But in the largest AlloDerm hernia repair study there was a much lower hernia recurrence rate. It showed just 16-17%, compared to 20-63% hernia recurrence rates with composite meshes. The highest hernia recurrence rates occurred in obese patients 10 years after undergoing surgery. And in a small case study series published in the journal Annals of Plastic Surgery, no hernia recurrences were observed in 16 AlloDerm patients.
Patients can choose from multiple mesh implant types while consulting a surgeon for hernia repair. AlloDerm is just one of many mesh devices on offer. However, the 2013 study above analyzed 11 major, randomized, controlled clinical trials and included many commonly used hernia mesh brands. Among all meshes currently offered, AlloDerm is the best option for reducing hernia recurrence risk in the future.
What Injured Hernia Recurrence Patients Can Do
Defective hernia mesh products injure thousands every year. Poor materials and failure to conduct safety studies prior to market release often contribute to these injuries, including device recalls. Victims suffer from chronic abdominal pain, bowel obstruction, abdominal adhesions, and other complications from surgeries to repair each hernia recurrence.
Physiomesh is one commonly used mesh implant device that Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary company, Ethicon, voluntarily recalled in May 2016. Lawsuits are now underway against the drug giant for hernia recurrence as well as several other serious health complications. If you need revision surgery to replace defective hernia mesh, you may qualify for a cash settlement from the manufacturer.
To see if you may be eligible for payment, complete your free compensation evaluation online now. Once you’ve submitted your information, an experienced advocate will call you to discuss your compensation options and possible next steps.
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Mandy Voisin is a freelance writer, blogger, and author of Girls of the Ocean and Star of Deliverance. As an accomplished content marketing consultant, mom of four and doctor's wife, Mandy has written hundreds of articles about dangerous drugs and medical devices, medical issues that impact disabled Americans, veterans' healthcare and workers' compensation issues since 2016.