Yes, your body can reject the hernia mesh used in your hernia repair.
Here's What Happens When Your Body Rejects Hernia Mesh
Hernia mesh manufacturers indicate that their meshes are constructed of biologically compatible materials. Despite this, your body can reject your hernia mesh and create major complications—not from the rejection itself, but from a series of events that follow.
When your body's immune system rejects the hernia mesh, it sets out to attack the medical device. The dangers of hernia mesh rejection include the related symptoms when this occurs, which can affect your entire body (systemic symptoms) or only the incision site or general area where your surgery took place (localized symptoms).
Symptoms and Signs That Your Body is Rejecting Your Hernia Mesh
- High fever
- Swelling at the surgical site
- Redness at the incision site
- Vomiting or nausea
- Difficulty passing gas or stool
- Difficulty urinating
- Abdominal stiffness
What to Do if You Think Your Body is Rejecting Your Hernia Mesh Implant
If you recently underwent hernia repair surgery and you begin to manifest any of the above symptoms—seemingly unconnected to any other root cause—your body may be rejecting the hernia mesh implant. You should seek medical attention immediately to review your symptoms with your physician so they can take action before even more serious complications can arise.
Why the Body Attacks the Hernia Mesh Implant
The hernia mesh implant is a foreign addition to your body. Like it would with any foreign material, your body will attempt to expel it if it identifies it as an invader. If your immune system sees the hernia mesh as a harmful intruder, like a virus, it will attack it accordingly. As cells attack, inflammation occurs, which can chip away at the mesh. This is where the complications begin.
Complications Resulting From Mesh Implant Rejection
Your body is doing exactly what it is meant to do by rejecting your hernia mesh implant. The rejection itself is no cause of concern. However, when the implant breaks apart, you could suffer any of a whole host of complications. The dangers of a hernia mesh implant breaking apart include:
The chronic infection from a rejected hernia mesh can even lead to dental problems, such as tooth infections, chipped teeth, weakened teeth prone to falling out. A doctor can help you determine whether your hernia mesh is infected and suggest the correct course of treatment.
Mesh Implant Removal Surgery
It is impossible to safely remove a hernia mesh implant. Sometimes, your doctor will attempt to remove it anyway. Another option to discuss with your doctor is hernia mesh revision surgery. Each of these carries their own set of risks and can cause lasting damage even after the surgery is complete.
Hernia Mesh Implants Are Often Rejected
Surgeons use hernia mesh as a reinforcement device to support weakened tissue after your hernia repair. Some meshes are synthetic and can be either absorbable or non-absorbable. Other meshes are made from cow or pig tissue and are absorbable by the body. The latter type of mesh degrades over time and are used as a temporary reinforcement for this reason.
Synthetic hernia meshes, however, like those made from polypropylene, serve as permanent implants. Polypropylene mesh products more commonly face bodily rejection than natural-tissue mesh. This synthetic material is cheap, so many manufacturers use it for their products.
One hernia mesh manufacturer, Atrium Medical, coated its C-Qur brand mesh with a purified pharmaceutical-grade fish oil to prevent adhesions. The fish oil has prompted immediate adverse reactions in patients (in addition, the oil coating ultimately separated from the mesh, resulting in damage to patients' internal organs). Any hernia mesh coated with fish oil will be prone to rejection by the patient's body.
Hernia Mesh Manufacturers Who Use Polypropylene
The following manufacturers have been named in lawsuits because of their products' being rejected, resulting in health complications for the patients in whom the medical devices were implanted:
- Ethicon/Johnson & Johnson
- C.R. Bard/Davol
- Atrium Medical Corp
A Mass Tort Attorney Can Represent You in Your Rejected Hernia Mesh Case
If you suffered injury as the result of your body rejecting your hernia mesh, you deserve compensation. The team at Tosi & Rose may be able to help. Call us today at 888-311-8292 for a free case review.