Implanted surgical mesh can be considered the foundation for hernia repair operations. If it works as it is intended, it provides support for surrounding tissue and helps to keep internal organs in place. When it is defective and it erodes, contracts or migrates from its original position, it can lead to a host of other complications and problems.
In this blog post I discuss how defective hernia mesh can migrate within the human body, explain some of the damage this movement can cause, and note some of the legal remedies victims of defective mesh have available to them.
How Does Mesh Migration Occur?
Mesh migration generally happens due to one of two circumstances. Primary mechanical migration is caused by mesh that is inadequately secured to surrounding tissue. It moves along paths of least resistance. Occasionally even secure mesh can begin to migrate if an external force puts unusual pressure on it.
Secondary migration occurs on trans-anatomical planes as the result of mesh erosion caused by foreign body reaction. The inflammatory reaction creates granulation of tissue at the migration site. Secondary migration is often gradual as chronic inflammation slowly breaks down the mesh material.
Symptoms of and Complications From Mesh Migration
Common complications of mesh migration generally include significant bleeding, fistula formation or recurrent hernias. But the effects of mesh migration vary greatly and often depend on the organs involved in the movement.
For example, mesh migration into the bladder has been reported to cause hematuria (the presence of red blood cells in urine) and recurrent urinary tract infections. Mesh migration into the scrotum can cause tenderness, organ strangulation, or bowel obstruction.
In some of the most severe cases of mesh contraction and migration, the mesh becomes unanchored, wrinkles and folds up into a ball-like clump known as a meshoma. The abrasive friction of meshoma on surrounding tissue, including nerve fibers, can result in chronic pain that may require extensive and long-term pain management programs which can have limited success.
Heading Back Into Surgery?
Unfortunately, when mesh erodes, contracts or migrates, reparative surgery is often required to remove the defective mesh and surrounding scar tissue and to correct other complications such as bowel obstructions and recurring hernias.
A return to the operating table to fix problems from a defective medical product is something no patient should have to experience, yet victims of defective hernia mesh all too often find themselves back in a hospital setting as surgeons try to repair the damage.
If you or a loved one has experienced hernia mesh migration that requires corrective surgery, you may be asking why this product failed and caused you harm. It is important to remember that you are not alone. Many other patients have experienced similar problems from defective mesh.
Some of these victims have used legal remedies, including lawsuits against the manufacturers of defective mesh, to access compensation and damages for their pain and anguish.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.