Representing Victims of Defective Hernia Meshes

Hernias are painful injuries that often require surgical treatment to repair, which commonly includes the use of a hernia mesh. While the idea behind a hernia mesh is sound, the problem is that many of them are made with inadequate materials. This is done, of course, to maximize profits for the manufacturers of these meshes, with little real consideration for the health and well-being of the people they are put into.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective hernia mesh, the idea of filing a lawsuit may seem overwhelming. That's precisely why you need an experienced, knowledgeable NY defective medical device attorney by your side to fight for you and protect your rights. Call us at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, today at (212) 986-7353.

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What Is a Hernia Mesh?

A hernia mesh is a device inserted during surgery to help repair a hernia. Hernias occur when an organ, intestine, or fatty tissue squeezes through a hole or weakness in surrounding muscle. The hernia mesh is meant to strengthen that muscle or repair the hole, reducing the risk of future hernias in the same location.

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How Can a Hernia Mesh Be Defective?

Assuming a medical professional properly installs a hernia mesh, the biggest issue is the way the meshes are often made. Most of them include a material called polypropylene, which is a plastic commonly used in many different medical devices and objects like water bottles. Polypropylene is a plastic that should not be used in devices meant for permanent implantation in the human body, yet manufacturers continue to use it because it is cheap.

Polypropylene tends to degrade over time, sometimes in months, though typically over many years. Since a hernia mesh is a permanent implant, becoming part of the patient's body, this decay can cause serious issues including autoimmune reactions, bowel obstruction, and dangerous infections. Additional surgery is often required to remove a defective mesh, which brings more medical costs and risks with it.

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If They Are Defective, Why Does the FDA Allow Them?

That is a difficult question, but it basically comes down to how laws have made the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) largely ineffective. Over the last few decades, laws passed by Congress have made it easier for drugs and medical devices to be approved by the FDA after only minimal testing, but they have done little to actually give the FDA power to monitor these things after release. Hernia meshes can take many years to decay and cause medical problems, yet most of the testing done on these devices was relatively short-term. That means the defects could not be picked up by these tests; so the short-term tests provided the FDA, medical and legal professionals, and patients with very little real data about side-effects.

Another issue is that very few hernia meshes have actually been recalled by manufacturers or the FDA. They have largely been "pulled from the market" by the manufacturers. This avoids any legal issues with an actual recall while responding to complaints and lawsuits from patients who have been injured by defective meshes.

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My Mesh Wasn't Recalled; Do I Have a Case?

Since there are so few actual recalls, you cannot rely on FDA or manufacturer action to determine whether you have been the victim of a defective hernia mesh. If you have been injured by a hernia mesh, then someone should be held accountable. Figuring out who is to blame and actually proving there was negligence involved can be very difficult and often requires evidence from medical professionals. This isn't something you should try to do on your own.

If you or someone you love has been injured by a defective hernia mesh, call us at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, right now at (212) 986-7353 to discuss your product liability claim.

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