Covidien mesh patches have caused numerous men and women across the country to experience severe complications and side effects after undergoing hernia repair surgery due to poorly designed implants.
While hernias are painful and difficult to deal with prior to treatment, an increasing amount of reports have brought to issue the serious and adverse nature of mesh patches.
Numerous lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers of hernia mesh products, claiming they failed to warn of the side effects and kept them on the market. In April 2017, the Food and Drug Administration issued a statement that, “…Pain, infection, recurrence, adhesion, obstruction, and perforation are the most common complications associated with recalled mesh.” Though Covidien mesh implants have yet to be recalled, it’s important to note recalls have been on the rise with other manufacturers of hernia mesh.
Covidien, a subsidiary of Medtronic, manufactures a handful of mesh products that have been linked to severe and painful side effects which almost always require corrective surgery or removal.
Side effects of a defective hernia mesh implant include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Device migration
- Bowel obstruction
- Revision surgery
- Nerve damage
- Adhesion (a “melting” of the mesh into surrounding organs and tissues)
- Pain (from a shrunken or deformed patch)
Hernia mesh devices are also called implants or patches. It is typically made of synthetic materials such as polypropylene, polyester, ePTFE, and can also be constructed of animal tissue. The design of mesh patches plays an important role in diagnosing the reason for complications after surgery.
Among the product lines that have caused complications in patients are Versatex monofilament mesh, Symbotex, and Parietex composite mesh.
Parietex composite mesh has been around since 1999 to treat ventral hernias. Constructed of polyester and a layer of collagen film, the rough edges can perforate surrounding areas, leading to infection, pain, and adhesions.
Symbotex composite mesh is constructed of a polyester textile with a hydrophilic film (made up of collagen and glycerol) on either side. It is intended to reinforce soft tissues while the film allows for a minimization of tissue attachment. However, should the film disintegrate the rough edges can lead to perforation and other complications.
Paritex ProGrip is a permanent mesh implant and cannot be moved. Its design is similar to velcro, where thousands of microgrips act as a replacement for tacks and sutures. Since it cannot be moved, any unintended movement can cause the patient to experience extreme discomfort and pain. Paritex has been reported to fray or unravel, leading to perforations or an uncomfortable tugging on the surrounding areas.
Around the 1980s, hernia mesh became a popular treatment for hernia repair surgery. Mesh is similar to a net, with small pores to allow for healthy tissue growth inside the body. The mesh is used to recess the hernia from the compromised spot and can either be held in place with surgical tacks, stitches, glue or staples.
A hernia occurs when fatty tissue or an organ squeezes through a weak spot in muscle or connective tissue. The result is a “bulging” mass that is painful to live with. Hernias can be a common result of poor diet, nutrition, lifting heavy objects, persistent bouts of coughing, sneezing, diarrhea or constipation. Smoking contributes to weakening muscles throughout the body and increase the likelihood of developing a hernia.
An estimated one million people each year undergo hernia repair surgery. They typically develop in the inner groin (inguinal), outer groin (femoral), belly button (umbilical), upper stomach (hiatal), or due to an incision (incisional).
Covidien hernia mesh products we are currently investigating are:
- Parietex Composite (PCO)
- Parietene Macroporous
- Parietene Progrip
- Parietex Progrip
- Parietex Plug and Patch