A hernia occurs when damage to the peritoneum, the muscle band responsible for keeping abdominal organs in place, allows part of the intestines or another organ to protrude. In some cases, there are few symptoms that herniation has occurred. In others there is significant pain as well as clear bulge in the area the organ has slipped into.
Regardless of whether the hernia is symptomatic, treatment is important, as there is a risk of further damage to the peritoneum if untreated. The intestines are at particular risk if a hernia is not repaired, as strangulation can occur if the peritoneum restricts blood flow to the organ. If this occurs, parts of the intestine might die.
There are a variety of surgical treatments for hernia, including traditional open surgery, where an incision is made to allow access to the damaged muscle, which is often stitched back together. This method of surgery has resulted in successful treatment for decades, and is still a viable option. However, many people instead opt for laparoscopic surgery if possible.
Laparoscopic surgery, where small incisions allow the use of tiny surgical tools to repair the damaged muscle, usually results in a much quicker recovery time than traditional open surgery. Because the wounds are smaller, the risk of infection may also be lower, and post-surgical infection remains one of the major risks of hernia repair.
In many cases, a surgical mesh is used as part of the procedure, to strengthen and reinforce the muscle. Hernias have a tendency to recur due to the damaged muscle remaining weaker even post-repair, and mesh can alleviate some of the concern regarding recurrent hernia. Unfortunately, some of these devices are defective by design and manufacturing, particularly those made by Bard.
If you or someone you love received a Bard surgical mesh, be prepared to suffer numerous side effects from this dangerous device. Please, if you fear that you post-surgical problems are caused by faulty mesh, please contact an experienced attorney.