Hernia Mesh is a medical device that’s implanted within the body by a surgeon—designed to patch or repair an area of the body where fatty tissue, an internal organ or intestine has bulged through a hole or weakness in the surrounding muscle or connective tissue.
While surgical meshes have been used for years to implement repairs, offer support and promote healing, there are numerous reasons why some meshes that are currently in use have a propensity to cause pain, infection and even fail—ultimately requiring corrective/revision surgery and additional recuperation time.
Many of today’s modern hernia meshes are constructed of polypropylene (brand names include PROLENE® and Marlex®, for example)—basically a monofilament (plastic or resin) suture. For certain applications, the mesh is coated with a fatty acid, cellulose or collagen to prevent adhesion or the forming of scar tissue that can fuse the mesh with the intestines or other organs.
Hernia mesh devices first became widely used by the late 1980s and accounted for roughly 90 percent of all hernia procedures by 2000, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In that time, many studies have been conducted that contradict manufacturer’s claims—calling into question the suitability of these devices for use in the human body. By 2016, some products, such as Ethicon’s Physiomesh, were either pulled or withdrawn from U.S. and world markets. By 2018, more than 50,000 hernia mesh lawsuits have been filed in both state and federal courts—with two of the largest contributors to individual cases being Ethicon/Johnson & Johnson’s Physiomesh and Atrium Medical Corporation’s C-Qur Mesh.