Each year, more than one million hernia repair surgeries are performed in the U.S. alone. And for many of those operations, surgical mesh is the medical device doctors use to strengthen the repair, shorten recovery time, and reduce the chances of the hernia returning.
Unfortunately, hernia mesh is not without its drawbacks. As with any surgery, infection can occur at the site of the incision. As a result, patients should be on the lookout for pain, swelling, or hardening at the incision site, as well as any redness, drainage, or fever.
Five Symptoms of Hernia Mesh Infection
Beyond these standard symptoms, five signs of infection that are specific to hernia mesh implants are:
- Inflammation – It is typical for the site of the incision to feel tender after surgery. If there is swelling or pain, though, it could indicate that the abdomen or another internal organ is inflamed. This could be the result of polypropylene, a synthetic resin used in many hernia mesh products which is known to cause inflammation and chronic pain.
- Failure to heal – Like any surgery, hernia surgery takes time to heel. But if the site of the incision is still tender, appears pinkish, or is seeping several days to a week after surgery, it may be a sign of an infected hernia mesh.
- Unusual degree of pain – Everyone heels at a different rate, and it is normal for pain to accompany hernia surgery. But if you are finding that it is becoming increasingly difficult to walk or handle day-to-day activities following surgery, the hernia mesh may be infected.
- Flu-like symptoms – Symptoms usually associated with the flu – chills, body aches, fever, nausea, or vomiting – may be a sign that your body is fighting an infection following hernia repair surgery. That infection is most likely to be caused by hernia mesh.
- Dental problems – Your teeth are always good indicator of your body’s overall health. If you are experiencing unusual dental pain or if your teeth feel week or are chipping following hernia surgery, you may have an infection resulting from hernia mesh.
What to Do If You Are Experiencing Symptoms of Infection
If you have any of these symptoms – no matter how insignificant you think they may be – see your doctor immediately. Each of them may be an indicator of infection, likely caused by your recent hernia surgery. Left untreated, such infections can result in scar tissue, nerve damage, or worse.
Your doctor may order an ultrasound or computerized tomography to determine if the hernia mesh is actually infected. If it is, antibiotics such as penicillin or tetracycline or surgical treatment may be needed to remove the hernia mesh.
You shouldn’t stop there. Be sure to contact the experienced hernia mesh attorneys at Pintas & Mullins for legal advice. Our services—everything from the initial phone call to court proceedings—are free. We only get paid if we win you a settlement or verdict. We accept clients nationwide.