The groin. It’s a sensitive part of the human body and a sensitive topic of conversation for many men.

Statistics suggest up to one in four men will experience an inguinal (groin) hernia in their lifetime. Since the odds are good that you may need to talk to your doctor about this condition at some point during your life, learning about their causes, treatments and possible complications may help to make this sensitive discussion a bit easier.

In this blog post I outline the causes and symptoms of inguinal hernias and explain how complications can arise if defective hernia mesh is used to repair them.

Inguinal Hernias

An inguinal hernia occurs when a part of the lower abdominal wall is too weak to contain internal tissue or organs, causing them to bulge through. Inguinal hernias can be indirect (caused by a congenital birth defect) or direct (usually occurring in adults – especially men – due to weakness in the abdominal wall that develops over time from strain, stress, or following surgery). Inguinal hernias occur along the inguinal canal on either side of the lower abdomen.

Inguinal hernias are typically identified by a bulge on one or occasionally both sides of the groin. The bulge may get larger over time and might disappear if a person changes body position – especially if they are laying down. Other symptoms of inguinal hernia may include discomfort or pain in the groin during strenuous activity, feeling weakness, aching or burning in the groin, and a swollen or enlarged scrotum in men.

Treatment Needed, But At What Cost?

Although some inguinal hernias can be quite small and relatively mild, if left untreated they can grow and lead to potentially serious complications including incarceration (herniated tissue that cannot be massaged back into the abdomen) or strangulation (an untreated incarcerated hernia affecting the small intestine could lead to obstruction, loss of blood supply to the small intestine, and tissue death).

Hernia repair surgery is generally safe; but, like any medical procedure, complications can occur. However, if defective inguinal hernia mesh products are used during the surgery, the risk of these and other complication increases.

Early signs of defective inguinal mesh complications include:

  • Prolonged redness, swelling, bleeding or drainage from the incision site
  • Fever and/or flu-like symptoms
  • Pain that cannot be relieved by medication or worsening

Long-term defective inguinal mesh complications can include:

  • Chronic pain, lasting more than three months
  • Nerve damage
  • Adhesions
  • Chronic infection and biofilms developing in the defective mesh
  • Mesh shrinkage or migration causing perforated or obstructed organs, including damage to the spermatic cord in men
  • Hernia recurrence

Is Defective Mesh To Blame?

Hernia mesh products were considered a medical breakthrough that would dramatically reduce the odds a patient would suffer from hernia recurrence. However, studies have found that the rate of complications from hernia surgery using mesh is far greater than procedures where only sutures were used.

If you have experienced complications following inguinal hernia repair surgery using a mesh product, it is important to contact your doctor or surgeon to seek immediate treatment. Unfortunately, complications from defective inguinal hernia mesh often require revision surgery. This procedure removes and/or replaces the defective mesh in hopes of solving these symptoms and related problems. Sadly, sometimes the damage that has occurred is permanent.

If you or a loved one requires revision surgery to correct problems caused by defective inguinal hernia mesh, you should be aware that you have options to pursue damages and compensation for the pain and suffering this product has caused. As a personal injury lawyer experienced in medical product liability, I would be pleased to hear your story and explain your legal rights, including how you may be eligible to participate in a mass tort action against defective mesh manufacturers.

To learn more about your legal rights and eligibility to participate in a mass tort action to obtain damages for pain and suffering, please contact hernia mesh lawyer Paul Miller at 416-646-3901 or by email at