Could hernia mesh be as controversial as vaginal mesh?

22nd January 2018

Claims regarding the use of mesh in hernia repair have re-entered the spotlight in recent months due to the widely reported concerns relating to its use in pelvic/vaginal procedures.

The mesh types themselves, are similar and give rise to comparable complications, such as pain, infection,  erosion, migration and shrinkage but in the case of hernia repair are also associated with recurrence and bowel obstruction.

Whilst vaginal mesh has been banned in several countries, a certain number of hernia meshes have also been withdrawn from the market due to concerns about their safety over the years. For example, the Ethicon PhysiomeshTM  was subject to worldwide recall in 2016  after unreported studies showed that there was a higher rate of recurrence or reoperation compared to other similar meshes.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in the UK does not seem concerned.  It is not conducting any studies on hernia mesh use and considers them in principle to be safe. The Mesh Oversight Group report 2017 specifically limited it’s findings to mesh used only in the “pelvic region”, and did not take hernia mesh into account.

There are well reported issues with mesh repairs, but as with all medical devices, the decision to ban or restrict their general use will be determined by whether complication rates become unacceptable.  At present,  the open flat mesh repair has become the most popular technique for hernia repair as it strengthens the abdominal wall with less suturing and tension thereby reducing the likelihood of recurrence in the short term. Longer term data on complications is less readily available.

So where does this leave us? Vaginal mesh claims certainly have a head start, but if a patient has a complication from a hernia mesh repair, the standard response will still be “this is a recognised, non-negligent complication and the mesh is safe for use”.

Until such time that there is definitive evidence of long term complications, or concerted action by the regulatory bodies, hernia mesh compensation claims are likley to be isolated to individual cases.

Categories

Archives

Further Reading…

Ambulance crisis

27th November 2018

Written by Sadiya Zaib, Assistant Litigation Executive, in the medical negligence department at Fletchers: The NHS is approaching a crisis point like never before. Health and social care is suffering…

The impact of cuts to legal aid on access to justice

13th December 2018

Written by Eliza Esiategiwa, Assistant Litigation Executive at Fletchers Solicitors.  The legal aid funded civil law sector has been plagued by funding cuts since the mid-2000s. Between 2006 and 2009, legal aid was…

You don't have to go through this alone - take the first step now

  • IIP - Investors in People
  • The Sunday Times Top 100 - Best Companies To Work For 2016
  • The Investors In People Awards 2016 - Winner
  • The Legal 500 - Leading Firm 2015
  • The Law Society - Clinical Negligence
  • The Lawyer UK200 - Listed Firm 2015
  • Top Ranked Leading Individual - Chambers UK 2019
    Any Questions?

    We know that making a claim can raise a few questions, here are some of the ones we get asked most often.

    Read our FAQs

    Contact Details
    Phone
    03300 080 321
    Email
    enquiry@fs.co.uk
    Southport
    Dukes House, 34 Hoghton Street, Southport, PR9 0PU
    Manchester
    St James's Tower, 7 Charlotte Street, Manchester, M1 4DZ
    Map of the UK