Hernia Repair

Different types of hernias: Inguinal: Femoral: Incisional: Ventral: Umbilical, Hiatal

Hernia meshes have been the subject of numerous product liability lawsuits over the past several years. In order to fully understand some of the issues behind the litigation, it is best to be familiar with the different types of hernias and the meshes that are used. There are several different types of hernias and each requires its own separate type of procedure. The nature of the surgery will determine whether a mesh is used, and, if so, what type of mesh. Below is some information about hernia procedures and meshes.

Inguinal Hernia

This is the most common type of hernia. An inguinal hernia is one that is in the groin area. This is one the two types of hernias that are in the groin. When a patient has this type of hernia, the tissue or an organ pokes through a weakness in the muscle. This results in a protrusion and a hole in the muscle. A patient will typically have a pain in the groin area and will have discomfort when standing up or coughing. There are two types of inguinal hernias. The first is a direct hernia, which is one that enters the inguinal canal. An indirect hernia does not enter the canal. This is not a life-threatening condition, but it must be treated because the pain will negatively impact the patient’s quality of life.

Femoral Hernia

This is another hernia in the groin area, but is not as common as an inguinal hernia. This also involves a protruding tissue, but instead of entering the inguinal canal, this type of hernia enters the femoral canal. Patients with a femoral hernia will have a protruding lump that will appear and disappear based on the body position. While men are more likely to have an inguinal hernia, women are more likely to have a femoral hernia. This hernia is typically caused by some kind of straining. These hernias are not life threatening, but can cause grave danger if it obstructs the intestines.

Incisional Hernia

This hernia occurs in the abdomen, but does not incur naturally or in response to straining. Instead, an incisional hernia happens when there is some type of cut in the abdomen that results in scar tissue. When the tissue is healing, it results in a protrusion at the sire of the scar. This hernia more closely resembles an infection as the patient will often have fever and burning at the area of inflammation. While surgery is not always a necessity, this type of hernia has the potential to be extremely dangerous so it can be an emergency in certain circumstances.

Ventral Hernia

This hernia is also caused by bulging tissue, but the site of the hernia is the abdomen as opposed to the groin. An incisional hernia is a type of ventral hernia, but there are also other kinds of ventral hernias. This hernia can be caused by straining and heavy lifting. Ventral hernias will always require surgery to fix because, if left untreated, they can cause serious complications. Surgery is necessary even if the ventral hernia is not causing any pain.

Umbilical Hernia

This hernia is swelling or a bulge that is at or near the navel. The intestines protrude through the abdomen in the area of the belly button. This type of hernia can be relatively minor and is not even always painful. It is when the bulge becomes painful or tender that care is necessary. This is a relatively common type of hernia with approximately 200,000 occurrences per year. For adults, this is caused by too much pressure on the abdomen for various reasons including obesity or previous surgeries.

Hiatal Hernia

This type of hernia occurs when the stomach breaks through and bulges into the chest cavity. Here, the stomach pushes through an opening in the diaphragm. Usually, this type of hernia occurs in people who are either smokers or overweight. One symptom of a hiatal hernia is heartburn. Oftentimes, people can mistake the pain and effects of a hiatal hernia with a heart attack. Lifestyle changes may be enough to fix this hernia on its own. However, more severe cases will require surgery to relive the pressure on the chest cavity.

Hernia Mesh

In the past, the prevalent way of fixing a hernia was to sow the hole shut. This required an invasive surgery and a longer hospital stay. Starting from 1958, hernia mesh began to become a part of many hernia surgeries. Now, an overwhelming majority of these procedures involve the implantation of a mesh in the patient as a means for fixing the hernia.

A hernia mesh is most often made of some sort of synthetic material. It is woven into a sheet and is placed over the muscle weakness or hole. The surgeon will then sew the mesh into the surrounding muscle so that the mesh fully covers the area. Over time, the mesh will strengthen around the mesh as the hernia continues to heal.

Meshes can be made of a variety of materials. The initial type of hernia mesh which was first used was made out of plastic-type material. The most common type of mesh is called polypropylene. This is also a material that is like plastic. In addition, there are meshes that are made out of polyester. The next generation mesh is made out of biological material, including parts from pigs and cows. These meshes are safer, but cost more money than the standard synthetic type mesh.

The synthetic meshes have caused a variety of complications. Some of these meshes have caused allergic reactions in the patients. In other instances, the mesh can become infected, leading to more severe complications. Finally, the mesh can fail or contract, leading to the requirement of an additional surgical procedure. In each of these instances, the patient is subjected to additional pain, suffering and expense. If you have had a hernia surgery that has involved mesh and have suffered from any complications, it is vital that you immediately contact a lawyer to discuss your legal rights.