Hernia mesh complications can strike patients of any age. When it happens, lives can be ruined due to the constant pain. However, there is at least some evidence that older patients are even more likely to suffer from complications after a surgery that they were told was routine and minor. Instead, they end up in continuous discomfort that stays with them for the rest of their lives, even after numerous surgeries to fix the problem.
Older Patients Need to Have Their Hernias Fixed
Many older patients and senior citizens do not have the time to wait out the hernia. Instead, when they have other comorbidities, a hernia can be an immediate threat to their health and surgery must be done sooner rather than later. Some doctors think that older patients and the elderly will not tolerate traditional hernia repair as well. They believe that a quicker surgery using hernia mesh is better for their well-being. However, this belief is often incorrect when the older patients end up suffering from lifelong complications.
There are some benefits to using hernia mesh in surgeries for patients over the age of 50 as well as the elderly. The surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis. Nearly all patients are able to return home on the same day and do not experience complications during the actual surgery itself. As a result, many doctors recommend this procedure using hernia mesh. In fact, surgical guidelines require doctors to offer hernia mesh as a default to patients.
Hernia Mesh Complications Begin After Surgery
However, in older patients, the complications will begin some time after surgery. Mesh migration and shrinkage can harm older patients and seniors as the mesh can fray and damage internal organs. Older patients may even be more likely to be harmed as their internal organs are not in the same condition as they were when they were younger. A medical device that was intended to make it easier for older patients to have hernia surgery can actually lead to even more harm.
Some older patients may actually suffer more profoundly from some side effects of hernia mesh surgery. Their internal organs are older and more susceptible to being damaged by migrating and fraying hernia mesh.
Still, experts recommend that elderly patients have their hernias fixed with a laparoscopic mesh surgery. They think that older patients should try to have their hernias fixed as easily as possible to avoid the need for emergency surgery later in time. Older patients should definitely not leave their hernias untreated. However, if they have the ability to consider other options, they should do so in order to avoid having a possibly defective medical device implanted in their body.
Older patients AND SENIOR CITIZENS need to consider their general health condition before making a hernia surgery decision. At a certain age and with certain health conditions, they may not have a choice about the type of hernia surgery that they have. However, patients over 50 who are in good general health have options when it comes to hernia surgery. If they have few or no comorbidities or preexisting conditions, they should consider hernia surgery without mesh to avoid the possibility of long-term complications.
Older and Elderly Patients Likely Need Hernia Mesh Surgery
However, the older the patient, the more of a chance that they will need to have hernia mesh surgery. If they do not treat the hernia, it can become symptomatic and painful. Left untreated, the hernia can grow worse. Without hernia mesh, some patients may not be able to have surgery at all. This does not minimize the harmful effects of hernia mesh.
What older patients need to minimize is that chance of needing emergency surgery. The hernia procedure itself is generally not fatal, even for elderly and older patients. However, the fatality rate does increase when the patient requires emergency surgery. This means that older patients, with possibly a heightened sensitivity to pain, will be living the rest of their lives with hernia mesh in their bodies.
Patients Need to Talk to Their Doctor About Their Options
For older patients, the first thing that they need to do is to have an extensive conversation with their doctor before they decide on the way to deal with their hernia. They should have a strong understanding of their comorbidities and preexisting health conditions. These patients also need to learn all of their options.
It is practically a given that their doctor will first discuss hernia mesh surgery with them. For some older patients, they will need a hernia mesh procedure because that is the only way to get their surgery fixed. However, patients need to question their doctors closely about all of their options, so they can learn of alternatives to hernia mesh surgery and whether they are suitable candidates for those other types of surgery.
If older patients and seniors have hernia mesh surgery and experience severe pain after the surgery or any other complications, they can still file a hernia mesh lawsuit. Even if hernia patients are no longer working, they can still receive compensation for hernia mesh complications. They should contact a hernia mesh lawsuit attorney to learn more about what type of compensation they can receive for their injuries.