How do you know if your hernia mesh is causing a serious infection?

Symptoms of Hernia Mesh Infection

Chronic pain. Pain is perhaps the number one recognized symptom of a hernia mesh infection. This pain is often localized at the site of the hernia repair such as the groin or lower abdomen. The pain is often the result of scar tissue that has developed in the are of the hernia mesh or resultant nerve damage.

Persistent inflammation. Inflammation at the site of the hernia mesh is typically expected and necessary for the mesh to bond by promoting tissue growth. The problem arises when the inflammation process continues for a problematic period of time. This situation can cause pain and tenderness in the abdomen. If the area at or near the hernia repair site is warm to the touch this could be a sign of in infection caused by persistent scar tissue growth or a biofilm.

Less common signs of hernia mesh infections may include:

Seroma. A build up of fluid at the site of the hernia repair has been reported to be associated with infected hernia mesh.

Dental problems. Unexplained and sudden onset of brittle teeth may be a sign of infected hernia mesh.

Other more vague symptoms can include an overall feeling of malaise. This can be as innocuous as a fever, upset stomach, chills, or fatigue. If you experience these symptoms following a hernia mesh repair you should see a physician immediately.

Bacterial Biofilm & Chronic Hernia Mesh Infections

Infections involving biofilm involve multiple bacteria that aggregate and often adhere to a surface. The danger posed by this type of formation is that the normal treatment course often doesn't work; the aggregation of the bacteria give it greater strength to resist antibiotic therapy. Unfortunately, most infections associated with hernia mesh are biofilm infections and are not easily treated with antibiotics.

An infected hernia mesh will often require additional surgery to remove the mesh implant if a biofilm has formed. In severe cases, multiple surgeries may be required to remove all the necessary film and infected tissue to fully get rid of the infection. Our firm has seen horrible cases of infection where patients have developed what appears to be a biofilm infection but are not able to have the mesh removed due to the location of the implant.

Biofilm infections are becoming more common due to the rise in implanted medical devices such as hernia mesh.

Physiomesh hernia mesh and other types of hernia mesh are often implanted deep into he abdominal cavity. However, mesh placed in proximity to the bowel is in extreme danger of helping produce a biofilm if an infection occurs. Mesh manufacturers have marketed mesh as being ok to use in these deep implants when selling their products to surgeons to use in hernia repairs during minimally invasive procedures such as laparoscopic surgeries. This is thought to be one of the reasons why so many patients are developing problems with hernia mesh implants.

Matthew L. White
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Founder & Partner of Louisville Personal Injury Law Firm Gray & White Law