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What are ventral hernias and how is surgical mesh used for treatment?
Ventral Hernias: Risk Factors and Symptoms
One of the most common types of hernias occurs when a person’s intestines push through a weak area of the abdominal wall muscles. This type of hernia is called a “ventral hernia.” A recent study indicated that patients undergoing abdominal surgery are at an increased risk for ventral hernias due to the weakening of the abdominal muscles at the site of the surgical scar. However, there are several risk factors that can make a person more susceptible to a ventral hernia.
Risk factors include:
- Prior abdominal surgeries
- Inujuries and trauma to the abdomen
- Lifting or pushing heavy objects
- Genetic predisposition for ventral hernias
Symptoms of a ventral hernia can range from severe pain and discomfort to no symptoms at all. Typically, patients notice a bulge or an area that is tender. Doctors often make a diagnosis after observing the area in question and ordering tests such as CT scans, ultrasound studies, and MRIs.
Common symptoms experienced:
- Pain in the abdomen
- Bulging in a specific area of the abdomen that often worsens with certain movements
- Nausea and vomiting
Untreated Ventral Hernias Cause Serious Injuries
Ventral hernias should be treated as soon as they are discovered because as the hernia grows it can become more difficult treat. Some of the most dangerous complications of a hernia are entrapment (strangulation) of the contents of the hernia. For example, a ventral hernia containing a patient's bowels can lead to a serious situation where the bowel loses blood supply and dies due to becoming entrapped. This situation often requires immediate surgical repair. In other extreme cases, intestines can become incarcerated. In this scenario, the intestines become trapped outside of the abdomen and often lose vital blood supply.
Hernias that have grown over 10 centimeters are considered “giant ventricular hernias,” They often grow so large that they can make separating the herniated tissue from the surrounding abdominal organs extremely difficult. In addition, once a hernia grows to such a large size, the risk of recurrence dramatically increases.
Treatment Options For Ventral Hernias
There are a few options for hernia treatment depending on the size and location. These treatment options include:
- Minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery to remove and repair the hernia via small incisions in the patient's abdomen;
- Laparotomy (open surgery) repair by making a large incision, pushing the tissue back into its proper location, and sewing the incision closed; or
- Mesh placement surgery requiring the surgeon to sew in a mesh “patch” over the area in which the surgeon pushed the patient's tissues back into their proper locations.
Problems With Surgical Mesh Used to Repair Hernias
Patients that have undergone hernia repair surgery in which a polypropylene mesh patch was implanted are reporting serious complications. These complications include pain, abdominal adhesions, bacterial infections, inflammation, intestinal obstruction, and even recurrence of their hernia. In most situations, additional surgeries are necessary to remove the implanted mesh and any damage it has caused internally.
Some of the most notable mesh products under investigation are Physiomesh, manufactured by a division of Johnson & Johnson, and Atrium's C-QUR hernia mesh. Due to overwhelming evidence of issues and a high failure rate, Johnson & Johnson's Physiomesh was recalled in May 2016.
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 an 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. The 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 gives 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.
If You're In Kentucky and Suffered from Hernia Mesh, Our Attorneys Can Help
Gray and White law is dedicated to defending the rights of Kentucky residents who have suffered unnecessarily due to infected hernia mesh. If you live in Kentucky and believe that a bacterial infection caused by your hernia mesh is leading to painful complications, contact our attorneys today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss the specifics of your situation.
How do talc-based powders cause ovarian cancer?
For many decades, women have trusted Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder to keep them fresh and dry. They added baby powder to their underwear as part of their daily routine without fear of what could happen.
But the Connection Between Talc and Ovarian Cancer Is Not New
As early as 1982, Dr. Daniel W. Cramer found a potential link between talc used in the genital area and ovarian cancer. Dr. Cramer is a professor at Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
In July 1982, Dr. Cramer published a study in the journal Cancer. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the study compared women with ovarian cancer who used talc on sanitary napkins or in their underwear to other women. The study found that talc exposure could be causing ovarian cancer, because when it is used in the underwear it can get into the vagina and upper genital tract.
Talc is a natural occurring mineral that is made up of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. When found in nature, talc may contain asbestos—a substance that is banned in the United States because it can cause a type of cancer known as mesothelioma. Dr. Cramer found “some support for an association between talc and ovarian cancer hypothesized because of the similarity of ovarian cancer to mesotheliomas and the chemical relation of talc to asbestos, a known cause of mesotheliomas.”
Dr. Cramer has called for warnings on talcum-based powders, including baby powder. He has reportedly told Reuters Health that it would be easy for women to avoid using talc-based powders in the genital area and that if women knew of the risk that they would avoid it. Dr. Cramer has also testified in lawsuits against the makers of talcum-based powders and products.
So far, no formal warnings have been issued regarding the potential link between talc and ovarian cancer. However, women have been successful in lawsuits against the makers of talcum-based baby powder and other personal care products. Accordingly, it is important to understand how talc powder may result in ovarian cancer and what to do if you or a loved one develop this dangerous condition.
Please share this blog post on Facebook or Twitter and help spread the news about what we know about talc powder and ovarian cancer with your friends, followers, and loved ones.
What is preemption, and how does it apply to a defective drug or medical device case?
The answer to this question begins with Article Six of the United States Constitution:
Only one law can be the supreme law of the land. While federal and state governments have the authority to create laws, federal law is the law that must be followed if the federal and state laws conflict.
The authority for this principle is found in the United States Constitution, as cited above. Article VI of the Constitution makes the laws of the United States “the supreme law of the land.” While this seems simple in the abstract, it often becomes more difficult and contentious when there is a state law that conflicts with a federal law. Accordingly, the legal doctrine of preemption developed from the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause.
The Constitution establishes that the laws and treaties of the United States are the supreme law of the land it does not address the issue of regulations created by federal agencies. The preemption doctrine has evolved over the years to include federal agency regulations and to mean that all federal laws, including regulations not passed by Congress but rather established by federal agencies, preempt all state laws.
While federal laws and regulations trump state laws and regulations, states retain the authority and the responsibility to enact and enforce state laws that do not conflict with federal laws.
When the federal government is explicit that the law preempts state law, then there is often no controversy. However, when the federal government does not specifically claim preemption over state laws and there is a conflict between federal and state law then the courts need to consider:
- If the federal government has “occupied the field” on the subject matter.
- Whether the state law directly conflicts with the federal law.
- Whether the state law would frustrate the intent of the federal law.
Preemption may be a concern in any area of the law, including matters regulated by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).
How Preemption Applies to Defective Drug or Medical Device Cases
The FDA regulates the pharmaceutical industry. However, there is often a dispute as to whether state laws preempt federal FDA regulations. The federal appeals courts and the Supreme Court have weighed in on this topic in several different decisions over the past decade. The issue in most cases is whether the FDA approval process preempts state safety laws. Currently, most state laws having to do with design defects are preempted by federal law and the courts rule in favor of the defense when preemption is raised, as was the case in two recent Essure birth control cases.
The issue of preemption is a complicated one, as are many aspects of defective drug and medical device cases. Accordingly, it is always important to explore all of your legal options and to speak with an experienced lawyer before pursuing a claim.
What are power morcellators and how do they increase cancer risks in women?
Surgery is rarely entered into lightly. Over the past two decades, many women have been advised of a minimally invasive procedure that could alleviate the pain or other symptoms of uterine fibroids. However, what these women were not always told was how the procedure would occur and that it could increase their chances of developing a potentially deadly form of cancer.
How Power Morcellators Are Used During Minimally Invasive Surgeries
A power morcellator is a medical device used during laparoscopic surgery. The power morcellator has a blade that can fit through a small incision and break up tissue in the body. The surgeon then extracts the broken-up pieces of tissue with a vacuum. Thus, surgeries with power morcellators require a smaller incision than traditional surgical methods to treat uterine fibroids or to perform a hysterectomy. Smaller incisions often result in shorter operating times, less blood loss, and shorter recovery times.
Why Power Morcellators May Increase the Risk of Cancer in Women
Unfortunately, the potential benefits of surgeries performed with power morcellators may be outweighed by the increased risk of cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates medical devices, estimates that approximately one out of every 350 women undergoing a hysterectomy or myomectomy with a power morcellator may have uterine sarcoma. This type of cancer is often not detected until after the procedure. However, if the hysterectomy or myomectomy is performed with a power morcellator, then small pieces of cancerous tissue—or individual cancerous cells—may be left in the body and may attach to other parts of the pelvis or abdomen. This can significantly and adversely affect a woman’s life expectancy.
For these reasons, the FDA is discouraging use of power morcellators for hysterectomies and myomectomies. Johnson & Johnson has also issued a voluntarily recall of its power morcellators and individual patients who developed cancer are filing lawsuits.
If you have had gynecological surgery with a power morcellator then we encourage you to speak to your doctor about the risks and about what screenings or follow-up care you may need.
What should I do if my child suffered a serious side effect from Risperdal?
You and your child’s doctor may not have been able to predict what would happen when your child began taking Risperdal to treat symptoms of Autism or other neurological conditions. However, there is no sense in going back and second guessing your decision. You did the best that you could with the information that was available to you and, once again, you will have to make the best decisions that you can for child based on the information that is now available to you.
Of course, your first step must be to get your child the medical care that he or she needs. Talk to your child’s doctor about what can be done to reverse the side effects of Risperdal and about what drugs may be taken in its place to treat the symptoms or condition that first prompted the prescription.
Then, if your child has suffered a serious side effect from Risperdal, it may be time to contact an experienced mass tort attorney. There may be other children, and parents, who are going through similar situations. Together, you may be able to bring a class action lawsuit to protect your child’s rights and to compensate your child for the significant harm that has already been done.
To learn more, we invite you to read the FREE resources available on the active mass tort section of our website and to contact us directly with any questions.
What does a Byetta pancreatic cancer lawyer do? Are there any in Kentucky?
If you are asking this question then you may have been recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer or you may love someone who has received this devastating diagnosis. While not all cases of pancreatic cancer lead to legal action, pancreatic cancer caused by the prescription drug Byetta is different.
What a Byetta Pancreatic Cancer Lawyer Does
The first thing that a Kentucky Byetta pancreatic cancer lawyer will do is answer your questions and ask you questions. Together, you and the attorney are going to want to determine if there is a possible case against Amylin Pharmaceuticals—the manufacturer of Byetta—or any other company involved in the development, distribution or marketing of this diabetes drug.
If you do have a possible claim then it will be up to you to decide whether or not you want to hire a Kentucky Byetta pancreatic cancer attorney. If you decide to hire a lawyer then your attorney may help you join a mass tort action so that you, and others who have been similarly injured by Byetta, can fight for the fair and just recovery that you deserve. That recovery may include compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering and other damages.
Learn What a Byetta Pancreatic Cancer Lawyer Can Do for You
There are local lawyers, such as us, who represent people who have developed pancreatic cancer from Byetta. Our attorneys would be pleased to answer your individual questions about what we do and how we can help you. Please feel free to contact us today via this website for more information.
I’ve been diagnosed with advanced stage pancreatic cancer after taking Byetta. I don’t know how much longer I have to live. Why should I file a Byetta pancreatic cancer case?
We are so sorry to hear about your diagnosis and your prognosis. You know, better than anyone else, how quickly your priorities changed once you knew that your life expectancy was shortened. You likely no longer care about some things that once mattered to you. Instead, you want to spend the rest of your life enjoying your loved ones and securing your family’s future.
A Byetta Pancreatic Cancer Case May Help You Do That
You want to do everything that you can to protect your family and filing a Byetta pancreatic cancer with the help of a Louisville attorney may allow you to do just that. Your family is suffering enough. They hate watching you suffer and they will mourn your loss. They should not also be burdened by the medical bills that you have incurred because of your illness, nor should their standard of living be affected by your inability to continue earning an income.
Make No Mistake
A Byetta pancreatic cancer case is not going to fix everything. It is not going to give you your health back and it is not going to ease your family’s emotional suffering. However, it could make things financially easier for your family and it could help prevent other families from having to go through this.
You do not have to make a decision today. However, we do invite you to begin learning more about your rights by browsing the free resources on our website and by contacting us directly for an initial consultation.
Why should I call a Kentucky mass action lawyer if I’ve taken Byetta and have pancreatic cancer? Related Links:
A diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, particularly at a late stage, can be devastating regardless of how or why you contracted the disease. As your doctors have likely discussed with you, the five year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is low. It is a difficult cancer to treat and it has, undoubtedly, changed your life and possibly shortened it.
While some instances of pancreatic cancer are unavoidable, there may be a connection between the drug Byetta and pancreatic cancer. Some studies have reportedly found a link between using Byetta and having pancreatic cancer. If Byetta caused your pancreatic cancer then you may have the right to recover damages for what has happened to you.
The truth is that defective drug cases are complex and expensive. They require extensive discovery and may require expensive expert witnesses. If you were try to pursue a case on your own then it could be prohibitively expensive.
However, that is not your only option. Instead, you can join with other people who have also taken Byetta and have pancreatic cancer. Together, you may be able to pool your resources so that you share in the expenses of holding the drug manufacturer responsible. Helping to make sure that you each get the fair and just recoveries that you deserve.
You deserve to have your questions answered individually and in depth. Please call us today or fill out our contact form on this website so that we can talk more about your specific options.
I have experienced a lot of stomach issues since I began taking diabetes medication. Could I have gotten cancer from taking Byetta in KY?
It’s possible. According to the FDA, the anti-diabetic drug Byetta can cause an increased risk of acute pancreatitis and altered kidney function. Shortly after the drug was released in 2005, several cases of pancreatitis were reported—including hemorrhagic and necrotizing pancreatitis—prompting the FDA to release a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy in 2009 that warned against the dangers of these serious side effects. However, the drug remained on the market, and over 7 million prescriptions for Byetta have been filled to date.
As part of its efforts to minimize risk, the FDA has urged doctors to educate their patients about the risks and early symptoms of pancreatitis to avoid the development of pancreatic cancer cells. Doctors must be vigilant about testing patients who are taking Byetta to detect the signs of pancreatic cancer as early as possible. If the diagnosis is made after the cancer has been allowed to spread, it is far less likely that any treatment will be effective against the disease.
Here are a few diagnostic tests that can help doctors detect the symptoms of Byetta pancreatic cancer:
- CT scan of the chest, back, and abdomen
- ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography)
- Endoscopic ultrasound
- Abdominal MRI
- Biopsy of the pancreas
If someone in your family has developed cancer from taking Byetta in KY, our Louisville diabetes drug attorneys can help you seek justice. Call Gray and White today at 888.450.4456 or fill out the contact form on the top of this page to get started on your FREE, one-on-one consultation. The call is free, and you owe is nothing unless we win your case.