BY: Kenneth T. Watkins | IN: Personal Injury
Several months ago, you had hernia surgery. You’d likely already suffered through months or even years of pain and discomfort from a hernia of some type – inguinal, hiatal, or even incisional from a previous surgery – as the problem worsened.
You saw a doctor who referred you to a surgeon, saying it was your only option. The surgeon reviewed your case and discussed the repair, which included the use of hernia mesh to make a recurrence less likely. She said this is the “gold standard” for repairing hernias.
Though you didn’t exactly look forward to it, you booked the surgery and underwent the procedure thinking the problem would be resolved.
As you woke up from the anesthetic, the surgeon told you that the operation was a success and the repair went well. The hernia should no longer bother you.
You were sent home with aftercare instructions and a warning about not lifting anything heavy for several weeks. The nurses said complete recovery could take up to eight weeks and you should take it easy until then.
So, you spent the next eight weeks recuperating, followed the aftercare instructions, and looking forward to a full recovery. Except you didn’t feel better. As your incision healed and you got your strength back, you noticed that there was still pain in in the area of the hernia. In fact, it may have been worse than the pain from the hernia.
The eight weeks of recovery came and went, but three months post-surgery the pain was still there. It was so bad you may have had trouble sitting or standing, and going to work or even doing tasks at home were out of the question. You took more time off than you expected, and it was unpaid because, between surgery and recovery, you used up all your sick days for the year.
The pain got so bad, you booked an appointment to see your surgeon. She listened and then delivered the bad news: the hernia mesh she used in your surgery was the likely cause of your pain.
What the surgeon may or may not have told you is that the problem is very common. Though hernia mesh is widely used, studies have shown it has a high rate of complications, resulting in warnings issued by the FDA. Though it wasn’t your doctor’s fault, the mesh may have migrated or your body rejected it, causing severe pain, including nerve pain, that could have been life-altering.
If this story is your story, then your surgeon has probably discussed your options with you already, and none of them are great:
Whether you’ve had to proceed down one of these paths or are currently considering which treatment to pursue, you’ve already lost a significant amount of money dealing with the problem, with more expected. Between lost earnings, medical expenses, other out-of-pocket costs, and pain and suffering, all of this can quickly add up.
You now need to pursue another option – legal action. Anyone who has had problems with hernia mesh should consider a lawsuit against the manufacturer – particularly if it’s a brand known to have problems.
An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help guide you through this process and offer options to recover some or all of your costs, and even compensation for your pain and suffering. Please contact us at Sommers Schwartz as soon as possible to discuss your situation.
View all posts byKenneth T. Watkins
Kenneth T. Watkins is an accomplished trial attorney and Senior Shareholder with Sommers Schwartz. Over the course of his career, he has obtained numerous multimillion-dollar settlements. His achievements include one of the largest seven-digit medical malpractice cases in Macomb County in 2008, and his election to membership in the exclusive Million Dollar Verdict Club.