Recovery from hernia repair surgery can vary, but the patient should feel relatively better than just before the surgery. Nevertheless, the FDA has received hundreds of reports of adverse events following surgeries involving hernia mesh. Reported complications include:
- Hernia recurrence
- Scar-like tissue that sticks tissues together (adhesion)
- Blockage of the large or small intestine (obstruction)
- Abnormal connection between organs, vessels, or intestines (fistula)
- Fluid build-up at the surgical site (seroma)
- A hole in neighboring tissues or organs (perforation)
- Migration and mesh shrinkage (contraction)
In addition to the complications above, the memory-recoil ring in some mesh hernia patches, such as Kugel mesh, have also proven to be unsafe. The memory-recoil allows a surgeon to fold the mesh in half when it is implanted. After implantation, the patch then springs back into place over the hernia. The ring is prone to breaking and can cause serious medical problems, including bowel obstruction, bowel perforation and chronic enteric fistulas. The FDA has received numerous reports of patients who were injured or died as a result of problems with mesh hernia patches. Since 2005, mesh hernia patches have been subject to at least three recalls by medical device makers and the FDA.
The most serious complications or adverse events occurring after hernia mesh surgery can range from severely painful at the very least to life-threatening at the worst and may require revision surgery. However, before considering any surgical procedure or starting any new treatments, it is important that you first speak with your doctor. Together, you and your doctor can explore the best options for you and your specific medical needs.