A hernia is an abnormal opening or a tear in tissue that lets other organs, such as the intestine, slip through where they shouldn’t. Hernias usually appear in the groin or the abdominal wall. Some hernias, though, occur in the area where an incision has been made during another surgery. While some hernias can go undetected, most require surgery. As a result, over one million hernia operations take place every year in the United States. In the late nineties, a breakthrough product for hernia surgeries was announced the Kugel Mesh Patch. Mesh patches had already become a common treatment for post-operative hernias. What made the Kugel Mesh Patch unique, however, was its patented “recoil ring,” which allowed the patch to be folded then popped into place over the tear. This technology meant smaller incisions, fewer stitches, less pain and, as a result, shorter recovery periods.
Over the next several years, complications resulting from hernia operations using the Kugel Mesh Patch began to be registered with the manufacturer, Davol, Inc and the FDA. As a follow-up, the FDA launched an investigation into the complaints. Subsequently, the company announced a recall urging doctors to stop using the patch because the recoil ring was found to break under pressure. The broken ring can result in tearing of the patient’s internal organs and tissues.
Symptoms of bowel perforation include severe abdominal pain which is intensified by movement. Later symptoms include nausea, vomiting, fever and chills. Intestinal fistula, another condition linked to the Kugel Mesh patch, is defined as abnormal passages from the intestines to either an internal organ or the body surface. Symptoms mirror those of a bowel perforation but tend to be more severe in nature. Most fistulas require surgical treatment. Although there have been many advancements in the field of intestinal surgery, intestinal fistula remains a major clinical problem associated with high morbidity and mortality.
The FDA reports that 4 complaints regarding the Kugel Mesh Patch have been confirmed. However, research shows that nearly a hundred injuries and other issues have risen from the defect in the recoil ring, including some fatalities. Cases of raging abdominal infection, bowel perforation and chronic intestinal fistula are among the many issues reported. Most patients have experienced several subsequent surgeries and a rapid decline in overall health following the use of the Kugel Mesh Patch.
What to do
If you are experiencing unexplained and persistent abdominal pain, fever and tenderness following a hernia operation, you need to obtain medical attention immediately.
Copyright (c) 2007 Joe Devine