Keyport, NJIf you thought you were safe from hernia repair problems because you do not have a Kugel Mesh patch implanted, you may want to think again. Tracy B. does not have the Kugel Mesh Hernia Patch implanted. What she does have is the Bard Ventralex hernia patch, which according to her doctor is a "cousin" to the Kugel Mesh patch. Like patients with Kugel Mesh patches, Tracy is having problems with her hernia repair patch and requires surgery to have it taken out.
"I had a hernia recently, and I had severe abdominal pain," Tracy says. "I went to the hospital and they said I had a protruding hernia and the walls of my stomach were very weak [Tracy had suffered a hernia approximately three months prior to this, at which point the doctor manually pushed the hernia back in]. Because the walls of my stomach were so weak, the doctor had to put a mesh screen for support.
"After the surgery, the doctor did say that there were a few mesh screens that were recalled and it appeared that the mesh was irritating the area that it was in.
"I was hospitalized for a couple of days and then sent home. Throughout that month I was really uncomfortable and the discomfort would come and go. I kept thinking that something was not right and I was still in pain but I didn't know what was going on. Then, later, I was lifting something and I felt something tear in my stomach. I went to the ER and they did a CAT scan. The hernia wasn't protruding but it was very inflamed around the mesh screen. There was also a lot of scar tissue where the screen was put in.
"The doctor said they would have to do surgery, so they went in and removed a lot of scar tissue that had developed around the mesh screen, hoping that would ease some of the discomfort. I just started feeling better—like I was healing—when I started getting the same pain again.
"The pain is getting worse as days go on. There is a lot of pressure on my stomach. If I cough, sneeze or take a deep breath, the pressure is there. It's very uncomfortable—there is a lot of pain. I'm only 32 and it feels like I can't live a normal life. I can't pick up anything. Sometimes it feels like it takes the breath out of me. Sometimes it's so bad I break out in sweats. It feels like someone is sitting on my stomach and I can't breathe. It's hard to sleep because I can't sleep on my stomach but when I lie on my back there is pressure on my stomach. Sometimes, I have to sleep in a recliner chair, in an upright position.
"I saw the surgeon and she said they would have to take the mesh screen out because there were a lot of screens that were defective and recalled and the symptoms I have are common with other people's complaints. She said the screen that I have is almost a cousin to the Kugel Mesh patch and even though it hasn't been recalled, there are a lot of cases related to it with the same symptoms and complaints.
"The surgeon wants to get the screen out ASAP because I could develop an infection or the screen can break and perforate my intestines. It has been in my body for some time, so my muscles and tissues have grown around it. She said that this will be a major surgery, involving a lot of cutting.
"I have 2 jobs and a little girl [10 years old] and I am a school bus driver. Even when I am trying to drive there is pain. I'm sick of feeling sick. It's very frustrating to feel this way. I have been in constant pain. I can't walk around like this—I can't even function. It's upsetting when you're so young and you feel like you have a 70 year old body."
The Bard Ventralex Repair Patch is manufactured by Davol, the same company that makes the Kugel Mesh Patch.
I had an inguinal hernia operation in 2006 and a mesh screen (Auto Suture Surgipro) was attached by being sewn between layers of skin. I've never had any problems with the inguinal hernia mesh screen. However, in December 2011, the roughly ¼” surgical incision in my abdomen that was cut for the 2006 operation entry ruptured during a routine colonoscopy. The colonoscopy came back fine, but the incision ruptured and went undetected by doctors for 6 months. During that time, I developed a serious bacterial infection. In fact, 4 deadly bacteria were inside my body and I was a candidate for toxic shock. I received 2 back-to-back antibiotic treatments and after that the only source of pain was the ruptured abdominal incision area. This source of pain was when the incision was discovered to be ruptured. I also developed a “swishing” sound in my left ear around this same time, which still remains.
The surgeon suggested a mesh screen be installed in my abdomen to prevent future ruptures and this is when my situation went from bad to worse. The first abdomen operation was in May 2012, I was fine except within a few months my bowels became obstructed by scar tissue that was pushing against my intestinal track. The scar tissue was removed in a second operation in December 2012 and within a few months, the same problem occurred. Plus, it felt like someone was rubbing “sandpaper” or “broken glass” into my abdomen and my intestinal track. The pain was so bad that I couldn’t even walk around the block at that time. The third operation in October 2013 removed more scar tissue from my abdomen and now my intestinal track area was covered with scar tissue. After this operation, the “sandpaper/broken glass” pain decreased and about 6 months later my bowels were obstructed again. When I contacted the surgeon, he told the nurse to tell me that if “I want to go through this again, then it won’t be covered by insurance”. He basically blew me off.
I found another surgeon who agreed to see me under the following conditions: He would not remove the mesh screen, he would not testify in court, he would only advise me and referred me to a doctor at Stanford. At that point, I realized just how bad that these mesh screens can be. He explained what was happening to me and the side-affects from mesh screen implants when they are “tacked on” to the abdomen, the most sensitive skin in your body where all your vital organs are. The body rejects it and builds painful scar tissue over it. The scar tissue from the mesh was trying to stick together with the scar tissue on my intestines, creating bowel obstruction. The mesh had been “tacked on like wallpaper”, rather than sewn between the skin layers. The body was rejecting it, trying to protect itself from this foreign material.
I was then referred to Stanford. The doctor at Stanford was able to break loose the adhesions where the 7 surgical incisions were made from my three operations with a brief manipulation of my belly skin, which brought some temporary relieve. He gave me two options: 1.) Leave the mesh in and manage the pain. 2.) Remove the mesh, but you’ll become disabled (large hole left in my muscle tissue). I chose to leave it in and began going to an Osteopathic Doctor, who over several sessions (2 ½ years) was able to keep disrupting the attaching scar tissue and separate the abdomen from the intestinal track (…a large bruise from the inside of my abdomen appeared after the separation. Medical doctors claimed you can’t “separate” scar tissue, only “stretch” it. Either way, it worked!) So my bowel movements, after being obstructed for 3 years, which were initially barely discharging stool, finally opened up. My intestinal track environment of course suffered due to blockage and I have been trying to rebuild it ever since.
I still feel a sharp pain inside when I turn a certain way while sitting, or pain if my intestinal track is too full, or empty. I recently discovered in an Xray that metal clips were put in place to hold the screen, not dissolvable clips as indicated by the surgeon on the Operative Report. I believe that there has been shifting of the clips (possibly unknowingly from Osteopathic manipulation), which keeps reinjuring me internally when I sit a certain way or do any physical work. I’ve had internal inflammation and infection for which I have had to take antibiotics to suppress, which I believe is from the recurring injuries or the screen being rejected. My organs are healthy, but under slight stress in dealing with the screen associated problems. Initially, I was told that my gallbladder needed to come out (during the 2011 bacterial infection), but later exams by doctors proved that was not true. I still have my gallbladder. My kidneys had slight trouble filtering for a while, which again I believe was due to the initial toxicity of the screen being placed in my body. I’d like to find a doctor for a second opinion for removing the mesh screen in my abdomen and what the physical outcome would be after removal. I also have a mesh screen just below the middle of my ribs, which are a constant internal irritation.
Prior to the mesh screen surgeries, I never had any health issues. What should have been a simple routine operation and procedure (re-stitched, like the incision was from ’06-’11) has become an endless problem. I’m concerned that at some point, all these complications that are continuing will lead to other health problems or can bring on an early death. All I want is to be properly fixed, to be pain free and move on with life. I have spent my whole life investing into taking care of my body. I’ve taken my health seriously. I don’t drink alcohol (not even coffee), never smoked anything or take any type of drugs (except the prescription drugs during this current situation) my whole life. I’ve gone to a nutritionist since I was 19 years old (going to be 60 years in May 2016) and never had these problems occur until all of these surgeries. I used to do yoga, but it hurts too much now. I used to hike and backpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, but I feel pain when I walk around our neighborhood. Does anyone out there know of any doctors who are willing to remove mesh screens?
Posted by Phil
Such disputes have seen increase these days. Defective medical devices leads to severe health issues.
Posted by Steven Miles
Susan Heil-Davis I am in the same boat as you - it was helpful to see your post so as to confirm I am not the only one with these issues.
I had a total of 4 umbilical hernia operations from 2006-2008.
The second surgery they installed a mesh which had complications and they had to go back in a third time to 'fix' the issues. Still no resolution and lots of pain so the final 4th operation in the fall of 2008 they took the mesh out and installed a new mesh.
I kept seeing recalls but they kept saying my model mesh had not been recalled but each year the list grows and my mesh used the same coil spring technology.
The mesh that removed was:
Manufacturer : Bard
Type of mesh : Ventralex Hernia Patch
Size:4.3cm X 4.3cm
1.7 “ X 1.7”
Ref # 0010301
Lot # 431PD375
A new mesh was installed but I still have sharp pains and discomfort plus I think I have another umbilical hernia.
can you tell me if my mesh is now on the recall list? I know there is a statue of limitations but how does that work when the problems arise after the period ends?
Lawyers are not helping saying that they are not going after Ventralex. I cant understand why not.
Posted by Barbara
I know a Doctor in Daytona Fl. that removes the mesh, and all scare tissue. I met a patient and he was in the same issues we all are, and found Advance Hernia in Daytona Fl. and has been great and pain free. So Google Advance Hernia in Daytona Fl. Dr. Ranshaw....Good Luck too all of you.
Posted by Susan Heil-Davis
I have the Ventralex And Parietex Meshes inside my stomach. The Ventralex Mesh was used for 2 Umbilical Hernia's in 2008. The 2008 Surgery was put in by my bellybutton. The Parietex Mesh was done by Laparoscopic Surgery for 4 Hernia's, I have over 15 punctures wounds in my stomach where the mesh was put in me side to side in my stomach and it was done in 2010. I have an Incisional Hernia where they put the Mesh in me in 2010. The Incisional Hernia is the size of a little kick ball which is over 8" all around on the right side under my right breast, it is putting pressure on my ribs and my right lung the pressure is constant.
I have to have another Surgery again for Recurring Hernia's, with also having 4 or 5 More Hernia's this year in 2015. I have been having a lot of Excruciating Pains in my Stomach with having other problems, such as pressure on my bladder and my intestines (bowels).
I am tired of having to go back in Every 2 to 5 years, to have another Hernia Surgery.
Why, won't the Attorneys Help Us. We have the same kind of Meshes in us that, they have in them, the one's that have transvaginal meshes Or the bladder slings as we do, with having Hernia's.
[Attorney's, You Need To Help Us Too!]
We Have Abdominal/Stomach Hernia's and Others Probably Have Hernia's Else Where, Too!
But, We Need An Attorney, Too!!!!!
Posted by Lizd
My mothers initial mesh was put in to repair abdominal hernia in 1990 over next 12 years she had 3 additional surgeries where more mesh was added each time. 2001 Her body pushed a piece of the mesh through her stomach wall, which created an open trunk wound and bile expels when she digests food. She has managed this awful pain and complications with banages and over the last few years the fevers, vomiting, cellulitis have been more frequent. SO hard to convince her to see a surgeon - shes lived in pain and dealing with complications she fears surgery will make it worse.Has anyone had the mesh push out of their body and if so how did they repair?
Posted by Patricia Slankard
I had a ventral hernia surgery 05/18/2011 by Dr. R. In June 2014 I noticed a sore well below my naval, I let my family doctor look at it, he told me to go to a wound care doctor, she measured the depth, she took care of it until she could do no more and advised me to talk to my surgeon. He did the original surgery on 5/18/2011, he told me that the patch/mesh the mesh was coming through my stomach wall and set up the surgery for 10/8/2014. This is the most painful surgery I have ever had. The patch was Ventralex, by Bard and Davol Inc. I got out of the hospital 10/17/2014. To this day I have a nurse that comes everyday to clean out and change the drainage bag, my surgeon told me that it will take a long time to recover. I believe that the original surgery mesh/patch was the cause of all these problems including the pain.
Posted by mary ann
I had surgery in may of 2014 and about two months after the surgery started to get a sharp unbearable pain around the area where I had the umbilical hernia removed..i have a ventralex patch in and I think this is my problem...I sure hope this is not the issue..i do have adhesions and I have a feeling this is irritating this area...I am debating whether or not to go back to surgeon or pcp ...any suggestions....and does anyone know if I can have a mri due to this patch...please help
Posted by mrs.v
I had the Ventrio mesh inplanted in dec 2012 and it had to be removed dec 2014. it had punctured by bowel and caused a blockage. I'm constantly in pain. I have been looking for a lawyer. Everyone that i spoke with does not want to take the case because the mesh has not been recalled yet. if anyone know of a lawyer in the chicago area, please reply.
Posted by Stewart
Scheduled for incisional hernia, explained to doctor I didn't want mesh, only suture(no foreign substance) in my body. He stated, he will not perform the surgery without mesh. This is Kaiser. Really confused, I know the rate of recurrence is higher with suture, but I'm willing to take that chance. Any advice will be greatly appreciated
Posted by Christine Griffin
Need a lawyer bad getting second surgery major ,no lawyer will take my case bard ventralex patch call at 7 lawyers everyone said call another
Posted by T. Grundy
I also know how this feels. I had umbilical hernia repair in May 2013 and the mesh is the Ventralex St hernia patch. I have pain in the umbilical area and was told by a surgeon that the mesh had rolled. But I also have pain around the stomach area about 6 inches around the belly button that gets agitated by simply talking a lot, yelling or doing abdominal workouts. I went to another surgeon recently and he told me it wasn't possible to have the pain around the belly button because the nerves don't run there. I am so frustrated. When I had this done it was so much more painful than even giving birth. Does anyone else know anything about this?
Posted by Stacy Francis
@Trudy Zimmerman get a second opinion!!??
Posted by Bruce Centerwall
I had patches put in to repair my hernias in 2010. I occationally have some pain and pressure. Should I be concerned enough to tell my doctor about it ?
Posted by Trudy Zimmerman
Oh my God! I know how this girl feels. I cannot get a doctor to appoach this problem and I know that is what it is. I do have an restriction now and I also have gained two ulcers, H-Pylori and I have no life. I am off work and I have to get better or die!! Help me get a doctor to address this issue it is like it is something no one wants to fix!! I have to get help. Thanks Trudy
I have lost the last 4 years of my life!!! Just ask my family, friends and my employer!!
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