A hernia is a medical condition that occurs when a part of an organ or tissue – often the stomach or part of your intestine – pushes through a weakened layer of muscle in your abdomen. Hernias can cause intense pain or discomfort to patients, especially when engaging in strenuous physical activity.
In some severe hernia cases, the protruding tissue can die, lose its blood supply or get infected, which calls for immediate surgery. Unfortunately, surgeries can, at times, develop serious complications.
Five Common Complications After Hernia Surgery
- Hernia Mesh Complications
A hernia mesh is a sterile woven material used by surgeons to treat a hernia. It is placed on the open hernia using surgical glue or tacks and helps to strengthen the muscle wall and prevent the recurrence of the hernia. Although it is an effective treatment method, some hernia products have been associated with a higher complication prevalence than others resulting in some companies recalling their products due to manufacturer defects.
If you underwent a hernia mesh repair surgery and are experiencing severe complications, you may be eligible for a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the defective hernia mesh. Filling a hernia mesh lawsuit can be complicated and requires you to work with skilled personal injury lawyers.
- Surgical Complications
In most cases, surgeons will use laparoscopic surgery, which poses a low risk of surgical complications than open surgery. Most often, surgical problems occur when creating ports or accessing the abdominal cavity. Some common surgical complications include vascular injuries, injuries to the abdominal pelvic structures, and nerve injuries. Most surgical complications are usually notable within 24 hours after the surgery.
- Urinary Retention
Urinary retention is common in patients after an open inguinal hernia repair. This complication is widespread among middle-aged or elderly male patients with an enlarged prostate. Studies show a 0.37% urinary retention after herniorrhaphy under local anesthesia, 2.42% with patients under regional anesthesia, and 3% with patients under general anesthesia. This urinary retention is thought to result from the regional and general anesthesia’s inhibitory effects on the bladder function.
The surgical procedure carries the risk of infection in itself. However, you are more likely to develop an infection if your hernia was strangulated, resulting in tissue death and decay (necrosis) or a blockage of the intestines. Additionally, you could also develop an infection from the hernia mesh used in the treatment procedure.
Hernia recurrence usually presents as a late complication to hernia surgery. It usually results from deep infection or excessive tension of the repaired tissues. In most cases, hernia recurrence is caused by the patient’s overactivity before the tissue around the repaired hernia is adequately healed. Another common causative agent for hernia recurrence is smoking. Smoking is said to cause an increase in proteolytic enzymes and a decrease in protective factors essential for healing.
Post-surgery chronic pain is a prevalent occurrence after hernia surgery. While it is expected that a patient may experience pain after a surgery, pain that lasts for more than three months post your surgery and after your wound is healed should be a cause for alarm. Chronic pain is an indication of underlying post-surgery complications which a surgeon must investigate.
Hernias can cause a lot of pain, discomfort, and even death in severe cases. Although there may be complications to hernia surgery, it is the only known method of hernia treatment. While this post does not intend to scare you from undergoing hernia surgery, it’s imperative to know the possible risks. More importantly, you need to understand that a hernia mesh lawyer can help you seek compensation if your hernia surgery complications resulted from someone else’s negligence.