Botched hernia operations are causing patients to suffer excruciating pain, hallucinations and projectile vomit fecal matter, according to victims who describe the new hernia mesh surgery as extremely dangerous.
Surgeons claim complications are rare for hernia mesh surgery, but more patients are coming forward and speaking out about issues they have experienced after the procedure.
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People who have had problems after hernia meshis inserted say the problems cannot be downplayed.
They have described hallucinations, projectile vomiting faeces, and skin color changes from a fecal build up in their bodies.
ABC reports: Western Australia resident Alan Thomson told the ABC he had endured years of excruciating pain after several hernia mesh operations.
He said at its worst, he got a bowel blockage and vomited up feces.
“The problem was that when they realised that my bowel was blocked, they were in the process of putting a tube down my nose into my stomach and I gagged,” Mr Thomson said.
“Then I looked down at myself and said to the nurses that probably the best thing you can do is actually stand me up and just hose me down.”
Mr Thomson plans to travel to the United Kingdom next month to get the mesh taken out, after he could not find a surgeon to do it in Australia.
Man says faecal build up changed his skin colour
Peter Mcilroy, also from Western Australia, said he had suffered complications from the insertion of mesh to fix several hernias.
“In the end I asked them why my skin was turning brown and then they took me away and found out I had peritonitis, and they reckoned the mesh had ulcerated my bowel,” he said.
Mr Mcilroy said his skin was turning brown, but medical staff simply put that down to him being tanned because he worked outdoors.
“They said ‘You work outside’ and I said ‘Yeah, but I don’t work in the raw’ and it was all over me,” he said.
Surgeons say mesh is safe
Board in General Surgery national chairwoman Kellee Slater said the mesh was the best form of hernia repair.
“There are certainly complications associated with hernia mesh, however the problem with abdominal hernias if you don’t use mesh, the hernia comes back 70 to 80 per cent of the time,” she said.
“The complications with mesh are in the order of 5 per cent, and all of the patients are warned about that before the mesh is put in.
“But there is no such things as a perfect mesh, but without them hernia repair does not work.”
Dr Slater said the mesh had been used for more than 20 years and the risk rate remained “reasonably constant and low”.
She said the benefits of fixing the hernia outweighed the risks.
In the United States, hernia mesh class actions claim the mesh had a faulty design.
US group Consumer Product Safety Commission said as of February, there were more than 54,000 hernia mesh lawsuit cases pending in state and federal courts.
Lawyers alleged the products caused internal injuries and other complications.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said hernia mesh manufacturers had recalled more than 211,000 units of hernia mesh from 2005 to March.
It said manufacturers recalled the hernia mesh after people reported failures and organ injuries following surgery.
The FDA blamed recalled mesh for some of the worst complications.