A simple hernia repair results in a lifetime of despair

 “The mesh that was put inside of me has caused so much damage that none of the nerves can ever be repaired.  Now I face a lifetime of pain and struggle because of it.” – Jim Shull, Browns Mills, NJ

When Jim Shull had surgery to repair a hernia in 2006, his doctor told him that that he would be walking up stairs in three days and back to work in two weeks.  Six years later, he is still living with daily pain from the surgical mesh used during the procedure that has caused severe nerve damage and other debilitating complications.

Jim has been in pain since waking up from his surgery and has found little relief.  When his original surgeon was unable to explain why he was in so much pain, he sought answers from a second doctor who told him that the surgical mesh was responsible.

After almost two years of unbearable pain, he underwent surgery to remove the mesh.  His surgeon explained that the mesh had hardened and encapsulated the two main nerves in his groin.  The mesh was so hard that when Jim moved it was acting like a saw and cutting into the surrounding tissue.  Jim is now on permanent disability and continues to suffer each day from the injuries he sustained from the surgical mesh.

The FDA has received complaints from patients about surgical mesh used for hernia repair, including complications such as adverse reactions to the mesh, adhesions, and injuries to nearby organs, nerves, or blood vessels.

Consumers Union urges Congress to adopt the Senate provision in the FDA User Fee Act that that requires 522 post-market studies, ordered by FDA when problems arise like those associated with surgical mesh, to begin within 15 months of being ordered. Until these studies are completed, patients continue to receive potentially flawed implantable devices. It is critical for the studies to be started and completed in a timely manner to prevent harm to patients.

 The House version of the bill does not contain this critical reform.

For information contact Lisa McGiffert at lmcgiffert@consumer.org