Defective Hernia Mesh and Bowel Obstructions

Sometimes you just have to marvel at the complexity of the human body. Billions upon billions of cells linked in a variety of systems working in concert to keep us thinking, feeling, moving and growing. But when one of those crucial systems is compromised, it can threaten the entire living being.

Bowel obstructions

Partial or complete intestinal blockages that prevent normal passage of food, fluids and gas – are serious medical conditions that can lead to life-threatening compromises. There are a variety of ways they can occur, including: tumours, fecal impaction and certain medications that affect the digestive tract.  

Complications from surgery, including ones involving defective hernia mesh, can also lead to bowel obstructions. When post-operative scar tissue or adhesions (bands of scar tissue) form in the large or small intestines, the resulting blockages can lead to acute or chronic health problems.

In this blog post I examine why defective hernia mesh can cause bowel obstructions, some symptoms of bowel obstructions, and what kinds of options are available to fix these issues.

How Does Defective Hernia Mesh Cause Bowel Obstructions?

As the body heals from surgical procedures, some scar tissue forms at the site of incisions or stitching. While this is expected, if a foreign object like defective hernia mesh is implanted into the body subsequent movement, shrinkage, or adhesion of the skin to the material can produce enough scar tissue to intrude on nearby organs such as the large and small intestines.

If this scar tissue or these adhesions prevent the body’s digestive tract from functioning normally, many painful and sometimes deadly symptoms can occur.

Symptoms of Bowel Obstructions

Following a hernia operation some pain during the recovery period can be expected. However, if you experience abdominal pain, cramps, or swelling or distension of the abdomen beyond the anticipated recovery period, you should consult a medical practitioner to rule out a bowel obstruction.

Other symptoms of bowel obstructions include: nausea and vomiting, constipation or diarrhea, inability to have a bowel movement or pass gas, fever, dry mouth or bad breath.

Left untreated, bowel obstructions can sometimes cause a perforation in the small intestine or colon that allows fecal matter to leak into the peritoneal cavity causing infection,

Bowel obstruction can lead to a hole, or perforation, in the small intestine or colon. This is called a perforated bowel. It can allow the contents to leak into the peritoneal cavity. This can lead to severe infection and septic shock.

What Can Be Done?

If defective hernia mesh is found to be the cause of a bowel obstruction, revision surgery is often required to remove or replace the damaged mesh and surrounding scar tissue. There is a risk that some of the damage caused by the defective mesh, particularly nerve damage, may be permanent.

Have you or a loved one had Hernia Mesh implanted specifically for hernia repair and had serious complications including bowel obstruction, infection, wound reopening, chronic pain, or had revision or repair surgery? You may have been a victim of a product that was defectively designed and you may be entitled to compensation.

Please contact our personal injury and product liability lawyers for a free review of the circumstances behind your condition and to learn about your options for legal remedies.

For more information or to speak about a hernia mesh lawsuit in Canada, please contact product liability lawyer Paul Miller at 416-646-3901 or by email at

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