Thompsons Solicitors’ specialist medical negligence claim lawyers answer some of the most frequently asked questions about making a medical negligence claim as a result of hernia mesh complications.

We urge anyone who thinks they have been injured as a result of a hernia mesh procedure to contact their GP immediately to explore the cause of their pain. If a GP concludes that a mesh implant is the cause of your suffering, or if they cannot explain it and you think it’s related to a mesh implant, Thompsons Solicitors’ specialist medical negligence lawyers are on hand to use their significant legal expertise to advise on starting a claim for compensation.


  1. What is a hernia?

A hernia is when an organ, or fatty tissue, most commonly in the groin, pushes through a weakness in the muscle or tissue surrounding it, often causing a bulge under the skin.


  1. What are the symptoms of a hernia?

Hernias often don’t have symptoms, but signs of a hernia can include a swelling or lump, most often in the abdomen or groin area. It can, but not always, cause pain or discomfort in the affected area, particularly when bending over, coughing or lifting. The lump can often be pushed down and can disappear when lying down. If you think you have a hernia and experience any of the following symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention:

  • sudden, severe pain
  • vomiting
  • difficulty passing stools (constipation) or wind
  • the hernia becomes firm or tender, or can't be pushed back in.


  1. Why are hernia symptoms dangerous?

Hernia symptoms can be signs that the blood supply to a section of an organ, or tissue trapped in the hernia, has become cut off - known as ‘strangulation’. Equally, it can be a sign that a piece of bowel has entered the hernia and has become blocked - known as ‘obstruction’. An obstructed bowel or strangulated hernia are medical emergencies and need to be treated as soon as possible.  


  1. What is a hernia mesh repair?

A hernia mesh repair involves a surgical procedure. The medical insertion of mesh has been a regular procedure to repair the muscle damage caused by conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or stress urinary incontinence (SUI), and is also commonly used for hernia mesh repair surgeries. The most common material used for a mesh implant is polypropylene, the same material used in bottle caps.


  1. What does a hernia mesh repair operation involve?

There are two types of hernia mesh repair operation:

  1. Open surgery: A cut is made and the bulge of the hernia is pushed back through the weak spot before the muscle is reinforced with a mesh patch.
  2. Laparoscopic surgery (also known as ‘keyhole surgery’): The muscular weakness is repaired by inserting mesh through the lining of the abdominal wall. Keyhole surgery can also be performed to repair the muscle weakness without going through the abdominal lining.

If you, or a loved one, is advised to have surgery, it is important that the surgeon discusses all of the potential benefits and risks of the procedure. It has been found that the risks associated with mesh implants have not always been clearly explained to patients in the past, and many have experienced pain from their mesh implants without even knowing it had been inserted.


  1. What are the dangers of hernia repair with mesh?

Approximately 70,000 surgical inguinal hernia repairs are performed in England each year, and the number of patients reporting complications is increasing. The mesh patches that are used to strengthen weakened muscle walls can start to shrink, causing a number of issues. For example, they then start to erode which causes pain as the mesh cuts through tissue and nerve endings.

If you, or a loved one, are experiencing discomfort or pain after undergoing hernia mesh surgery, it’s important that you speak to a healthcare professional as soon as possible; they will be able to offer on advice on whether the mesh implant is the cause of your suffering and recommend a course of potential treatment. We also recommend getting in touch with Thompsons Solicitors’ medical negligence lawyers for legal advice about your rights as we are already representing more than 150 patients who have been affected by mesh-related injuries.


  1. I’m suffering from hernia mesh pain years after surgery, can I still make a claim?

Yes. You can make a compensation claim up to three years from the date your injury occurred or the date from which you could reasonably have known that your symptoms were caused by medical treatment you received.


  1. How long does a hernia mesh claim take?

Hernia mesh claims vary in the length of time they take to settle. They can be very complicated and, depending on the situation, can sometimes take several years to settle. This is why working with expert specialists, who have a proven record of accomplishment, such as Thompsons Solicitors, is so important. We have the skills and expertise to bring eligible hernia mesh claims to a successful conclusion as quickly as possible. 

Every case is different but Thompsons Solicitors will always seek to secure maximum compensation in the shortest time possible.


  1. How much will it cost?

If you, or a close family member, belong to a trade union, Thompsons Solicitors can provide you with free initial support. We offer special terms for medical negligence claims for union members across the UK – visit our trade unions page to find out more about what you’re entitled to as part of your membership.

If you’re not a trade union member, speak to one of our experts about other funding options available – including conditional fee agreements, commonly known as ‘no win, no fee’. More information about fees can be found on our Fees and Payment page. As part of our pledge, we remain committed to being clear and transparent about fees and costs, ensuring our clients feel in control of their case each and every step of the way.