Hernia repair is one of the most common general surgery operations. There are nearly 1,000,000 hernia repairs performed every year in the United States, including incisional hernia repairs, which are hernias as a result of other surgeries.
Many times in hernia repair surgery a hernia mesh is used. This is a man-made prosthetic being placed in a sensitive and infection-prone area of the body, the abdomen. A recent outcry of patients against a product called Physiomesh, made by a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, highlights the need for large corporations to answer for marketing products that worsen the lives of those who use them. While a hernia usually does not ruin your life, some of the complications from the product can.
Laparoscopic hernia repair is becoming more common than traditional open surgery. Smaller incisions can be used now to perform the same surgeries using tubes and tiny surgical instruments. There are many advantages to laparoscopic surgery, but with these advances come possible complications. The failure rate of these newer mesh products can be high. We trust medical companies to investigate the consequences that their product will have in the real world. Doctors as well trust medical companies with their reputations. Instead of a formal recall, Physiomesh was “withdrawn from the market” in 2016.
Physiomesh, like most hernia meshes, was made of polypropylene, a polymer also used in automotive parts, packaging, tapes, and food containers. The material should not be used in the human body.
Physiomesh has been associated with many complications. Consider these life altering side effects that have led some to file suit against the makers of Physiomesh:
· Chronic pain
· Infection—signs are warmth, redness, and swelling
· Hernia recurrence: According to a recent study, 20% of Physiomesh patients experienced hernia recurrence within six months.
Potentially Fatal, Long Term
· Intestinal fistula: Allows gastric fluids to be discharged through the lining of the stomach, intestines, or colon.
· Abdominal abscess: An abscess is a pocket of inflamed tissue filled with pus.
· Tissue adhesion: An adhesion is a band of scarring that binds internal tissue or organs together—cause the majority of small bowel obstructions in adults and can also cause chronic pain
· Bowel obstruction: Prevents intestinal contents from passing normally through the digestive tract.
· Mesh fragmentation
If you have had any complications from a Physiomesh patch, please call us to discuss your potential case:
Legal pressure is the only thing that may prevent the next unethical product rollout.