In May 2016, Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary company, Ethicon issued an “URGENT FIELD SAFETY NOTICE” alerting surgeons that it was voluntarily recalling a product. The product was Physiomesh, a composite mesh used mainly in hernia repair surgery.
This is not the first such recall that has been made. However, all the FDA and manufacturer recalls don’t add up to the pain and suffering that has been—and still is—experienced by hernia repair patients.
A History of Recalls
In 2013, Atrium Medical recalled over 140,000 C-QUR hernia meshes. Of course, that was merely for improper packaging, but even improper packaging can be dangerous in the demanding, sterile world of the operating room. Many other manufacturers have pulled their products for much worse reasons:
- Ethicon, 2014: Improper packaging believed to make meshes lose their “coating,” creating a greater risk of bowel adhesions. (When the mesh attaches itself to an organ.)
- Bard Davol, 2007: Meshes tended to “break,” leading to bowel perforation and chronic fistulas. (Fistulas are abnormal “passages” made between two organs, or an organ and another surface.)
- Bard Davol, 2005–2006: Same problem as above, slightly different meshes.
- Ethicon, 2005: Meshes had the potential to lose their “coating,” allowing them to adhere to the bowels and cause fistulas.
The fact is, even the composite meshes that are currently on the market, being implanted in hernia patients every day, are downright dangerous and should NOT be used. Though hernia mesh does decrease the chances of a hernia reoccurrence, it also causes a host of side effects.
The Link Between Mesh and Chronic Pain
Up to 50% of men who have had surgery involving hernia mesh experienced chronic groin pain that can be debilitating. One sufferer said, “Think of when a sportsman gets kicked in the groin area and falls to the ground in pain. That’s what my pain can be like.” The man, who had the hernia repair procedure 14 years ago, spent years and the equivalent of almost $7,000 of his own money on private clinics, trying to find out what was causing his pain.
Another member of the group, who had hernia surgery four years ago, was left with a permanent limp. “I can no longer ride my bike, go fishing, I work part-time,” he said. “The pain in the lower stomach and groin area makes me feel physically sick. I have no private life. For years no one could tell me what is causing this pain.”
Surgical mesh has been linked to chronic pain and other severe side effects. Flu-like symptoms, inflammation, lack of healing, autoimmune reactions, intestinal blockage, nerve damage, bleeding, swelling, and dental problems have all been associated with mesh. Chronic infection that can’t be treated with antibiotics is one of the most dangerous side effects of mesh in one’s body because it can result in sepsis, a potentially fatal condition. Some patients have opted to have their meshes surgically removed. Unfortunately, this is not always possible, because in some cases the mesh and internal tissues, including organs, have grown together.
We Are Taking on “Big Mesh”
If you have had mesh inserted into your body and are experiencing severe side effects, you may have grounds for a hernia mesh lawsuit. Rhine Law Firm, P.C., is currently rolling out a nationwide campaign about the dangers of hernia mesh, as well as filing class-action lawsuits against several prominent manufacturers. If you had hernia surgery after 2007, you may be a candidate. To find out more, call the experienced defective product attorneys at Rhine Law Firm, P.C., for a free consultation. Dial (910) 772-9960 today.