A ventral hernia is a bulge of tissues, intestines, or organs that works its way through an opening in a patient’s abdominal wall. These openings can happen due to an unnatural defect, a disease, an injury such as a puncture wound, or a surgical incision. Most hernias tend to happen where a patient’s tissues are abnormally thin or weak from a previous injury or condition.
Ventral hernia patients are often required to undergo surgery where the bulge is repaired and stitches are placed to close the opening. These types of repairs can be time intensive and often include a painful recovery process. To improve the recovery process for hernia patients, surgeons have started using hernia patches to keep the tissues and internal organs in place while allowing the abdominal wall to naturally heal over time.
These patches are usually made from a porous type of prolene polypropylene mesh that’s flexible and is naturally absorbed into the body’s tissue. This allows the patient’s abdominal walls to become stronger over time. The patches are naturally accepted by the body and generally do not cause adverse reactions of any type.
Until now. In May 2010, a company called Ethicon placed a new version of surgical hernia mesh on the market called Physiomesh. Ethicon wasn’t required to test the mesh patch on humans since the manufacturers claimed it was just like other types of patches that were seeing success nationwide.
This claim wasn’t true, however. Physiomesh patches have notable differences from most hernia patches on the market. As a result, many hernia patients around the U.S. who have had the Physiomesh patch inserted are now experiencing painful adhesions, hernia recurrence, and other adverse reactions. Mass torts lawsuits are currently being filed against the manufacturer.
If you or a loved one has had Physiomesh hernia mesh inserted during a surgical procedure and are experiencing adverse conditions and/or pain, you should see your doctor immediately. Wisconsin residents are encouraged to speak with a Wisconsin Physiomesh hernia mesh lawyer as soon as they can. Filing a claim can help your family recover from a painful mistake that should not have occurred. Ethicon had no right to make faulty claims about their product.
What’s Harmful About Ethicon Physiomesh Hernia Mesh?
Ethicon’s Physiomesh hernia mesh is completely different than most types of hernia mesh that commonly see success in hospitals around the U.S. It’s technically a composite mesh. Most types of hernia mesh are created using bioabsorbable components that are naturally absorbed into the body. Physiomesh is not.
Physiomesh is defined as an intraperitoneal onlay mesh (IPOM). The porous mesh is surrounded by thick polymer films that are supposed to add extra support. Instead, the films have been known to cause a foreign body reaction. The films themselves are not bioabsorbable, so the human body views the Physiomesh patch as a foreign object. The tissues are forced to grow “on” it rather than absorb it. This causes painful adhesions to develop over time. Inflammation and infection also often result.
Other complications and reactions include the following:
- Severe pain
- Dense, scar-like adhesions that grow inside the body and are extremely painful
- Shrinkage or tearing of the mesh patch
- Migration of the patch
- Bowel obstruction
- Hernia recurrence
- Fluid that builds up under the surface of the skin (referred to as seroma)
Victims of complications caused by adverse reactions to the Physiomesh mesh hernia patch are generally required to undergo a second surgery to remove the patch and repair the damaged tissue. The recovery process can be considerably long and painful depending on how long the patch was inside the body and the extent of the damage that was caused.
Get Help from a Wisconsin Physiomesh Hernia Mesh Lawyer
In May 2016, Johnson & Johnson issued a recall for Ethicon Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh. The recall stated that the main factors were related to hernia recurrence which occurs due to a “multifactorial issue” that includes operative factors, patient factors, and product characteristics. The patches have since been removed from sale and the defects are currently under investigation. Johnson & Johnson has stated that they have no intention of making the patches available for purchase again.
This recall comes too late for patients who have had the Physiomesh hernia mesh patch inserted into their bodies, however. For many patients who have suffered from conditions related to the patch’s complications, a simple product recall will not give them their health back—or the compensation they may have lost due to doctor’s bills, wages they may have lost, and more.
Ethicon prioritized profit over the health and safety of U.S. citizens by rushing the Physiomesh patches to market rather than ensuring the proper testing procedures were completed. The preclinical simulated testing results that were performed even pointed to complications. Ethicon blamed the results on the study’s design. Soon after, the company was granted access to the FDA’s fast approval program which allowed them to skip additional tests and market the patches.
As a Wisconsin personal injury law office that believes in protecting U.S. citizens from corporations that prioritize profit over the health and safety of our nation, Urban & Taylor, S.C. is proud to open our doors to individuals who have been harmed by Ethicon’s Physiomesh hernia mesh patches and wish to file a lawsuit. Corporations who push products to market unlawfully need to pay the consequences.
Our lawyers are committed to doing whatever we can to force Ethicon to pay those consequences and ensure no one gets harmed by future products the company may manufacture. By filing a lawsuit, you and your loved ones can also potentially receive compensation that can go towards recovery costs, loss of wage costs, pain and suffering costs, and more.
Get in touch with a Wisconsin Physiomesh hernia mesh lawyer to find out how. Call our Milwaukee office today.