Hernia Mesh Lawsuit
Illinois resident Matthew Huff filed the Ethicon Physiomesh lawsuit that goes to trial January 22, 2018. Huff had the Physiomesh implanted in 2013 to repair an abdominal wall hernia but he was back in hospital two years later suffering from severe abdominal pain, fever, chills and redness on his abdomen, according to his complaint.
Due to infection in and around the Physiomesh, Huff suffered severe damage to his abdomen and intestines—two abdominal abscesses and intestinal fistulas from the mesh that required another surgery. In his lawsuit, Huff accuses Ethicon (a J&J subsidiary) of negligence, strict liability, and breach of warranty, and alleges that Ethicon designed an “unreasonably dangerous and defective product”, according to court documents. The lawsuit also claims that the Physiomesh was not adequately tested and it did not meet Ethicon’s usual standards and requirements. (Case No. 3:16-cv-00368)
The Physiomesh is just one of several hernia mesh products facing lawsuits for allegedly causing mesh-related complications. Other abdominal mesh brands include:
• Atrium Medical’s C-Qur Hernia Mesh
• C.R. Bard’s Sepramesh
• C.R. Bard’s Ventralex ST Hernia Patch
• C.R. Bard’s 3DMAX Mesh
Hernia Mesh Study
A study published last month in JAMA, titled “Recurrence and Mesh-Related Complications After Incisional Hernia Repair” indicated that patients with hernia mesh have a lower rate of hernia recurrence, but complications can occur up to five years after surgery. And patients with mesh suffered more complications, often requiring major and additional surgeries.
The study’s authors wrote the following:
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Over five years the rate of complications was greatly increased. Out of those study patients, an astounding 1,050—almost one-third-- required subsequent abdominal surgery. Major complications included bowel obstruction, perforation and bleeding. And the larger the mesh, the increased risk of complications.
Doctors perform about 800,000 hernia repairs in the U.S, and surgeons typically use mesh as the gold standard of care. But this study may lead to doctors to question the current practice of abdominal mesh to repair hernias, particularly large pieces of mesh.