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Hernia Mesh Failure Symptoms Should Be Addressed Immediately

Hernia repair mesh has been voluntarily taken off of the market by Ethicon, a medical devices unit of Johnson & Johnson leading experts to speculate the device can do more harm than good

Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - Laparoscopic hernia repair surgery is one of the most frequently performed medical procedures in the world. For decades hernia repair was performed using traditional surgical methods with great success. Studies reported that only 1 to 10 percents of hernia repair patients needed a second or more surgery to repair a hernia that had reoccurred. Hernia repair mesh, a breakthrough medical device, lowered those numbers even more but, unfortunately, comes with a price.

Virtually every hernia repair surgery today is done using a medical device called hernia repair mesh. The screen-like device is placed on top of a surgically repaired hernia to reinforce the weak abdominal muscle to reduce the chances that a hernia will reoccur. Hernia repair mesh is usually made from polypropylene plastic due to the material's strength and flexibility. What medical device manufacturers failed to take into consideration was the fact that polypropylene tends to be attacked by the body's natural immune system and the material degrades. When that happens the petroleum-based plastic can leach dangerous chemicals into the body that may cause a host of medical complications.

When polypropylene hernia repair mesh degrades the chemicals that it releases may cause a number of unpleasant and ongoing symptoms that resemble or actually are an infection. The first sign to look for is tenderness, redness, and swelling at the site of the hernia repair incision. The infection/rejection of the medical device can also cause a high fever and flu-like aches symptoms, lethargy, chill, nausea and vomiting. Hernia repair patients that experience any of these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.

Defective hernia repair mesh affects millions of individual men and women and is considered a "ticking time-bomb" by medical experts. Hernia repair mesh was the topic of such a high number of complaints made to German medical device watchdog Herniamed, that Johnson & Johnson, the leading manufacturer of hernia repair mesh, voluntarily withdrew the medical device from the market and vowed that it would not return. Such a move is unprecedented as the medical device was producing tens of millions of dollars in profits for the company at the time. In addition to leaching dangerous chemicals into the body, other malfunctions of hernia repair mesh include the device shrinking and buckling. When that occurs the device can harden and migrate with its sharp edges to the lower intestines and cause dangerous perforation and blockages. The US Food and Drug Administration assesses the problem with hernia repair mesh as follows: "Based on FDA's analysis of medical device adverse event reports and of peer-reviewed, scientific literature, the most common adverse events for all surgical repair of hernias-with or without mesh-are pain, infection, hernia recurrence, scar-like tissue that sticks tissues together (adhesion), blockage of the large or small intestine (obstruction), bleeding, abnormal connection between organs, vessels, or intestines (fistula), fluid build-up at the surgical site (seroma), and a hole in neighboring tissues or organs (perforation)."

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OnderLaw, LLC is a St. Louis personal injury law firm handling serious injury and death claims across the country. Its mission is the pursuit of justice, no matter how complex the case or strenuous the effort. OnderLaw has represented clients throughout the United States in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation such as Pradaxa, Lexapro and Yasmin/Yaz, where the firm's attorneys held significant leadership roles in the litigation, as well as Actos, DePuy, Risperdal and others. OnderLaw has won more than $300 million in four talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits in St. Louis. Law firms throughout the nation often seek its experience and expertise on complex litigation.