Physiomesh Side Effects & Health Complications
Once considered relatively safe, Physiomesh is no longer effective for ventral hernia repair. A ventral hernia is when an internal organ protrudes through a hole or defect in the abdominal wall. Most occur at the surgical incision site, but injuries and pregnancy are also risk factors. Surgeons typically sew Physiomesh or other surgical mesh patches over the hernia to close the hole in your abdominal wall. Unfortunately, some Physiomesh side effects cause serious health complications. Worse, many Physiomesh side effects may be irreversible.
Why Physiomesh Fails At Effective Hernia Repair
Manufacturers use a material called polypropylene in most hernia meshes. You’ll also find polypropylene in automotive parts, packaging, tapes and food containers. Although manufacturers claim otherwise, polypropylene devices aren’t designed for permanent use in the body.
Doctors now perform more laparoscopic hernia repair surgeries than ever before. With laparoscopic repair, surgeons plant hernia mesh deeper in the abdomen than occurs during traditional, open surgery. This technique makes hernia mesh more likely to come into contact with a patient’s bowels or other organs. Various hernia mesh coatings may also cause severe infections and other complications because they aren’t bio-compatible. Other factors (i.e., patient’s age, hernia severity, hernia mesh type) can trigger several different adverse reactions.
Short-term Physiomesh Side Effects
Doctors can effectively treat some short-term Physiomesh side effects. Still others may be irreversible, including:
- Chronic pain. Recurrent, severe pain is one of the most commonly reported Physiomesh side effects following hernia repair surgery. Inflammation around the hernia and incision site can become irritated due to the mesh and its chemical properties.
- Infection. Both inflammation and Physiomesh’s outer coating can cause internal infection. Surgical complications can also increase infection risks. While it’s possible to treat some infections with antibiotics, others may produce long-term complications. Signs of infection include pain at the implantation site, warmth or redness, and swelling.
- Hernia recurrence. A recent study covering two large independent hernia registries found that Physiomesh patients had a much higher recurrence rate than others. In fact, 20% of Physiomesh patients experienced hernia recurrence within six months. Each recurrence requires another revision surgery, but may also lead to more serious, long-term health problems. Because each surgery repair attempt is more likely to fail than the previous one, patients face increasing health risks.
Long-term Physiomesh Side Effects
Many long-term Physiomesh side effects can be debilitating, permanent and even life-threating, including:
- Intestinal fistula. A fistula is an abnormal opening that allows gastric fluids to be discharged through the lining of the stomach, intestines, or colon. This gastric discharge can also leak into other organs, causing infection.
- Abdominal abscess. An abscess is a pocket of inflamed tissue that’s filled with pus. Abdominal abscesses may occur below the diaphragm, behind the abdominal cavity, and within the abdominal compartment. After it’s surgically drained, the patient is prescribed antibiotics to prevent further infection.
- Tissue adhesion. An adhesion is a band of scarring that binds internal tissue or organs together. Adhesions cause the majority of small bowel obstructions in adults and can also cause chronic pain. Extreme tissue adhesion may cause fibrous bands to form around a segment of intestine. This type of adhesion can constrict blood flow, causing tissue death (necrosis).
- Bowel obstruction. Hernia repair surgery adhesions can obstruct the patient’s bowel, which prevents intestinal contents from passing normally through the digestive tract. Food, fluid, gastric acids, and gas can then build up behind the blockage site. The intestines can rupture from too much pressure and leak harmful stomach contents into the abdominal cavity.
- Mesh fragmentation. Fragmentation occurs when the hernia mesh detaches from abdominal muscle tissue or pieces of it break off. These fragments can travel throughout the body, causing obstructions as well as infections.
Patients Sue Ethicon Over Long-Term Physiomesh Side Effects
Matthew Huff had Physiomesh hernia repair surgery in 2013. In July 2015, Huff developed severe abdominal pain, fever, nausea, chills, and redness. Huff’s physician discovered infection, two abdominal abscesses and an intestinal fistula. Joanne Quinn needed significant surgery to repair a Physiomesh bowel obstruction. Due to severe adhesions in Quinn’s bowels and abdominal wall, surgeons couldn’t remove all of the offending Physiomesh material.
Both Huff and Quinn recently filed claims against Ethicon for their Physiomesh side effects and injuries. Two additional Physiomesh patients soon followed in fall 2016, and more plaintiffs may still come forward. The first Physiomesh case is set for a January 2018 trial in Illinois.
Check your eligibility for compensation.
If you or a loved one suffered serious Ethicon Physiomesh hernia mesh complications, you may qualify for compensation from the manufacturer. Request your free case evaluation now to see if you may qualify.