What the Physiomesh Recall Means for Hernia Patients Who Received the Mesh 

Physiomesh flexible composite mesh is a surgical mesh used in the repair of abdominal hernias and is made by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon. It’s designed to be partially absorbed by the body in order to strengthen the area of repair and prevent the hernia from recurring. The mesh has two variations, one of which was used in minimally invasive procedures that involved the use of laparoscopic tools.

Once it was discovered that the laparoscopic version of the mesh had a high rate of failure, Ethicon issued a Physiomesh recall to withdraw the product from the market. Here’s a look at what this means for people who were injured by Physiomesh.

What Is Physiomesh?

As previously noted, Physiomesh is a surgical mesh known as an open flexible composite mesh device. It’s used for abdominal hernia repair only. The product is made from polypropylene and is laminated with a coating of film on either side. The film is absorbed by the body over time and results in the mesh being held in place by the surrounding tissues. 

There are two versions of Physiomesh: Physiomesh and Physiomesh Open. The Physiomesh Open is still being manufactured by Ethicon and currently used by surgeons for hernia repair. The Physiomesh recall is for the original version of the product that was used in laparoscopic hernia repair procedures. 

How Does Physiomesh Help Repair a Hernia?

The repair process begins when the surgeon laparoscopically secures Physiomesh into the area in need of repair. The coating on the mesh is designed to prevent the mesh from adhering to nearby organs and soft tissues, then get absorbed by the body over a period of weeks. Physiomesh is designed to encourage soft tissue to grow into its pores and create a fixed, stable repair that prevents a recurrence of the hernia. 

Why Ethicon Recalled Physiomesh From the Market

Ethicon voluntarily recalled the laparoscopic version of Physiomesh from the market in 2016 after introducing it to the market in 2010. Some patients who received Physiomesh during a laparoscopic hernia repair surgery were complaining about problems that necessitated revision surgery to fix the issue. Adverse side effects of Physiomesh can include:

  • Bleeding
  • Recurrence of the hernia
  • Infection
  • Scar tissue adhesion
  • Edema or fluid build-up at site of hernia
  • Intestinal blockage full or partial

The mesh is also known to move from its original position and migrate to another area of the body as well as shrink. A patient who originally received the mesh during a laparoscopic procedure to repair a hernia may have to undergo a second surgery, known as a revision, to repair the damage. 

Thousands of patients were negatively affected by the use of Physiomesh to repair a hernia. The Physiomesh recall has led to many patients filing a defective medical device lawsuit against Ethicon. Someone who has undergone laparoscopic hernia repair should check with their physician to find out if Physiomesh was used, then consult with a lawyer about filing a lawsuit for damages.

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