January 5, 2017 — A growing number of lawsuits are blaming anti-inflammatory “adhesion-barrier” coatings on hernia mesh implants for major complications that require revision surgery.
On December 27, a lawsuit (PDF) was filed by a woman from Florida who blames the coating on Ethicon Physiomesh for her injuries.
Her hernia returned less than four months after it was repaired, resulting in an abdominal bulge, pain, and adhesions that required another surgery.
Physiomesh is made of plastic-like fibers that are woven into a patch and laminated between two layers of Monocryl (polyglecaprone).
Lawyers say Ethicon promotes the coating to prevent or minimize adhesions and inflammation, but instead it “prevented adequate incorporation of the mesh into the body and caused or contributed to an intense inflammatory and chronic foreign body response.”
Ethicon removed Physiomesh from the market in the U.S. — without issuing a recall — after a large study in Germany and Denmark linked it to higher rates of hernias returning and needing another surgery.
The allegations involving Physiomesh coatings are very similar to those involving Atrium C-QUR Mesh, which is coated in Omega-3 (fish oil). More than 15 lawsuits have been filed by people who developed inflammation, allergic reactions, infections, or other side effects.
Last year, researchers published a case report of a woman who had an inflammatory reaction to fish oil-coated hernia mesh. The researchers noted that there are very few studies investigating the risk of complications like adhesions and fistulas from mesh implants that are coated in active agents.
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