By Emily Cox
A new Physiomesh lawsuit alleges that the manufacturer defectively designed its hernia mesh to the point that it provides literally no benefit to patients – only the possibility for dire consequences.
Ronald Keller filed the claim earlier this month. He alleges that Ethicon Physiomesh caused extensive harm that required multiple surgical interventions to repair, while providing absolutely no benefit.
Keller underwent hernia repair surgery in November 2010. Surgeons used a Physiomesh to treat his umbilical hernia. However, Keller’s condition wasn’t remedied by the procedure. In fact, his health steadily declined with persistent abdominal pain and a small bowel obstruction.
In May 2011, Keller sought surgical treatment. The surgeon noted a massive amount of adhesions throughout the entire small intestine and removed a portion of Keller’s small intestine to relieve the obstruction. However, Keller continued to experience abdominal pain and a partial small bowel obstruction only a month later.
In September 2014, doctors found adhesions to the mesh and decided that another surgical intervention was necessary. Doctors performed extensive lysis of adhesions. Less than a week later, Keller required further surgery as the bowl was densely adhered to the mesh. Surgeon excised the mesh, noting it was the origin of significant adhesions. Lysis of the adhesions took more than 45 minutes. Doctors found additional mesh adhered to the small intestine that had to be “meticulously cut off.” Then, Keller had to undergo open incisional ventral hernia repair to repair thee original hernia the Physiomesh was supposed to fix.
Physiomesh Lawsuit Allegations
Keller’s Physiomesh lawsuit against the hernia mesh manufacturer claims that any purported benefits of the mesh’s design are non-existent and that it significantly increases the risk for serious harm to patients.
Ethicon designed and marketed Physiomesh’s multi-layer coating as a barrier against adhesion to internal organs. However, it is only temporary. It is intended to degrade over time inside the body, eventually leaving the “naked” polypropylene mesh exposed. Furthermore, the degradation of this coating can cause or intensify an intense inflammatory and foreign body reactions. Also, the exposed polypropylene mesh will inevitably adhere to internal organs, starting a chain reaction of adverse consequences.
“Any purported beneficial purpose of the multi-layer coating (to prevent adhesion to the internal viscera and organs) was non-existent,” the lawsuit states. “The product provided no benefit, while substantially increasing the risks to the patient.”
Despite the risks and non-existent benefits, Keller asserts that Ethicon continued to sell its defective product due to the fact that it has a significantly higher profit margin than other hernia repair products.
Keller’s Physiomesh lawsuit joins a growing number of similar lawsuits. All these lawsuits assert serious injuries from Ethicon’s Physiomesh. Experts expect that the company may face thousands of cases in the future.