Ethicon has recalled one of its surgical mesh products after studies showed higher revision rates after a type of minimally invasive hernia repair using its Physiomesh flexible composite mesh. Ethicon is subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson.

Ethicon said it’s pulling the mesh after a review of unpublished data revealed the discrepancy between Physiomesh flexible composite and the other meshes in the registries after laparoscopic ventral hernia repair. Ethicon said it believes the higher revision rates are due to a “multifactorial issue,” possibly including “product characteristics, operative and patient factors,” but hasn’t been able to pin down a cause.

Physiomesh is a coated hernia mesh. Unlike all other coated hernia meshes, the Physiomesh has a thick coating on both sides of the mesh. The coating is intended to prevent the bowel from being exposed to polypropylene. Polypropylene will essentially stick to any tissue in the human body. If the polypropylene sticks to the bowel it can cause severe injuries. However, if no polypropylene is expose, then the hernia mesh will not properly incorporate into the abdominal wall. Its inability to properly incorporate results in the Physiomesh floating and moving around in the patients abdominal cavity.

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