A Canada woman says the Physiomesh hernia repair mesh used to repair her hernia”stretched out,” resulting in her hernia recurring, more painful than before.
Colleen Copeland is a 34-year-old Canadian who had hernia surgery in February 2016. Doctors repaired the hole in her abdomen left after the surgery with plastic hernia mesh, called Physiomesh, made by Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. She says the mesh has since stretched, leaving her in excruciating pain.
“The pain is always there. It feels like my insides are going to explode,” Copland told CTV News. “If I cough or sneeze I have to hold my stomach. It is a horrible pain, to be honest.”
Only a few months later, in June of 2016, Health Canada issued a recall for Physiomesh.
Laval, Quebec, resident Jaqueline Deschenes said she has also experienced constant pain after receiving the same kind of hernia mesh. According to CTV News, she was told sometime afterward by a surgeon that the product was no longer being used.
Even though Deschenes’ mesh was removed in January 2015, she says the pain never ceased. She has described the sensation as something “like a mass” inside her body at all times.
Deschenes has filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, joining many others in a class action, alleging she was never warned of the device’s potential dangers.
As many as 30,000 Canadians may have been implanted with Physiomesh for hernia repair.
Dr. John Morrison, a surgeon in Chatham, Ontario, who specializes in hernia mesh removal, told CTV News in an interview, “Unfortunately, there is not a whole lot to do for patients that have it, and my advice for patients is to leave it alone and if they have any problems with it, then it will have to be dealt with at that time.”