A new study suggests that using a synthetic mesh product to repair a contaminated incisional hernia will likely have a higher rate of failure.
According to the study published by PubMed last week, biological mesh should be considered first over synthetic mesh for a potentially contaminated hernia, which has a high rate of failure. Common synthetic mesh material are made from polytetrafluoroethylene or polypropylene, woven to create a kind of fabric that the body is expected to accept internally once implanted.
Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon is currently under fire for its Physiomesh hernia repair device made of polypropylene that has resulted in a growing number of lawsuits. The complaints vary, from patients who experienced the mesh adhering to their intestines, to the mesh shredding inside the body, to severe infections. One study linked Physiomesh with the development of fibromyalgia.
Physiomesh is different from any other hernia mesh device. It is made up of five distinct layers: polypropylene at its center with two layers of film coating each side.
According to multiple lawsuits, the coating used in the mesh device doesn’t allow the material to incorporate into the human body effectively. The lawsuits allege the multiple layers discourage adequate fluid drainage, which leads to a buildup of infection-causing bacteria. Lawsuits also claim the mesh is unable to sustain normal abdominal forces.
The study found that the biological mesh devices “had significantly better incorporation” than the synthetic versions, namely the polypropylene mesh. The study also claimed the biological mesh device was “superior in terms of incorporation, macroscopic mesh infection, and historic parameters.”
“The use of synthetic mesh to repair a potentially contaminated incisional hernia is not supported unequivocally, and may lead to a higher failure rate,” the study concluded. “A biological mesh might be considered as an alternative.”