An Oregon woman has filed a lawsuit against the makers of her Physiomesh hernia repair mesh, blaming the product for her injuries.
According to the lawsuit, on Sept. 3, 2015, Melinda Rall underwent surgery to repair a recurrent incisional hernia at the OSV Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Oregon. A hernia repair mesh called Physiomesh was used, made by Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.
Immediately following the surgery, Rall says she began to experience an unusual amount of severe pain as well as bleeding. The next day, Rall underwent an additional procedure to help reduce the swelling and put a stop to the bleeding.
Nearly two months later, on Oct. 27, 2015, Rall was re-admitted to the medical center. A CT-guided procedure was required to remove the fluid from a seroma that had formed in the area of the hernia repair.
Nearly a year later, on Sept. 28, 2016, Rall had to return to the hospital once again. Doctors discovered that the mesh had attached to several areas of her small bowel, and an additional surgery was required to free the bowel from the adhesion. After some of the Physiomesh was removed, a new mesh was implanted.
On Feb. 24, 2017, Rall was re-admitted to the hospital because the incisional hernia was recurrent. Rall also complained of significant pain, nausea, and a bulge in the abdominal area near the hernia. Upon further examination, doctors discovered that the Physiomesh from her original surgery had disintegrated and a portion of her bowels were pushing through the new mesh. Rall underwent a procedure to remove the mesh from the bowel.
The lawsuit accuses Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson for producing and selling a defective product that Rall claims caused her injuries, pain and suffering. According to the suit, the unique five-layer design of the medical device prevented adequate drainage of fluids and failed to incorporate into the body, causing extreme inflammation and damage to the surrounding tissue. The multiple layers also discouraged proper healing, the lawsuit alleges.