The AlloDerm mesh patch is a regenerative collagen-based tissue matrix. This basically means that the mesh patch is made from cadaver skin with all the donor cells taken out. Its main function is to reinforce weak or deteriorating cell walls for reconstructive surgery procedures. Much like a patch would be used on fabric, surgeons use Alloderm to repair or replace bodily tissue. The material is primarily used in surgical applications ranging from breast reconstruction and mastectomy's to standard hernia operations.
In recent months however, several patients have reported relapsed hernias after the use of AlloDerm in surgical procedures. In addition to relapsed hernias, patients have reported abscesses, redness, swelling and severe abdominal pain. Not only that, but there are a host of side effects that come with the use of the AlloDerm mesh patch. This includes everything from scar tissue formation to hematoma to severe internal infections. But this isn’t the first time AlloDerm has come under fire.
From January 2004 to December 2005, a study was conducted to compare the techniques in facial bridging versus facial reinforcement repair as they pertained to hernia recurrence using the AlloDerm mesh patch. Out of the 37 patients examined, seven patients required reoperation, two patients died and four more patients developed a hernia reoccurrence. The conclusion of the study indicated that the use of AlloDerm in hernia surgeries had a significant impact on hernia reoccurrence in affected patients. A more recent study revealed that more than eight percent of patients required skin excoriation surgeries following the use of the AlloDerm mesh patch. Then in February 2011 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a “Class 1″ recall of the AlloDerm mesh patch citing that the patch poses both a potentially hazardous and deadly threat to patients.
In 2006, AlloDerm’s parent company LifeCell was associated with an incident where they received cadaver skin harvested from bodies that were not consenting donors. The brooklyn district attorney indicted four representatives from the contracted harvesting company. While no one from LifeCell was indicted in the conspiracy, they were the subject of several lawsuits during that period. Among the many claims against LifeCell was the claim that the cadaver skin used transmitted communicable diseases to surgical patients. At best, this calls their ethical procedures into question.
The conclusion of these recent studies, and the uptick of surgical complications has gotten the attention of class action attorneys nationwide. Since then dozens of law firms have launched investigations into the construction, and surgical uses of the AlloDerm patch.
If you or a loved one received an Alloderm implant during a surgical hernia repair, and have suffered serious side effects, you may be entitled to compensation. Submit your Alloderm case details for a complementary legal review by an experienced Alloderm attorney today.