The AlloDerm hernia repair patch is made from biologic tissue harvested from cadaver donors and processed to reduce the risk of complications. Because one of the companies that provided the cadaver tissue could not verify information on some tissue donors, the manufacturer of this patch issued a recall for some lots of the product in 2005. In addition to the questionable tissue source, these patches have a high rate of failure and increase the risk of complications in those who have had hernia repair surgery.
Post-Op AlloDerm Hernia Complications
Some of the patients who received this type of hernia repair patch experienced swelling, inflammation, bulging of the surgical site, contusions, extreme pain and discomfort, and bruising. Between 2007 and 2009, there was even one report of mesh rejection made to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
During hernia repair surgery using this type of mesh, a surgeon places the mesh over the muscle weakness causing the hernia. A few staples or sutures anchor the mesh patch in place until the patient’s body grows new tissue around it. The new tissue is supposed to surround the mesh patch just as it would around existing tissue. In some patients, AlloDerm hernia complications increase the risk for hernia recurrence. If another hernia develops in the same place, the patient has to undergo additional surgery to repair the second defect.
Serious AlloDerm Hernia Complications
Patients who received AlloDerm mesh patches during hernia surgery have an increased risk of several mesh-specific complications. These possible complications include mesh tear, ring breakage, mesh erosion and issues with patch adhesion. If the mesh tears, the patient has an increased risk for hernia recurrence and a need for additional surgery. Mesh tear also increases the risk for infection, putting patients in harm’s way.
Each mesh repair patch has a recoil ring, which is supposed to stay intact after the surgery. In some cases, the ring breaks, increasing the risk for organ perforation. Ring breakage also causes abdominal abscess, swelling, hernia recurrence and inflammation. This type of complication requires immediate medical intervention, especially if organ perforation occurs.
Defective mesh repair patches can erode over time, causing them to migrate to other locations in the body. If a defective mesh patch is used to repair an abdominal hernia, for example, the eroded mesh may migrate to the bladder. This increases the risk of damage to the bladder wall. After surgery, the mesh patch should remain in place as new tissues grow around it. In some patients, the patch does not adhere to the hernia site properly. This leads to bulging and improper healing of the surgical site. This complication also increases the risk of hernia recurrence and may lead to additional surgery for affected patients.