What is AlloDerm?
Alloderm is a surgical mesh used in both hernia repair and breast reconstruction surgery. When used in hernia repair surgery, AlloDerm has been linked to serious and even potentially life-threatening complications and side effects. The manufacturer of AlloDerm is a company called LifeCell, and they only recently began advertising Alloderm as an effective way to repair hernias.
AlloDerm is made from donated human cadaver skin, and goes through a process to remove all of the cells in the top layer and entire dermis. This leaves the collagen and elastin framework of the skin, but unfortunately it appears long term studies have not followed many patients who used AlloDerm for hernia repair.
The science supporting its use in hernia repair surgery was largely funded by LifeCell, but since being introduced and advertised for hernia repair, AlloDerm seems to be failing at an alarming rate.
Studies have indicated that, when used in hernia repair, AlloDerm has the potential to make the patient worse of than they were prior to the surgery. Hernia patients implanted with AlloDerm had the shortest follow-up period and highest overall failure rate when compared to others who used different hernia repair devices.
In one study, published in a 2008 journal named “Hernia”, it was reported that the complication rate associated with use of AlloDerm for hernia repair was as high as 24%. Most of these complications involve a recurrence of the hernia, but one rejection of AlloDerm and two infections were also reported. Yet another study states that 8% of AlloDerm users require an explants surgery to remove it, while only 1.6% in different control groups.
Serious AlloDerm complications potentially require the patient to undergo painful procedures, and are necessary due to AlloDerm causing injuries to nearby organs, nerves and blood vessels.
AlloDerm Side Effects
As previously mentioned use of AlloDerm can lead to several serious and potentially life-threatening side effects, including;
- Ring Breakage (leading to hernia recurrence, abdominal abscess, inflammation and swelling)
- Mesh Tear (this may result in hernia recurrence, infection and additional surgeries)
- Mesh Perforations (perforations required for the preparation of this product could develop weakness causing the hernia to reappear)
- Adhesion Issues (doctors have reported failure of adhesion and proper healing of surgical incisions while using AlloDerm)
- Mesh Erosion (grafts, AlloDerm and like products, carry a known risk of erosion, if this occurs the patient is required to undergo future expensive and painful medical procedures )
At Sheff Law, we are the Massachusetts law firm with the resources, experience, and national reputation to investigate injuries resulting from exposure to AlloDerm. Patients across Massachusetts and America are starting to realize some of the potential harmful consequences of using AlloDerm in various medical procedures. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of AlloDerm, contact an attorney at Sheff Law today by filling out a FREE consultation form, or call at (888) 423-4477 or 617-227-7000.
February 23rd, 2016 | Posted in Blog