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Pennsylvania Woman Suffers Bowel Injury from Proceed Surgical Mesh

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On August 17, 2017, a Pennsylvania woman filed an Ethicon Proceed mesh lawsuit in the Western District of Pennsylvania. She claims that after being implanted with the mesh product, she suffered serious injuries.

Plaintiff Implanted with Proceed Mesh; Suffers Bowel Adhesion

According to her complaint, the plaintiff underwent surgery on November 16, 2005, at UPMC McKeesport. The surgery was intended to repair a recurrent left incisional ventral hernia, which is a hernia in the abdominal area that occurs around an old incision. The surgeon used Ethicon Proceed surgical mesh to help shore up and support the distended tissues. The product was designed to facilitate healing and provide a lasting repair.

On August 18, 2015, the plaintiff returned to UPMC, again with a recurrent incisional hernia. This time, surgeons had to break the procedure up into two steps. First, they removed the Proceed mesh. The doctor noted dense adhesions and found that the plaintiff’s bowel was fused to the mesh. The surgeon spent nearly two hours attempting to free the bowel from the mesh with sharp dissection, but while he was working on it, the plaintiff’s bowel was perforated and had to be resected.

The doctor noted that the bowel perforation “was both inherent and unavoidable to the procedure.”

The second part of the procedure was performed by a plastic surgeon, who noted that “the patient had significant scarring all throughout her subcutaneous tissues in the abdominal wall….”

Plaintiff Points Out Design Flaws with Proceed Surgical Mesh

Unfortunately, the plaintiff’s mesh-related problems did not end there. She was discharged from UPMC on August 28, 2015, but had to go back on September 2, 2015, due to a small bowel obstruction. She was transferred to transitional care on September 11, where she underwent daily physical and occupational therapy because she could no longer get around on her own.

On September 15, 2015, she was again discharged. She blames the manufacturers for defectively designing and manufacturing Proceed mesh. The design, for example, incorporates a layer of oxidized regenerated cellulose (ORC) over a layer of polydioxanone, which in turn coats the polypropylene mesh. The coating was supposed to minimize adhesion and inflammation and promote incorporation of the mesh into the body.

Instead, however, the coating caused an intense and inflammatory response in the body, creating adverse tissue reactions, migration, and improper healing. The ORC layer ends to delaminate from the other layers, resulting in an air pocket that increases the risk of seromas. These, in turn, increase the risk of infections and abscesses.

Proceed Mesh Increases Risk of Adhesion

The plaintiff states that the defendants knew or should have known about the problems associated with their multi-layer coating, adding that when the coating delaminates or otherwise separates from the mesh, the underlying polypropylene mesh is exposed to surrounding tissues, muscles, and organs, and can become adhered to them, as it did to her bowel.

She adds that the manufacturer failed to warn about these potential complications. She brings counts of defective manufacture and design, failure to warn, negligence, and breach of warranties, and seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

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