A woman from New Mexico who says an allegedly defective hernia mesh implant forced her to undergo bowel resection surgery has filed a lawsuit accusing Atrium Medical Corp. of misrepresenting the safety and effectiveness of its synthetic polypropylene implants.
According to a complaint filed on February 15th in the U.S. District Court, District of New Mexico, Jesusita Aguirre received an Atrium hernia mesh device to treat an umbilical hernia that she developed after giving birth the previous year.
Severe stomach pain – which she thought to be food poisoning – sent Aguirre to the hospital in February 2015. However, her doctors discovered that the hernia mesh had become embedded in a section of her bowels, causing an obstruction and twisting her intestines.
Aguirre was forced to undergo immediate surgery that involved the removal of part of her bowels, leaving her with permanent injuries and health problems.
“Polypropylene is not biologically inert in the human body, and can cause serious injuries. A typical response to mesh implanted in the human body is inflammation, granuloma formation and a foreign body reaction. Scar tissue forms around the implant and causes contraction of the mesh up to 50%,” the complaint charges. “This inflammation, foreign body response and scar tissue formation is a permanent condition and can result in long-term complications.”
Aguirre further contends that Atrium Medical was aware of the problems associated with its polypropylene hernia mesh, yet continued to promote the products as safe and effective without warning doctors and patients about their risks.
Aguirre’s case is only one of the most recent hernia mesh lawsuits filed against Atrium Medical. The company has also been named a defendant in more than two dozen product liability claims involving its C-Qur hernia implants, all of which are currently undergoing coordinated pretrial proceedings before a single federal judge in the U.S. District Court, District of New Hampshire.
Atrium C-Qur polypropylene mesh features an Omega-3 barrier coating, which the company claims reduces the risk of adhesions (scar tissue) between the implant and the intestines. Atrium also promises that the Omega-3 barrier allows for better fixation of the hernia patch to the abdominal wall.
However, plaintiffs charge that the C-Qur mesh design actually causes an inflammatory response that promotes the formation of bowel adhesions, impedes proper abdominal wall fixation, and causes additional severe complications that may result in the need for painful and risky hernia revision surgery.