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Monday, March 19, 2007

My friends were praying for me (hernia patch surgery)

Cynthia Wilson works for a healthcare system in Milwaukee. She developed a hernia--usually a protrusion of the bowel through a torn or weak spot in the abdominal wall--and sought surgery to repair it. Her surgeon chose a Kugel patch, made of two pieces of mesh that surround a flexible plastic ring. To implant it, the surgeon folds a patch, and places it at the site of the hernia. The released ring springs back into its original shape, flattening the patch. The mesh-like material serves as a substrate for internal tissue to grow into, resolving the hernia.

Cynthia’s patch became dislocated, and pierced a hole that required emergency bowel surgery. “I went to the hospital for two weeks and my friends were praying for me,” she said. She has filed a lawsuit against the Davol subsidiary of C.R. Bard, Inc., the maker of the patch.

She is not alone. A disproportionate number of patients filed complaints about their experience with the extra large size of this patch. Inspectors at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found that in several reports to the FDA, the company had understated the potentially severity of injuries and a possible death from the device. Since the device’s recall, the FDA has received reports of more than 80 injuries and other problems that may have been linked to it, including several deaths.

Advice for patients wearing a Kugel hernia patch: You may want to learn more about the patch and your options by contacting a lawyer. Here are two firms (neither of which I know) that say they might help:

1. Parker Waichman Alonso Mark LLP at 1-800-LAW-INFO

2. The Johnson Law Firm at 1-866-374-0338

(I don’t get any money for this.)

Forward this to your friends who have had hernia surgery.

Read another lawsuit story, or read the source article by Barry Meier in the March 16 New York Times, "History of Hernia Patch Raises Questions on Implant Recalls."

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