At one time, the product AlloDerm was praised by doctors and patients as a safer alternative to normal skin grafting procedures. However, in light of recent reports of the product’s frequent rate of failure, it might be the case that AlloDerm is actually significantly more dangerous than other techniques which are similarly used to regenerate skin.
What’s even more shocking about the consequences of this product is that most patients are never informed that AlloDerm will be used during their surgery, and only find out that AlloDerm has been used after their medical procedure has been conducted.
AlloDerm was introduced onto the market by the bioengineering company LifeCell in 1994. Alloderm is used to help grow skin over areas of the body which have been damaged because of injuries or surgery. AlloDerm is processed skin tissue taken from deceased donors. The processing used in the manufacture of AlloDerm enables living cells to be removed from the skin and thus presents a reduced chance that a patient’s body will reject the graft. AlloDerm differs from a traditional skin graft in that traditional skin grafts are performed with skin that has never been processed for the removal of live cells.
AlloDerm is primarily used in medical procedures such as hernia repairs, breast reconstruction following mastectomies, treatment for severe burns or lacerations, and head and neck plastic reconstruction and grafting.
Recently, AlloDerm has been identified as causing serious medical complications. Dangerous consequences resulting from the use of AlloDerm have been reported to include:
- Life-threatening infections
- Bruising and contusions
- Recurrence of hernia
- Extreme discomfort
- Repeat corrective surgeries
Notably, AlloDerm has been associated with complications in the treatment of hernias which typically are addressed by repair to the opening in the muscle wall. Serious medical problems may occur when the mesh product AlloDerm is used to repair hernias. One study has reported that the overall complication rate associated with AlloDerm hernia repairs is a high 24%. The most frequent problems associated with the use of AlloDerm in hernia treatment include: explanting mesh as a result of recall, mesh perforation, mesh tear, mesh erosion, defective mesh, and adhesion problems.
You or your family members should not have to fall victim to painful problems arising from the unsuccessful use of AlloDerm. Furthermore, the doctors who utilized the product AlloDerm without your knowledge should not be permitted to get away with putting the burden of the failure of this product on you, an innocent patient.
It is vital that patients become fully informed concerning medical procedures that will be performed on their bodies and the risks that such procedures may pose. Doctors must fully inform patients concerning medical procedures and products with which they are unfamiliar, so that they can make meaningful choices in terms of their health. Additionally, manufacturers of medical products, like LifeCell, must ensure that if their product poses any serious risks to patients, patients become informed of such risks.