Bard "PerFix Plug" & "PerFix Light Plug" Hernia Mesh

The Bard PerFix Plug and the Bard PerFix Light Plug are implantable hernia mesh devices that were made by C.R. Bard. They are used to treat inguinal hernias. However, both devices suffer from many of the same problems that plague other hernia mesh products. Most notably, the plastic used in the PerFix Plug and the PreFix Light Plug has been known to erode after implantation, causing chronic pain and a host of other medical complications. Many patients who sustained such complications have brought a hernia mesh lawsuit.

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1. What are the Bard PerFix Plug and the Bard PerFix Light Plug?

The Bard PerFix Plug and the Bard PerFix Light Plug are hernia mesh implants that are used to treat inguinal hernias. They both look like a wad of plastic mesh, shaped like a badminton shuttlecock.

Both devices are used in surgical procedures to treat inguinal hernias. These hernias are eruptions of intestinal tissue through weakened muscles in the abdominal wall and into the inguinal canal. Because this canal is where the spermatic cord is located in men, an inguinal hernia can be a serious medical condition that can lead to infertility.

Surgeons fixing an inguinal hernia make an incision at the location of the hernia and push the intestinal tissue back through the abdominal wall. The surgeon then takes a Bard PerFix Plug or a Bard PerFix Light Plug and pushes the smaller end of the wad through the hernia hole, as well. The exposed wings of mesh are then flattened along the outside of the abdominal wall to create scar tissue and ingrowth that strengthen the muscles of the wall and prevent another hernia.

This hernia repair technique has been in wide use since 1993, and has been implanted more than 4 million times.1

The only difference between the PerFix Plug and the PerFix Light Plug is the density of the polypropylene plastic used in making the mesh. The PerFix Light Plug uses approximately half the amount of plastic as the PerFix Plug uses.

2. How to identify a Bard PerFix Plug or PerFix Light Plug

The shape of Bard's PerFix Plug products makes them easily distinguishable from its other hernia mesh implants. While other hernia mesh implants tend to be circular, oval, or rectangular patches that lie flat against the weakened muscular wall that allowed the hernia, Bard's PerFix Plug products are wad-like clumps of plastic mesh.

Depending on the size of the wad of mesh, the Bard PerFix Plug comes with the following product IDs2:

Size of Device

Product ID

2.5 x 3.4 centimeters

0112750

3.3 x 3.9 centimeters

0112760

4.1 x 4.8 centimeters

0112770

4.1 x 5.0 centimeters

0112780

Bard PerFix Light Plugs have the following product IDs3:

Size of Device

Product ID

2.5 x 3.4 centimeters

0117050

3.3 x 3.9 centimeters

0117060

4.1 x 4.8 centimeters

0117070

3.8 x 5.0 centimeters

0117080

3. How Bard PerFix Plug products can be defective

Just like other hernia mesh products, the Bard PerFix Plug and PerFix Light Plug products are defective because they use polypropylene to form the mesh that is the centerpiece of the implant. Polypropylene is a cheap type of plastic that erodes when it comes into contact with oxygen. Adding antioxidant materials to the polypropylene can slow down the erosion process, but cannot prevent it from happening eventually. Additionally, the tissue ingrowth that these plugs are designed to promote can cause nerve pain and other problems.

3.1 PerFix Plug erosion

When the mesh in a PerFix Plug erodes, it can unwind and let small fragments of the device escape from the plug. These plastic fragments can migrate elsewhere in the body, and can be rejected by the patient's immune system, leading to serious medical complications, including a severe infection.

3.2 PerFix Plug ingrowth

Hernia mesh products are designed to create scar tissue on the muscles and tissues that they contact. That scar tissue grows into the gaps between the plastic threads in the mesh which, together with the plastic mesh itself, strengthens the muscles and prevents another hernia from happening.

However, nerves can also become a part of that ingrowth. When the polypropylene mesh deteriorates and erodes, it shrinks and shifts inside the patient, stretching and tugging on the tissues it has attached to and the ingrowth that it has produced. This creates debilitating nerve pain when the ingrowth includes nerve endings.

Worse, the ingrowth of PerFix Plugs can compromise the spermatic cord in men who have had the Plugs implanted in their inguinal canal. If left untreated, this can lead to chronic pain and infertility. Eventually, the Plug will not be able to be removed without also removing a testicle.

4. No recalls for the Bard PerFix Plug or the Bard PerFix Light Plug

Despite the problems that many patients have had with the Bard PerFix Plug and the Bard PerFix Light Plug, no recalls have been made. Bard continues to use its Plug products on thousands of inguinal hernia procedures every year. The company is facing hundreds of hernia mesh lawsuits for the complications caused by its Plug products.


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