A. I am happy that CBS has made people aware of these serious issues.
A. 60 Minutes is a short format show, so they only had time to explain one topic in any detail. There is plenty of information available for people who want to learn more.
A. The majority of mesh is made from polypropylene but other polymers are used as well. Examples include PET, PTFE (a type of Teflon(r)) and PVDF.
A. Well, each polymer has it’s own pros and cons so no, the same conclusions do not apply to all mesh.
A. No. Polypropylene is infamous for being unstable. It is attacked readily by oxygen, even at room temperature or body temperature. That is well proven and I go into great detail about that in my expert reports. How long the PP will last in any application depends on the amount and type of antioxidant (stabilizer) in the PP. It was stated that the original Marlex mesh mentioned on the program did not contain anywhere near enough stabilizer to last for decades in the body and that the new PP from China contains significantly less stabilizer than their original Marlex PP mesh did.
It should be noted that all Marlex mesh is not the same. Some manufactures choose to add a significant amount of stabilizer to make their mesh last longer before it degrades.
A. Yes, mesh today is generally different than mesh from the past. For example, PP mesh is known to cause a reaction in the body and that is undesirable. The less PP there is, the less severe the reaction is (on average) so the focus has been on using PP mesh that’s lighter weight, i.e. contains less PP. Older meshes also had smaller pores and it was found that larger pores (holes in the weave) are better for the body so there has been a move to larger pores over recent years. In addition, there are coated PP meshes where the coating is designed to reduce reaction in the body. Unfortunately, despite all these advances, the most common mesh is still uncoated PP which has been reported to cause a chronic reaction in the body that can lead to discomfort and pain.
A. People should ask what type of mesh is being used and whether there is a viable alternative procedure that does not use mesh at all. Consult with a medical professional then get a second and even a third opinion.
A. Yes, we can say that PP is not biocompatible. There are many peer-reviewed article to prove that. ###
Articles on PP (polypropylene) and biocompatibility
Surface biocompatible modification of polypropylene by entrapment of polypropylene-block-poly(vinylpyrrolidone)Comparison of Long-Term Biocompability of PVDF and PP Meshes (1)Preparation of Blood Compatible Hydrogels by Preirradiation Grafting Techniques