Author Topic: Itís enough to make me paranoid  (Read 1360 times)

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Itís enough to make me paranoid
« on: February 18, 2011, 05:47:38 PM »
If you are visiting this site, you are probably a patient or potential patient for HR or THR who wants to make the best possible choices for yourself on choice of surgeon, choice of prosthesis, pre-op preparation, post-op recovery plan and PT etc.  We are all fortunate to live in the internet age and I am enormously grateful for how this site in particular and other information resources have provided assistance and perspective in these choices, and has allowed me to become more informed patient and to become a more equal partner in the choices with the medical professionals and experts we ultimately place our trust in to see us right.

However, maybe there are some downsides to a world of instant information?  I recall after my first BHR a ďWTF?!!Ē moment when I heard on the financial news that S&N were recalling some BHRs.
This is the announcement that they put out to the financial markets:

I donít know about everyone else, but I find this sort of thing a little unsettling, raising the immediate anxiety and question ďHow can I find out if, or how, this affects me?Ē
I was very dissatisfied with how S&N handled its announcement with patients in mind.  The companyís public announcement was basically ďThis is not a big deal, we have it under control and our sales of this product will not be materially affected, so please donít trash our stock priceĒ.  Conspicuously absent was any reference to a patient hotline or other patient resource to assist patients in assessing whether this could be a real issue for them.  It was also clear when I contacted my surgeon and hospital for further information that S&N had not yet communicated with them on this issue, which frankly p****d me off because I happen to think communications with the medical practitioners and thier potentially affected patients using the product should take precedence over communications with shareholders.

That was a small one.  Bigger unsettling developments have shaken the HR world, perhaps most significantly the withdrawal of J&Jís dePuy ASR product.  I am grateful that I didnít have to worry about that one and have enormous empathy for those who did, and hope that the company and their medical professionals have helped them through it in a patient-sensitive way.

It seems that J&J are making a habit of recalls.   According to a Wall St Journal Health Blog (which has an ongoing blog called ďJ&J Recall WatchĒ!), J&J has had a series of recent recalls across many of its product lines:
(I donít know if this requires a subscription to view)

So hereís the thing.  In my recent HR my surgeon used internal dissolving sutures and an external topical adhesive called Dermabond.  My surgical incision is healing really well and I couldnít be happier about post-op progress.
But it turns out that this weekís J&J recall isÖÖ.you guessed it: 700,000 vials of Dermabond!  WTF!?!

I wonder if my surgeon and I will ever find out if/how this might affect me.  Iím not holding my breath for a call, other communication or hotline from J&J to put my mind at ease.

And BTW, there has been some recent speculation that J&J wants to acquire S&N - now there's a happy thought.....NOT!!!
« Last Edit: February 18, 2011, 05:56:20 PM by halfdone »


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Re: Itís enough to make me paranoid
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2011, 06:44:08 PM »
If your incision healed ok, and you did got get an adverse affect or infection I would be willing to bet that you'll be ok.

Just think of yourself as lucky.

RH/Biomet U/C Dr. Gross/Lee Webb


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Re: Itís enough to make me paranoid
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2011, 06:49:18 PM »
It's disturbing to to see that they seem to care more about profits than the welfare of their end users (patients).  Disturbing but, frankly, not surprising.

It's interesting to read that the Dermabond was recalled because it was "discolored".  Is this really a cause for recalling the product?  If there is no functional problem with it then it seems like they could notify their customers of the problem but avoid a recall.  It makes me wonder if this is all that was wrong with the recalled lots.

My incision was closed similarly to yours, but I don't know if the sealant they used was Dermabond.  Sort of wonderning now, though.
Dr. Ball
56 years old
LBHR 2/11/11
RBHR 3/11/11


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Re: Itís enough to make me paranoid
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2011, 02:27:59 PM »
Hope all is going well in the recovery!
Your email is superbly written and I couldn't agree more with all your views and sentiments(and Flbrk's about profit before patients).
I agree with Chuck-but it's quite natural to be concerned but I'm sure any problem would have appeared in the early days. I too had Dermabond-my surgeon friend (who also had HR) uses it all the time reckons it's brilliant, and said it was good that it was our surgeon's standard practice.
So don't worry my dear friend.
ps Re- Triathlons- something has been bugging me for over a week-since going through a old post of yours so I'm about to go back and post a response!
LHR Adept-Prof Cobb-30-1-10


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Re: Itís enough to make me paranoid
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2011, 03:47:42 PM »
Thx Toby
My incision has healed really well.  And my wife says I look good with a green stripe across my butt.  ;)  ;D
Chuck, you are very right - we are lucky and I certainly celebrate it.
Keep well

Tin Soldier

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Re: Itís enough to make me paranoid
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2011, 04:58:11 PM »
Halfdone - well done ;) on the post.  I'm ignoring all the talk on recalls, because I just "had my baby" and I don't want to think about the potential problems.  However, with regards to recalls, I don't know what the threshold is by the FDA or by other government institutions, but I'd like to think that the threshold is low for medical recalls and that even with a recall, the vast majority of implants are probably just fine.   I'll keep thinking that while I'm in the early days.   :)
LBHR 2/22/11, RBHR 8/23/11 - Pritchett.


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Re: Itís enough to make me paranoid
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2011, 07:07:06 PM »
Hope all goes well for you.  My post was less an expression of concern about the prostheses, and more about the (IMHO somewhat less than patient friendly) behavior of the big companies when these things happen.  It does raise interesting questions of corporate governance when companies like J&J have so many problems across so many product lines in a short period of time.  I'd like to think it's just them being very cautious and conservative about quality, but.....who knows.  At the moment I expect that their stockholders are none too pleased as well.

I'm very grateful for medical technology innovation and medical progress and happy with my two BHRs and Dermabonded butt stripe.  ;D  I also appreciate the early adopters (both patients and surgeons) who ease the way for those of us who come later.

Good luck for a smooth recovery and rehab.


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