Objective: To assess the role of registries in the postmarketing surveillance of surgical meshes.
Background: To date, surgical meshes are classified as group II medical devices. Class II devices do not require premarket clearance by clinical studies. Ethicon initiated a voluntary market withdrawal of Physiomesh for laparoscopic use after an analysis of unpublished data from the 2 large independent hernia registries-Herniamed German Registry and Danish Hernia Database. This paper now presents the relevant data from the Herniamed Registry.
Methods: The present analysis compares the prospective perioperative and 1-year follow-up data collected for all patients with incisional hernia who had undergone elective laparoscopic intraperitoneal onlay mesh repair either with Physiomesh (n = 1380) or with other meshes recommended in the guidelines (n = 3834).
Results: Patients with Physiomesh repair had a markedly higher recurrence rate compared with the other recommended meshes (12.0% vs 5.0%; P < 0.001). In the multivariable analysis, the recurrence rate was highly significantly influenced by the mesh type used (P < 0.001). If Physiomesh was used, that led to a highly significant increase in the recurrence rate on 1-year follow-up (odds ratio 2.570, 95% CI 2.057, 3.210). The mesh type used also had a significant influence on chronic pain rates.
Conclusions: The importance of real-world data for postmarketing surveillance of surgical meshes has been demonstrated in this registry-based study. Randomized controlled trials are needed for premarket approval of new devices. The role of sponsorship of device studies by the manufacturing company must be taken into account.