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How AlloDerm is Made

AlloDerm was introduced in 1994 as an alternative to traditional skin grafts. When a traditional skin graft is performed, a piece of skin is transplanted over a severely damaged part of a patient’s skin. This skin can be taken from another part of the patient’s body or from a donated cadaver.

Skin Graft Risks

Both of these options pose certain risks, however. For example, taking skin from another part of the patient’s body requires surgery, which can always lead to medical complications. If the skin is taken from a donor, it may trigger the patient’s immune system, leading to a dangerous medical condition known as graft rejection or graft-host disease.


AlloDerm is designed to avoid these dangers. It is made with skin tissue harvested from a cadaver, but this tissue is processed to remove components that may trigger graft rejection. This process is proprietary, meaning it is protected information. However, it involves removing the epidermis (outer layer of skin) and other living cells, leaving tissue such as collagen and elastin (connective tissue).

AlloDerm is commonly used in hernia repairs and breast reconstruction surgeries. The company that produces it, LifeCell, also makes similar products that are used in gynecological surgeries, orthopedic (bone-related) surgeries, and more. These surgeries are generally safe. However, some patients do experience complications – for example, the risk of graft rejection is reduced but not entirely removed by the use of AlloDerm.

Contact Us

If you have suffered from medical complications after a hernia patch surgery using AlloDerm, you may have grounds for a legal claim, if the surgery occurred in 2000 or later. To learn more about your legal rights, contact the AlloDerm lawyers of Williams Hart at 800-761-3187.

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