Some Irish patients who have undergone a hip replacement face the possibility of surgery to replace the device after revelations that a faulty product may have been used.

The Health Service Executive said that 3,516 Irish patients had the device at the centre of the recall fitted.

Hip replacement recall FAQs

The recall involves the DePuy ASR AX acetabular system launched in 2004. It is distributed in Ireland by PEI.

Affected patients may have to undergo MRI scans, blood tests and surgery to remove the product.

Problems associated with the device include loosening parts, infections, fractures, dislocation, sensitivity to the metal and pain.

The HSE has written to all hospital orthopaedic units advising them to remove from stock the DePuy ASR AX acetabular system.

The recall is part of a worldwide move and around 93,000 patients around the world have had the device implanted.

A campaign to trace the product in Ireland is under way and consultants will conduct a risk assessment to see which patients may need surgery to deal with the problem.

Corrective surgery is more complicated and costly than primary surgery as surgeons have less bone and more scar tissue to work with.

A process on how to contact those affected was agreed at a meeting tonight between the HSE, the Irish Medicines Board and other interested parties.

The HSE has said that hospitals will be contacting those affected by the recall in the 'coming weeks'.

It said this should be done 'when the protocol for patient review and follow up has been finalised, which is anticipated to be completed early next week'.

Irish Institute of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery President David Moore said: 'While this issue will undoubtedly cause anxiety for patients who have had hip replacement surgery, it should be emphasised that the troublesome implant has only been used in a small minority of patients who have undergone hip surgery.'

Corrective procedures

The recall follows news in the UK that around one in eight people who received the implants needed corrective procedures, called revision surgery, within five years.

Blood checks are conducted to look for microscopic metal particles around the implant, a sign of loosening.

DePuy Orthopaedics Inc has produced an online guide for those who may be affected by the recall.

It says it regrets that the recall will be a concern for patients, their families and surgeons.

The company will pay for the cost of doctor visits, tests and procedures associated with the recall.

Read the full HSE statement

HSE General Information line: 1850-241850 (8am until 8pm Monday - Saturday)