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Allergies to surgical mesh

February 7 2012 at 8:43 PM
Jerry 
from IP address 68.37.214.74

I wanted to open up a new thread and this one will appear right above one in which a woman asked about itchiness possibly being a result of an allergy to surgical mesh. I did a search and there have been quite a number of questions raised about this issue over the years in this forum alone. Questions were frequently centered around itchiness, rash, and other allergic symptoms - even one wondering if there was a connection between mesh allergy and the development of chronic fatigue syndrome.
I am very interested in this topic because as I reflect back on my hernia surgery in 1998 (Bard Perfix mesh) it was right about that time that I developed a brutal case of chronic sinusitis. I was treated by an allergist but never got much relief no matter what I tried and it has certainly contributed to my struggles with a severe case of chronic obstructive sleep apnea. I am going to return to the allergist and see what my medical record shows about when I reported the start of these symptoms to see if there was a temporal relationship.

I write this in hopes that others who have similar suspicions about possible allergies to mesh can share their experience in this thread, the type of mesh and their symptoms. What starts out as anecdotal suspicions can possibly lead to a codification of these issues so that the mesh manufacturers can be made more aware of it. The mesh may not be as inert as we are often led to believe. As one mesh researcher put it:
"Basically, surgical meshes are regarded as physically and chemically inert and stable, non immunogenic and non toxic. However, all these materials are not biologically inert."
What would be tough to factor out are how many cases of bad reactions are more related to infection, medications, and creams related to the surgery.

Anyway, this is some food for thought. Feel free to chime in if you have anything to contribute on this topic.

 
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AuthorReply
Lin

64.12.116.133

Re: Allergies to Mesh

February 8 2012, 1:44 PM 

Hi Jerry. This is a very interesting Topic. I went back to my first Ventral Hernia Surgery records, done in 2003. Then to my 2010 records. In my first surgery, nothing was ever reported as having diastasis recti. Was during second pregnancy. Was not allowed to work. This back in 1987. Was adviced not to have any more children afterward. Yet in the post Op report the surgeon was going to use mesh. Even in the OP report the plans were still to use it. This I quess was changed during the open surgery.( Large Ventral Hernia all the way from mid epigastrium to umbilical area). In his op report the omentum was protruding through the defect which was partially resected and rest was reduced at the intra-abdominal cavity. Then closed with Mayo technique. using Ethibond sutures and staples on outer skin closer. On recovery of this surgery The after pain was about a month long. I remember a lot of itching redness kind of burning around the surgery area. on the recovery first visit the surgeon sucked fluid out of the umbililical area like how an amniocentesis is done. He done this 4 times. Pulling dry blood and fluid. second visit half of the staples removed. Yet on the lower half,was not healing properly. Butterfly tapes were used to pull this area closed. Yet as far as alleries if one has a penicillin allergies at birth, other allergies can follow suit. But from my two C-Sections I was found to have Latex Allergies, from both latex gloves and from catheters. The catheters were not changed in any of the pass surgeries. causing bladder unrinary tack infection. Also the type of Betadine wash used on the surgery site can be an allergy to a person. So in between the 7 years from the open stitch surgery and the Lap surgery of 2010. My health changed alot edema fluid retention, (low thyroid, lose of hair cold chills all the time, which kicks my asthma in with shortness of breath. I also notice a patteren of sleep apnea, weight incease if not kept in check with thyroid meds.. This is something that you might want to research The omentum, resection, and the role of the Omentum). PDF The Omentum Resection I have a site for you to check out. Back in (128-199AD) Galen the role of the omentum was a belief to keep the intestine warm. This was a part of a basis of a Gadiotor who had an omental resection after a stab injury and suffered greatly from cold for the rest of his life. Yet on years of research the omentum important role is in the immune defence within the peritoneal cavity). Other medical problems UI prolapse bladder problems, will not have repair with mesh. use of meds Vesicare. So any way in my 2010 Lap surgery 3 trocars were placed. adhesions of the omentum to the midline were removed, then a periumbilical hernia and rectus diastasis, repaired with 4x6 proceed mesh 6 stab incisions were made to the abdominal wall with 1 more trocar which was also made to the right side. 31 titanum tacks were used, a CT Scan later showed these . I had less pain during recovery. Yet today after going to family doctor yesterday I am on 6 meds, with increase of Thyroid meds. I also find that with the trocar ports or opening I have a couple of them pulling open. On keeping in contact with older brother and sisters we all have alot of the same medical problems relation of genes and tissue problems. we are all in our 50's now. Mostly related to my dads side of family. Our family med tree. With some problems runs with Uncle aunts and great relatives. Hope this will help in your research .

 
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Lin

64.12.116.133

Re: Allergies to Mesh

February 8 2012, 1:58 PM 

Jerry I forgot to include the site on the resected omentum. www.wjgnet.co/1007-9327/6/169.pdf

 
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Nonie Wideman

209.91.107.142

mesh allergies

October 13 2012, 7:04 PM 

Hello Jerry , so glad to see somebody actually looking at the problem of allergic response to synthetic medical mesh !!!Although I'm not a hernia victim I was the unfortunate recipient of transvaginal mesh in 2008,..within a month, I was anemic, my season asthma occurrences became year round instead of seasonal, inhaler usage increased, meds were upped and added to with predisone for back up,one month after the mesh implantation, a surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon became dangerously infected... 2 months of antibiotics , intravenous and oral before the infection subsided, healing of the tendon was compromised, swelling persisted for 1 year, a simple cold turned to pneumonia, first time ever, with a bladder infection.....still no suspicion of Foreign Body Response or compromised immune system, two sebaceous cysts removed form back, both infected right away,aching stiff joints.. aching muscles with very sensitive spots near joints ..continued anemia, blood pressure increased, higher blood sugar levels, increased depression, meds upped again, feeling fatigued, falling asleep midday, restless legs at night, then 2011 intense rectal pain in the middle of night awoke from deep sleep, vaginal irritation, painful intercourse, vaginal erosion, bladder and urethra pain, but no bladder infection, blue fibres in excess estrogen cream in underwear, blue fibres causing extreme itching and burning, blue fibres filtered out of urine...doctors finally suspect mesh degradation after 8 months of constant intense pain, sitting unbearable standing painful, laying down not moving only way to not increase pain, felt like a saw cutting into me.....suicidal depression spurred doctors to take pain seriously , plus the blue pieces taped to paper!!! doc was thinking just pudendal neuralgia!!! I'm thinking mesh is cutting into my bladder and urethra..get it out!!!! finally mesh removal Dec 2011, asthma symptoms decrease, inhaler use decreases,cold symptoms that started in Nov. last to March., pain is not the burning type of inflammation....it is now 10 months post mesh removal,...I suspect fibromyalgia, onset of diabetes,still have high blood pressure but lower than when mesh was still in me......suspect small pieces of mesh still inside as activity with pelvic pressure or jarring start inflammation, not just the nerve pain from the pudendal nerve..............surgeon says I was one of the rare people allergic to polypropylene mesh and I should avoid it in the future...well duh ? as if I would ever let anybody put that crap into me again!!!my message to you..keep digging for the truth....keep advocating for patch tests if mesh is going to be the only thing that will fix a hernia or whatever........all mesh recipients are having the same problems and it does not mean doctor error in placement or procedure for the most part... been researching till my *** is numb, and my conclusion is it means the exaggerated and persistent foreign body response does not let the surgical wound heal,the chemically sensitive patients' over-reactive body oxidation process starts degrading mesh to get rid of it..destabilizing it allowing for chemical and mechanical irritation to have pieces of mesh break off and migrate.........compounding the whole bloody ordeal!!! the scary part is not over!! I have joined many mesh victim support groups to compare symptoms, injuries and results after mesh explantation...what is scary is how many are being diagnosed with autoimmune disease after mesh implantation, that does not resolve itself or go away after the mesh is explanted......my ordeal is not over,nor will it be for many men and women alike.........too many studies focused on was the surgery successful without looking at the whole body impact , forgetting that it doesn't matter if your hernia is fixed but your quality of life is so impaired you can barely get out of bed.....you don't leak but you can't stand ,walk, have sex or work....... thanks for allowing me to give you this patient's view....patch test should be mandatory, so what if it is difficult to remove form your arm? much easier than removing pieces of degraded mesh from organs.....

 
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Jerry

68.37.214.74

Mesh allergies

October 13 2012, 11:09 PM 

Hi Nonie,
Wow - you have really been through the ringer! I am so sorry to hear about all the torment and suffering that you have endured as a result of the mesh. No one should have to go through that! I have long been an opponent of mesh for pelvic prolapse/stress urinary incontinence and less so for hernias but it is amazing how many people suffer because medical science can't come up with a better technology. Over 40 years ago we could send a space mission to the moon and back home in the year 2012 we still can't develop anything better than a damn mosquito net! One woman in a forum (it may have been this one) wrote about she asked her surgeon to show her what the actual mesh sling looked like and as it was being handled it was degrading with pieces falling off! But while it is easy to prove that certain mesh products fail, shrink, erode, and cause a variety of other readily observable problems, it is a lot more difficult to show that it is indeed causing allergic reactions in people, autoimmune disorders, and a variety of other conditions - and that is why it would be great to have a clearinghouse (like some medications do) where people can report these things and they begin to get analyzed, tabulated, and reported to the proper authorities to take action in warning patients, taking certain products off the market, convincing big pharma that it needs to step up and do better than to keep on trying improve polypropylene when it just might be not ever deliver what it needs to.
Let's keep the lines of communication open and challenge the medical research community to do better! Best of luck to you.

 
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Nonie Wideman

209.91.107.142

mesh allergies

October 13 2012, 7:07 PM 

Hello Jerry , so glad to see somebody actually looking at the problem of allergic response to synthetic medical mesh !!!Although I'm not a hernia victim I was the unfortunate recipient of transvaginal mesh in 2008,..within a month, I was anemic, my season asthma occurrences became year round instead of seasonal, inhaler usage increased, meds were upped and added to with predisone for back up,one month after the mesh implantation, a surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon became dangerously infected... 2 months of antibiotics , intravenous and oral before the infection subsided, healing of the tendon was compromised, swelling persisted for 1 year, a simple cold turned to pneumonia, first time ever, with a bladder infection.....still no suspicion of Foreign Body Response or compromised immune system, two sebaceous cysts removed form back, both infected right away,aching stiff joints.. aching muscles with very sensitive spots near joints ..continued anemia, blood pressure increased, higher blood sugar levels, increased depression, meds upped again, feeling fatigued, falling asleep midday, restless legs at night, then 2011 intense rectal pain in the middle of night awoke from deep sleep, vaginal irritation, painful intercourse, vaginal erosion, bladder and urethra pain, but no bladder infection, blue fibres in excess estrogen cream in underwear, blue fibres causing extreme itching and burning, blue fibres filtered out of urine...doctors finally suspect mesh degradation after 8 months of constant intense pain, sitting unbearable standing painful, laying down not moving only way to not increase pain, felt like a saw cutting into me.....suicidal depression spurred doctors to take pain seriously , plus the blue pieces taped to paper!!! doc was thinking just pudendal neuralgia!!! I'm thinking mesh is cutting into my bladder and urethra..get it
out!!!! finally mesh removal Dec 2011, asthma symptoms decrease, inhaler use decreases,cold symptoms that started in Nov. last to March., pain is not the burning type of inflammation....it is now 10 months post mesh removal,...I suspect fibromyalgia, onset of diabetes,still have high blood pressure but lower than when mesh was still in me......suspect small pieces of mesh still inside as activity with pelvic pressure or jarring start inflammation, not just the nerve pain from the pudendal nerve..............surgeon says I was one of the rare people allergic to polypropylene mesh and I should avoid it in the future...well duh ? as if I would ever let anybody put that crap into me again!!!my message to you..keep digging for the truth....keep advocating for patch tests if mesh is going to be the only thing that will fix a hernia or whatever........all mesh recipients are having the same problems and it does not mean doctor error in placement or procedure for the most part... been researching till my *** is numb, and my conclusion is it means the exaggerated and persistent foreign body response does not let the surgical wound heal,the chemically sensitive patients' over-reactive body oxidation process starts degrading mesh to get rid of it..destabilizing it allowing for chemical and mechanical irritation to have pieces of mesh break off and migrate.........compounding the whole bloody ordeal!!! the scary part is not over!! I have joined many mesh victim support groups to compare symptoms, injuries and results after mesh explantation...what is scary is how many are being diagnosed with autoimmune disease after mesh implantation, that does not resolve itself or go away after the mesh is explanted......my ordeal is not over,nor will it be for many men and women alike.........too many studies focused on was the surgery successful without looking at the whole body impact , forgetting that it doesn't matter if your hernia is fixed but your quality of life is so impaired you can barely get out of bed.....you don't leak but you can't stand ,walk, have sex or work....... thanks for allowing me to give you this patient's view....patch test should be mandatory, so what if it is difficult to remove form your arm? much easier than removing pieces of degraded mesh from organs.....


 
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Bruce Scott

66.61.112.231

mesh allergy

April 2 2012, 4:28 PM 

I have long suspected that a skin reaction (amongst other symptoms)is from the mesh I had put in for a dual inguinal repair in 2002. A year later I noticed a small rash starting on my toe. Nothing OTC would make it go away until I tried a tar cream for psoriasis. I don't have psioriasis - just to point it out - i've had a few slacker docs try to tell me this to blow it off(it's a condition your born with - had op at the age of 28). The good docs I saw didn't know what to make of it but didn't sound like anything they've heard of before. Eventually the rash spread up both my legs up to me knees. The only steriodal cream that's helped is Betamethasone Dipropionate. I've had diff docs try diff creams and nothing else gets rid of the rash. And no Docs want to speculate on whats causing the rash. Since I still have the implants the rash is gonna stay. Currently exploring surgeons to redo the inguinals - should have done by the summer.

 
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Howard

204.232.92.53

Bruce

April 3 2012, 5:00 PM 

Bruce,My case;

I had a R inguinal repair in 2010 and within a few weeks started feeling progressively sick. Not knowing the cause I started going to different doc's without much help. Symptoms were swelling-soreness in the groin area which got worse with exercise, sickness, and muscle spasms in the area. I have a bad R hip so I was passing the symptoms off to that. Sickness got so bad I went to an ER and they found my gallbladder was only working at 30% so I had the organ removed. Within 6 weeks the sickness returned, was not the GB. Finally found a doc (2012) who recommended I return to the providing surgeon for a checkup to see if the hernia repair was the cause. Yesterday the surgeon said an infection to the hernia repair was not apparent. When I asked about removing the mesh he said that it could be done but there is a risk of losing a testicle.

During your search for a doc to remove your mesh, maybe we could share info. Could be helpful for all involved.


Be mindful, I didn't find this MB until today.


Howard,,

 
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Howard

204.232.92.162

Jerry

April 5 2012, 11:54 PM 

A question;

Have you ever considered having your mesh removed, if no why not?

Also, are you aware of anyone else who has had mesh removed from a hernia repair, and if so, did the removal cure their system problems?


tia,

 
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Jerry

68.37.214.74

Allergies to surgical mesh

April 6 2012, 11:22 AM 

Hi Howard,
Well, the short answer to your question is that I would rather live with chronic sinus congestion and some pain on my right side from time to time than have surgery and face the possibility of even more pain, complications, or other form of damage.

My surgery was 14 years ago and the longer one waits to have mesh removed the more ingrown it becomes, the denser the scar tissue around it, and the harder it is to remove. And in my case I have Perfix Plug and Patch (both mesh devices were "large" according to my surgical report). It is not an easy operation to endure by any means. I will turn 62 in May and I am kind of resolved to living the rest my life this way.

While I have seen some people experience great pain relief after mesh removal I am not aware of any whose allergic symptoms have disappeared. That it not to say it doesn't happen but just that I have never heard of it

If you do have your mesh removed I wish you luck with it. I hope you chose a surgeon who is well experienced in this and is willing take on tough cases and see you through it.


 
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Howard

204.232.92.3

Hi Jerry- Pathology

April 6 2012, 4:24 PM 

More info;

http://www.topix.com/forum/news/prweb/TE4DF83JKBNACOFNO/p268

You asked for more input, there a 100,s in this blog.
I am in touch with Patty-Or, not good!!


More questions;;

Is there a mesh material absorption path that a pathologist can find?

Has anyone called the FDA about this problem, they do have a problem call-number?.

Can you recommend a doc who does the mesh removal, in Mi if possible?

I just started looking online for info yesterday, there appears to hundreds.

Appears you started this tread and are in the best position to setup a info collection web site and to communicate the info to the FDA. Can you start this process or can you recommend someone who can? I'm not a computer whiz or I would.

This whole problem rattles my brain. WHY WHY WHY



TIA,,


 
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Howard

204.232.92.202

Hi again jerry

April 11 2012, 12:03 PM 

I just posted this message on Topix;

Topix;;;
Be mindful, just because the mesh used in your hernia repair has not been recalled, does not mean your immune system will accept it. I have allergic reactions to several med's that are fully approved by the FDA. I have been talking to a Bio-Chem Doc about this mesh problem. In his opinion the protocol for transplanting foreign material into a patient is the problem. Every patient should be tested for an allergic reaction to the implant material before the procedure, and even after the procedure, because the body's immune system could develop a rejection to the material after the procedure. The allergy test is fairly inexpensive, but requires a sterile specimen of the implanted material.

My concern is that the manufacturer's of the implant material knew, or should have known that there are always "SOME" people who will not tolerate a specific drug or implant material. So the procedure protocol should be to test every patient, before and after the procedure.

And where to hello is the FDA????




And, the mesh used in my procedure was Ethicon--Proceed Mesh.

And do you know of any patients with this mesh problem who have tried immune suppression drugs, and if so do you know their outcome?


Your thoughts.



tia,

 
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Jerry

68.37.214.74

Allergies

April 11 2012, 7:10 PM 

Hi Howard,
Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. I haven't visited this forum in several days. I have often thought about the very thing you wrote about as far as pre-surgical testing to determine if someone will develop an allergic reaction to the mesh that the surgeon intends to use. If people have to go for pre-operative tests anyway, this should be a routine part of that procedure. It might just involve scratching them with a tiny fiber or perhaps inserting a tiny fragment under the skin to test for reaction. Because once it is implanted it is a sonofabitch to take out.

I would be happy to serve a clearinghouse for people to report allergies to mesh. People who read this forum can contact me via e-mail and feel free to use my e-mail address in the Topix forum (and Hernia MD for his forum if he would like his bloggers to participate). My e-mail address is JSteinPsy@aol.com
I would think that, as a minimum, we would need need the following data:
Type of hernia surgery and whether open or lap, date of surgery, type of mesh used (lot number of mesh and date if known), specific allergic symptoms (along with severity and duration), whether symptoms were abated if mesh was removed, perhaps an indication if person is allergy prone, and possibly name and telephone number (only to be shared with the FDA for reporting purposes and any follow-up on their part so they don't think the data was made up or chalk these up to mere anecdotal reports). And anything else you, or anyone else can think of.
I will then aggregate the data and present it in a spreadsheet, and analyze it as best I can and forward it the FDA.

Just so you know, I am not on a crusade against mesh. I just think that the incidence of unfortunate mesh issues can be dramatically reduced if it is used by those who are well trained and highly experienced in its use; maintain a pristine operating field to reduce any possiblity of infection, properly match the type of mesh to the situation, use a large enough piece so it overlaps and allows for contraction (some have a dome-shaped laxity), etc.


 
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Unknown

205.188.116.133

Mesh Allergies

April 12 2012, 9:13 PM 

I wonder just how sterilized the plants are that make mesh, to begin with? I use to work in a plastic manufacture plant that made different plastic items for all kinds of products from the ccokie trays for walmart, plastic cd containers, (the plastic bubble containers that are around medical devices. This was a room enclosed in plexglass. Yet I think about it now that room could of become cross contaminated very easy. Just by use of latex gloves hair nets lab coats just the machines that makes the containers the rolls of polpropylene. Once products are made, shipped all over the world, by train 18 wheelers, ships etc.... but once boxed and shipped out to warehouses how sterile are the shipping modes? How sterile are the warehouses? The temp change between summer and winter,of keeping building temp. Then the shelf life . I read the other day about contamination and auto-immune disease caused by chemical leaching nonylphenol from polypropylene mesh, causing thymocyte apoptosis.

 
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Howard

204.232.92.62

Mesh allergies & jerry

April 13 2012, 10:52 AM 

Unknown;

The bio-chem doc I have been talking to also mentioned the onset of auto-immune disease. Could you post a link to the information you site?

tia,



And Jerry;

This link is from the topix blog. Describes a new meshless hernia repair. Would be nice if you could give us an expert opinion.


http://www.topix.com/forum/post/reply



And;

Wikipedia--Medical

Its most common medical use is in the synthetic, nonabsorbable suture Prolene, manufactured by Ethicon Inc.

Polypropylene has been used in hernia and pelvic organ prolapse repair operations to protect the body from new hernias in the same location. A small patch of the material is placed over the spot of the hernia, below the skin, and is painless and is rarely, if ever, rejected by the body.

>>>>However, a polypropylene mesh will erode over the uncertain period from days to years.<<<<<

Therefore, the FDA has issued several warnings on the use of polypropylene mesh medical kits for certain applications in pelvic organ prolapse, specifically when introduced in close proximity to the vaginal wall due to a continued increase in number of mesh erosions reported by patients over the past few years.[21]

>>>>>Most recently, on January 3, 2012, the FDA ordered 35 manufacturers of these mesh products to study the side effects of these devices<<<<<



Appears the FDA is looking hard at the safety of polypropylene, just not-so-much when it is used for hernia repair. Seems if the mesh caused a problem in one area of the body, it would cause the same reaction anywhere in the body. How can we bring this inclusion-exclusion situation to the attention of the FDA?

Your thoughts?


tia,,

 
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unknown

205.188.116.133

Re: Mesh allergies &Jerry

April 13 2012, 9:41 PM 

Howard This is how I came across the web sites. Ityped Polyproylene hernia mesh leaches chemicals. seach came back with a list of sites. TransVaginal mesh is Life-Threatening. www.lawyersandsettlements.com/articles/transvaginal-mesh-tvt-sling/interview also another site pdf evaluation of antimicrobial activity of lysostaphi site aac.asm.org/content/early/2011/06/27/AAC.01056-10.full.pdf

 
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Howard

204.232.92.7

Jerry

April 21 2012, 10:33 AM 

Jerry, is this what you had in mind?


Maybe another road to a solution;


http://www.citizen.org/Page.aspx?pid=2326#hrg

Maybe someone could organize all the complaints on this board and communicate with this group.

 
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darlene gardell

206.205.207.98

mesh

July 16 2012, 7:40 AM 

I had surgery in May 2012 they put a mesh inside me and since then I have been having problem that no one knows whats wrong with me I feel like Im going crazy. Im in pain all threw my body, my feet and hands are always itchy went to the doctors they dont know whats wrong with me i feel like im losing my mine. I wasnt like this before the surgery I has a total hysterectomy and a total lift of the bladder.Can my body be rejecting the mesh or can this be cause now Im in Menopause that all of this is happening dont know what to do can you please help me with some answers dont know what else to do

 
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Lori

173.58.228.66

Confirm itchy hands and feet from Mesh

January 6 2014, 9:36 AM 

I was just diagnosed at UCLA Medical with systemic reaction to bladder mesh surgery performed in 1996. One of the most persistent and crazy symptoms was swelling edema and incessant itching on the tops and bottoms of my feet and palms of my hands. You are not crazy.

 
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darlene gardell

206.205.207.98

mesh

July 16 2012, 7:43 AM 

I had surgery in May 2012 they put a mesh inside me and since then I have been having problem that no one knows whats wrong with me I feel like Im going crazy. Im in pain all threw my body, my feet and hands are always itchy went to the doctors they dont know whats wrong with me i feel like im losing my mine. I wasnt like this before the surgery I has a total hysterectomy and a total lift of the bladder.Can my body be rejecting the mesh or can this be cause now Im in Menopause that all of this is happening dont know what to do can you please help me with some answers dont know what else to do

 
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