MOST of the 3,500 Irish patients who received potentially faulty hip implants over the course of six years still do not know if they need new operations.
The ASR (articular surface replacement) implants made by DePuy Orthopaedics were at the centre of a worldwide recall last year after they were linked to complications in patients.
Parent company Johnson & Johnson received data showing that after five years 12pc of patients who got the implants needed revision surgery.
All the Irish patients were invited to return to the hospital for tests to find out if any problems had developed and if they needed to be operated on again.
However, the HSE said most of the patients involved in the recall are still at the initial assessment stage and this will continue until at least the end of this month. Most patients are being assessed as a precautionary measure.
A very small number have already had to undergo a new operation. So far the "anecdotal evidence" is that the implant functioned well in this country.
It comes as a firm of solicitors planning to launch legal action against the makers is to hold a meeting addressed by two experts in Dublin today.
Malcomson Law solicitors has invited mechanical engineer Dr Thomas Joyce and orthopaedic surgeon David Langton to address the meeting.
Solicitor Raymond Bradley said around 400 may need new surgery, but everyone who received the implant "has a potential action against the manufacturer and also the distributor of the product".
"As of now, no lawsuits have been served in Ireland, but DePuy is aware that some patients have begun the process to do so," a spokesperson for DePuy said.