Vaginal mesh patient’s ‘quality of life will never be the same’

We often discuss the devastating effects of vaginal mesh complications and the personal injury lawsuits that have resulted. The vaginal mesh products are used to repair pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence in women, but they can also lead to serious complications and even death.

In fact, the Food and Drug Administration received 2,874 “adverse event reports” of pain, tissue erosion, infection, bleeding, organ perforation and enhanced urinary problems from vaginal mesh products between 2008 and 2010. Before that, more than 1,000 companies were made between 2005 and 2007. Even so, the products are still on the market and some doctors swear by the method.

One doctor said he would recommend the product to any female member of his family. He said he has personally implanted the mesh products in thousands of patients and has seen only the occasional complication. Another doctor said that even the few thousand complaints that have been made to the FDA represent only a fraction of the number of women who have had the implants.

However, the women who have suffered the complications say their lives have been forever changed. One woman said before the vaginal mesh implant, her problem was a 10 on a scale of one to 10. Now, since part of the mesh has become embedded in her tissue, her problem is more like 100. She said her “quality of life will never be the same.”

The woman is one of more than 650 from around the country who have sued the vaginal mesh’s manufacturers, charging that they knowingly produced and distributed a defective product and inadequately warned patients of the risks. So many cases have been filed that hundreds of the federal lawsuits were consolidated by the U.S. Judicial Panel in February.

The FDA updated a safety warning on the products in July, saying “serious risks” from vaginal mesh products “are not rare.” The warning also urged doctors to use other means to treat organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Additionally, the FDA ordered 33 mesh manufacturers to conduct three-year safety studies on the products.

Source: nola.com, “Lawsuits, federal action target ‘mesh’ surgical repairs in women,” May 31, 2012