Surgeons Concerned About Vaginal Mesh Side Effects in Women
Vaginal mesh, a medical device that is used to repair and improve weakened pelvic tissues, is typically implanted in the vaginal wall. Back in the late 1990s, when it was first introduced, it was believed to a safe and easy solution for women suffering from conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence. But, a Washington Post article reports that over time, tens of thousands of women, have reported horrific side effects and complications including chronic inflammation and mesh that shrinks and becomes encased in scar tissue causing pain, infection and vaginal erosion.
Severe and Irreparable Consequences
The article gives the example of 49-year-old Katrina Spradley who was about to have a hysterectomy in April 2008. She also had urinary issues at the time and her urologist recommended implanting vaginal mesh to repair the bladder control issues. Within a couple of years, a number of problems began to surface. She experienced stomach pain, bleeding and mesh erosion.
Chrissy Brajcic, a Canadian woman who struggled for four years with persistent infections following a mesh implant became the face of mesh victims with a Facebook page. She died in December 2017 from sepsis at age 42. About 3 million to 4 million women worldwide have had mesh implanted and roughly 5 percent or about 200,000 report complications.
The problem is that the complications are hard to treat or fix. Once implanted, the mesh is almost impossible to remove because it erodes through the vaginal wall and disintegrates inside a woman’s body. Even surgeons who have performed mesh removal surgeries say that once the damage is done, it cannot be corrected. Surgeons also say that polypropylene, which is used to make these mesh implants, is neither safe nor effective.
Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits
So far, more than 100,000 lawsuits have been filed against makers of these mesh implants including Johnson & Johnson, C.R. Bard and Boston Scientific. In countries such as the United Kingdom, the authorities temporarily banned vaginal mesh surgeries, at least in government-run hospitals, because of the deluge of complaints brought forth by women who suffered severe side effects. Vaginal mesh is no longer being used in Australia, Ireland and Scotland.
But, here, in the United States, it is still available and legal. If you or a loved one has suffered adverse health effects due to these defective mesh implants, please contact an experienced product defect lawyer to explore your legal rights and options.