What Women Need to Know About Vaginal Mesh Surgery Complications
By Dean I Weitzman, Esq. on March 27th, 2013
Every year, thousands of women undergo surgery to correct a medical condition known as pelvic organ prolapse (POP) – when the cervix, uterus, bladder or other reproductive organs slip down into the vagina due to the weakening of pelvic muscles.
To treat such patients, surgeons often have turned to surgical mesh products that allow the reconstruction of the pelvic walls. The surgical mesh is designed to keep the organs in place and resolve the painful and debilitating medical complications caused by POP.
Instead, however, many women who undergo the surgery have been finding out that the supposed “cure” is as bad or worse than the condition they were suffering in the first place. The use of the surgical mesh products have often caused higher rates of pain, bleeding and infection than surgery involving traditional stitches, according to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) report.
In 2010, there were at least 100,000 POP repairs that used surgical mesh, according to statistics from the FDA. About 75,000 of these were transvaginal procedures, or surgeries that were performed through the vagina.
Thousands of lawsuits have been filed across the nation on behalf of women who were seriously injured due to complications from the surgical mesh. In February, a South Dakota woman, a former nurse who endured multiple vaginal mesh implant surgeries which left her with serious pain and ongoing health problems for years, received $11.1 million in damages for her injuries. The jury in the case awarded Linda Gross, 47, of Watertown, S.D., $3.35 million to compensate her for her injuries and another $7.76 million in punitive damages to further punish Johnson & Johnson, the makers of the vaginal mesh products that were used in her surgeries.
The attorneys here at MyPhillyLawyer regularly handle vaginal mesh surgical cases on behalf of women who have been injured by the material.
Dr. Randy Weiss, D.O., who is on the staff of MyPhillyLawyer, is available to speak with female victims who are considering legal action in connection with their vaginal mesh surgeries. Among the topics that can be discussed are post-surgical conditions that can be evidence of serious problems from the implanted mesh, as well as advice for what victims can do to work on recovering their health.
“If a patient has had vaginal mesh surgery, probably the most common symptom of a problem with the surgery is experiencing painful intercourse,” said Weiss. Vaginal or pelvic pains are also related conditions. “Also frequently patients can experience vaginal infections and discharge or blood from the vagina that are not caused by other conditions.”
For women who have not had vaginal mesh surgery, any of those kinds of conditions should immediately be examined and treated by a doctor, said Weiss.
If a woman has had any one or several of these symptoms in the years after having vaginal mesh surgery, then “there’s a good chance that there is a connection,” said Weiss.
Women who experience any of these issues after vaginal mesh surgeries should quickly see their OB-GYN physician for a complete examination so that corrective measures can be taken, said Weiss.
It also would be appropriate, he said, to contact a lawyer to determine if you wish to pursue a legal case against the manufacturers of the vaginal mesh products that were used in the surgery.
“The most important thing is to do is to see your doctor to find out what’s going on,” said Weiss. “If you are experiencing problems after surgery, you should go to see a different doctor for a second opinion,” rather than only the surgeon who performed the operation.
“When talking to victims of vaginal mesh surgery, I discuss with them the reasons that the mesh was used in the first place and that it’s most likely that their doctor had no idea that there were going to be these terrible consequences when the surgery was performed,” said Weiss. “It’s really a product-liability issue that we’re dealing with here. It’s the manufacturers of the mesh that we pursue.”
The case involving the South Dakota victim was the first jury verdict in a backlog of several thousand such vaginal mesh injury cases across the United States. The case is also the first verdict in about 4,000 lawsuits filed by plaintiffs against Johnson & Johnson, which is one of the makers of surgical vaginal mesh.
Vaginal mesh implants have been a popular alternative to traditional hysterectomies in patients in recent years for the treatment of POP.
This is an injury that has been becoming all too common in the last few years, and it has led to an increasing number of lawsuits against the makers of other such devices, including C.R. Bard Inc. of Murray Hill, N.J., and Endo Health Solutions Inc. of Chadds Ford, Pa.
In June of 2012, Johnson & Johnson announced that it would stop selling four types of surgical mesh implant products. The mesh products had been linked to injuries and triggered about 600 lawsuits against the company at that time. J&J said the products were safe and that its action wasn’t a recall of the products, but just an end to their sales.
Serious injuries due to defective vaginal mesh products are a real health problem for a growing number of women across the United States. Patients who suffer from the crippling injuries caused by these defective mesh devices need skilled, compassionate and dedicated legal teams to help them recover damages for their injuries, pain and suffering.
Women have been injured through these kinds of surgeries because the vaginal mesh manufacturers released and sold products which continue to be problematic for thousands of patients. Instead of being led by concerns over clear patterns of serious medical problems from these products, the manufacturers continue to be motivated only by profit and sales, harming the patients who are being victimized by vaginal mesh implants.
We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a case involving vaginal mesh devices and products anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.
Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.
When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.