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Thousands of women report negative side effects of vaginal mesh

Hundreds of thousands of American women suffer from problems associated with incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse. In many cases such medical conditions develop after women have given birth or naturally with age. For years, women were forced to deal with the discomfort and embarrassment and suffer in silence. In recent years, however, advances in medical products led to the development of a medical device known as transvaginal mesh.

In 2008, thousands of patients who underwent surgical procedures to implant vaginal surgical mesh began notifying the Food and Drug Administration of problems. These women were experiencing painful side effects which were largely attributed to the erosion or hardening of the vaginal mesh material.

Similar mesh material was previously used in patients to correct hernia injuries. The material, however, was never tested to determine how it would react and hold up when placed within a woman’s sensitive vaginal and uterine area. Since the first side effects were reported thousands more women have notified doctors with problems such as pain, infection, incontinence and scarring.

Some women report having excruciating pain which they equate to being stabbed every time they walk or move. While doctors were quick to perform thousands of surgeries to implant the vaginal mesh, many are hesitant to remove the mesh material. In essence the material becomes embedded into the uterine and vaginal tissues making the removal of the mesh difficult and potentially dangerous.

The myriad of problems suffered by many women who have vaginal mesh implants have resulted in some doctors refusing to perform vaginal mesh procedures. Some doctors, however, continue to readily perform procedures using vaginal mesh.

Individuals who have suffered pain and injury as a result of a vaginal mesh procedure may choose to take legal action. The first lawsuit against vaginal mesh maker Johnson & Johnson settled earlier this year for $11 million. This settlement sets precedent for other women suffering similar injuries.

Source: KFOR, “Oklahoma women injured by surgical mesh,” Ali Meyer, April 26, 2013


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