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TRANSVAGINAL MESH LAWSUITS MOVE NORTH OF THE BORDER

TRANSVAGINAL MESH LAWSUITS MOVE NORTH OF THE BORDER

The wave of transvaginal mesh lawsuits have spilled across the border to Canada. Medical device giant Johnson & Johnson faces a newly minted class action in Canada in addition to the massive wave of transvaginal mesh cases in California and across the country.

The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning regarding transvaginal mesh implants last year. Mesh implants are used primarily to treat incontinence and pelvic organ prolapsed by replacing and reinforcing weakened tissues.

Transvaginal mesh appears to have been inadequately tested before it was released onto the market and has a high failure rate. Many of the issues with transvaginal mesh occur due to erosion of the mesh through vaginal epithelium, and recurrence of prolapse or incontinence. Many patients also reported experiencing unusual instances of infection, pain, and urinary problems.

"There were also reports of bowel, bladder, and blood vessel perforation during insertion," the FDA warned physicians in a letter. "In some cases, vaginal scarring and mesh erosion led to a significant decrease in patient quality of life due to discomfort and pain, including dyspareunia."

With the number of transvaginal mesh cases spiking, the FDA asked 33 companies to conduct a three year safety review of the products. Some patient safety advocacy groups have also pushed for a recall of the devices.

Source: Mass Device, "Transvaginal mesh suits filed against J&J in Canada," April 20, 2012

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