Every year, thousands of women experience pelvic organ prolapse – a condition in which organs in the abdomen prolapse (bulge) into the vaginal area. Generally, doctors treat this condition by surgically implanting mesh between the abdomen and the vaginal area in order to keep organs in place. And, for the most part, the surgery successfully treats the condition.
Business Week reports that approximately 300,000 women had pelvic organ prolapse surgery in the United States in 2010; of those, over 70,000 had vaginal mesh surgery to correct the issue.
Unfortunately, more and more women are experiencing excruciating pain after the mesh inserted through their vaginal incisions has failed. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports just over 1,500 cases of vaginal mesh failure or injuries occurred between 2008 and 2010. Business Week notes that this is a five-fold increase from 2005 to 2007. As of late October 2011, an advisory panel had advised the FDA to reclassify mesh from a moderate risk of harm to a high risk of harm to patients. The FDA recently decided to adopt this recommendation, due to the high-risk nature of this potentially dangerous and defective medical device.
One woman quoted by Business Week described the pain she suffered after the failure of her vaginal mesh surgery as worse than natural child birth. Her lawsuit against the manufacturer of the defective mesh used in her surgery is one of nearly 600 lawsuits which have been filed initially against the different manufacturers of mesh, including Bard, Johnson & Johnson, American Medical Systems and Boston Scientific.
To be successful, the injured-plaintiffs will need to prove that the mesh used in the surgeries was defective. Next they will need to prove that the manufactures of the mesh were aware that the mesh posed a safety risk to patients and that the safety risk was never disclosed to patients.
If you have suffered due to defective mesh, please consult an experienced personal injury attorney about your options.