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Posted by Patricia M. Flannery on May 30, 2014 10:55:00 AM

justice2More medical evidence of the long-term consequences of the use of transvaginal mesh was presented during the American Urological Association’s annual meeting this month. While several studies showed that the majority of women who undergo surgery to alleviate pain from transvaginal mesh implants are pain free after excision surgery, there is still a significant percentage of women whose pain continues after surgical removal of the mesh. One study, “Patient Quality of Life After Removal of Vaginal Mesh”, conducted by doctors at the University of California, Los Angeles, surveyed 214 women who had had their mesh removed between 2006 and 2012. While 77% of patients were much better or at least improved after surgical excision, a significant percentage, 22%, reported they were much worse. The study concluded: “The use of vaginal mesh has the potential to cause permanent and disabling pelvic pain, urinary incontinence, and sexual dysfunction despite subsequent mesh removal.”

A second study by doctors at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas had similar results. Of the 69 patients who had surgical removal of vaginal mesh, 33 percent reported they were not pain-free after excision surgery. This study was limited to pain and did not look at urinary incontinence or sexual disfunction in post-surgery patients.

Finally, a retrospective review of 299 medical records of patients who underwent excision or revision of transvaginal mesh by Vanderbilt University in Nashville found that 73% of patients reported their pain was lessened or resolved, 8% said their pain was worsened, and 19% said their pain was unchanged.

Transvaginal mesh (TVM) is a medical device implanted surgically in women who have developed Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) or loss of bladder control known as Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI). It stretches across the vaginal wall, or pelvic floor, to support tissues and organs damaged or sagging due to injury, childbirth, surgery or aging.

Recently the FDA announced that it plans to classify TVM as a Class 1, “high-risk” device, and these newest studies certainly bolster that decision. Thousands of women have had such painful side effects that they have had to have surgery to remove painful transvaginal mesh, and for a certain percentage of those women, even removal does not alleviate their pain.

Thornton Law Firm represents women with defective transvaginal mesh implants made by Ethicon (a division of Johnson & Johnson), C.R. Bard, Boston Scientific Corp., Caldera, and Sofradim/Coviden. Attorney Marilyn McGoldrick leads our Boston transvaginal mesh team. We understand how what was supposed to be a simple surgical procedure can become a life-changing event. If you have experienced pain or other side effects after receiving a vaginal mesh implant, for a confidential, free consultation, please tell us your story here or call 1-888-491-9726.