“It feels like the inside of my vaginal wall is on fire,” Linda Gross, 46, told ABC News. “I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.”
Gross is just one of thousands of women who have experienced serious complications following routine surgery to correct pelvic organ prolapse (POP), a condition in which the organs in the pelvis drop due to childbirth, age or obesity. As part of her surgery, surgical mesh was implanted into her vagina to shore up the organs. Instead of relieving her symptoms of bloating and constipation, it appears the mesh eroded into her vaginal wall and left her with constant pain and swelling. She says she can’t sit for more than 20 minutes, can’t have sex with her husband, and can’t be active for more than a few minutes. She has undergone a dozen surgeries to remove bits of mesh that have grown into her pelvic wall, but she has yet to have relief from her symptoms.
“It’s horrible. There are unknown amounts of the mesh still in me,” she said. “I have extreme pain.”
Gross is just one of more than 1,500 women who between 2008 and 2010 received the transvaginal mesh for POP repair and suffered injury, malfunction and even death. These complications represent a five-fold increase over previous years, and have led the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue warnings to doctors and patients about the potential dangers with using the products.
Since the FDA’s warning, hundreds of women have come forward and filed lawsuits against the manufacturers of transvaginal mesh, including Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon. The lawsuits seek both compensatory and punitive damages. The company has denied any wrongdoing.
As for Gross? She wants justice, and to warn other women not to fall prey to as she has. “My experience, I can’t change that,” she said. “But I want other women to understand the dangers of the mesh product.”
Source: ABC News