“One night I emailed my sons and told them goodbye,” Teresa Sawyer told The Press. “I really thought I was going to die. I made them promise me that if something happened to me they would spread the word and tell other women not to get the mesh.”
In February 2011, Teresa had surgery to implant Transvaginal Ethicon Mesh to treat stress urinary incontinence (SUI), a common condition in women in which urine unintentionally leaks after physical movement or activity (coughing, heavy lifting) that puts pressure on the bladder. It can be caused by childbirth, pelvic surgery, age and obesity.
Transvaginal mesh, which is made by several manufacturers, is a type of surgical mesh that is surgically implanted through the vaginal wall to shore up organs that have dropped or prolapsed due to SUI or pelvic organ prolapse (POP).
The device has made headlines in recent months after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it had received more than 1,500 complaints on the device between 2008 and 2010 – five times more than what had been reported between 2005 and 2007. Complaints involved the mesh moving or eroding into the vaginal wall, causing debilitating pain and disability, and leaving women prone to serious infections.
After just one month, Teresa began to experience problems when the mesh implanted in her began to push through her cervix.
“She had surgery to take the mesh out. We were told it was all out of her,” Teresa’s husband Dave told The Press. “In April, her doctor cleared us for sex and we found more of the mesh trying to get out.” Since then, Teresa has had 25 infections and five surgeries. “This is worse than the silicone breast implants. We just got back today from the doctor because she has another infection.”
Like hundreds of other women, Teresa and her husband are suing the manufacturer of her transvaginal mesh, arguing the device maker should have known its surgical mesh was defective and could cause serious injury.
Source: The Press