From the moment Carol Kouyomjian woke after surgery to treat the embarrassing symptoms of urinary incontinence, the pain radiating down her legs was unbearable. “If the pain scale runs from 1-10, mine was a 12. My legs were literally vibrating,” she told CTV News. “I never had this before, nothing so bad that you could just sit down and cry. You don’t know what is going on with your body.” Carol’s leg pain became so bad she was unable to stand for very long and had to quit her nursing job.
Many women like Carol suffer from urinary incontinence. It is often caused by childbirth, age, or weight gain. Carol received a common treatment, which was the vaginal insertion of surgical mesh, often called a bladder sling, placed so that it shores up organs that have dropped, or prolased. The same transvaginal mesh is also used to treat other pelvic floor conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse.
The surgery can help relieve symptoms of urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, but new research shows the devices may be causing many women to suffer terrible complications including pain during intercourse; pain during urination; vaginal and urinary infections; injuries to the bowel, bladder and vagina; and chronic pain in the legs.
The complications may occur as a result of the mesh shifting and/or eroding into the pelvic wall. Many women required additional surgeries to remove the mesh, and even then symptoms often linger.
In 2008 and again in 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Canada issued warnings about the serious complications associated with the devices. Then, in July 2011, the FDA issued another warning saying that transvaginal mesh, in particular for the repair of pelvic organ prolapse, has not been shown to be more effective than non-mesh repair and that it may “expose patients to greater risk.”
Carol has joined other women in a class action lawsuit against the makers of transvaginal mesh. The lawsuit claims that the mesh manufacturers did not adequately warn women of the potential risks associated with the product.
Source: CTV News