A 77-year-old Indiana woman who was implanted with an Avaulta transvaginal mesh device following a hysterectomy cautions other women who are considering a surgical mesh option to correct pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI).
“Cathy” as the website LawyersAndSettlements.com calls the patient, suffered from POP – a condition in which weakened pelvic muscles allow the pelvic organs to drop from their normal position, usually after childbirth, hysterectomy, or as a result of aging or obesity. In addition to causing pain and discomfort, POP can prevent some organs from functioning properly. In Cathy’s case, POP caused her to lose the ability to urinate, so surgery was a necessity.
Instead of a more invasive, conventional surgery, Cathy consented to receiving a transvaginal mesh implant on the advice of her doctor. The procedure involves inserting the mesh device through the vagina and setting it in place to shore up the pelvic organs.
Cathy told LawyersAndSettlements.com that the transvaginal mesh surgery corrected her inability to urinate by giving her the opposite problem – incontinence. She also suffers from frequent urinary tract infections, which she had never had problems with before the surgery, and there are other complications.
Although she can’t say with absolute certainty that the Avaulta transvaginal mesh device is to blame for these problems, she says they are very similar to problems caused by two mesh implants she had implanted years ago after her appendix ruptured.
“I am sore and bloated and I compare it to the mesh put in for my appendix. It just hurts,” she told LawyersAndSettlements.com.
As with anyone living with constant or near constant pain and other complications caused by a faulty medical device, Cathy feels angry.
“What gets me riled is how the American Medical Association and the FDA could allow this transvaginal mesh on the market—they should be sued along with Avaulta and other mesh makers. This mesh is just bad,” she told LawyersAndSettlements.com.
Transvaginal mesh has become a controversial medical product because of the number and severity of injuries associated with it. Complications arise when the mesh shifts or falls apart, creating a painful erosion of mesh into the vaginal walls and other organs. This can result in organ damage, infection, bleeding, painful sexual intercourse, and urinary problems. Because the mesh is designed to become integrated with surrounding tissue, removing it may involve multiple surgeries.