A Canadian woman who was implanted with a transvaginal mesh device 10 years ago is seeking millions of dollars from the manufacturer of the mesh and its distributor alleging the device has destroyed her quality of life and left her in constant pain.
According to the Winnipeg Free Press, Joanne, a resident of Winnipeg, Canada, is suing Covidien, a medical equipment and supply company, and Tyco Healthcare Group Canada ULC. Tyco Healthcare became Covidien in 2007 after breaking off from the corporate conglomerate Tyco International.
Joanne is seeking $5 million in damages for her mesh injuries, claiming the defective device has deteriorated inside her body and cannot be surgically removed. She also seeks an unspecified amount of general and special damages.
“[Joanne] says she is in constant pain, intimacy is painful and unbearable, and she suffers from anxiety, depression and incontinence,” the Winnipeg Free Press reported.
Joanne’s lawyer, who represents several women suing medical device manufacturers over transvaginal mesh injuries, told the Winnipeg Free Press that the polypropylene mesh worked relatively well as a hernia treatment, the application for which the mesh was originally developed. But the mesh was never tested as a device to be used to treat pelvic organs, he said.
Due to the lack of testing, many women who were told transvaginal mesh would be a simple, easy repair for stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse now suffer from debilitating pain and injury because the mesh may become unstable and break down when inserted in the uterus.
“The mesh is eroding through the vaginal wall,” Joanne’s lawyer told the Winnipeg Free Press. “Sex is impossible for women because the pain is too severe. We have a number of clients whose partners have been cut by the mesh during intercourse.
“We have (clients) who’ve had the mesh erode and migrate through their bodies and have perforated their bladder or bowel,” he added.
Like many women who say they were injured by transvaginal mesh, Joanne has undergone multiple surgeries and hospitalizations in an effort to have some of the degrading mesh removed. Not only has this resulted in severe physical and emotional pain, it has kept Joanne from holding a job and bars her from participating in athletic, recreational, social, and household activities.