“I get stabbed a thousand times a day,” Frances Shulte told The Gazette.
The constant pain prevents the Coralville, Iowa, resident from comfortably moving around or going to the bathroom. She never dreamed that the surgery to correct a pelvic floor disorder would cause her chronic pain and disability.
“People don’t understand that I’m in pain every day,” she said.
Frances’ ordeal began in 2005, when she had surgery to correct her stress urinary incontinence. Doctors inserted a type of surgical mesh, also known as transvaginal mesh or a bladder sling, into her body to hold up organs that had prolapsed in her pelvic cavity. The condition is not uncommon and is generally caused by childbirth, weight gain or from typical aging. However, something went terribly wrong with Frances’ treatment. The mesh eroded into her tissue, perforating into neighboring organs.
Unfortunately, Frances is not alone. More than 1,000 adverse events associated with the mesh were reported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) between 2005 and 2007, resulting in the FDA in 2008 issuing a public health advisory. Since then, the FDA has received an additional 2,874 reports of complications with transvaginal mesh devices.
Complications include erosion, protrusion and perforation resulting in symptoms such as chronic pain, incontinence, infections, bleeding and even death. Some women have required multiple surgeries to remove the mesh and in some cases women are left to suffer lifelong health problems.
Frances, like thousands of other women across the country and Canada, filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of her transvaginal mesh, claiming the company’s product was defective. Several manufacturers of transvaginal mesh currently face lawsuits, including Johnson & Johnson, C.R. Bard, Endo Health Solutions, and Boston Scientific Corp.
Women who have suffered complications from transvaginal mesh are encouraged to talk with an attorney as soon as possible as they may be entitled to compensation.
Source: The Gazette