Jen Branje, 45, is petitioning Parliament in New Zealand to investigate injuries caused by transvaginal mesh, claiming the mesh is dangerous and should be banned until an inquiry examines serious risks associated with the devices.
Transvaginal mesh, also called vaginal mesh or bladder sling, is a type of surgical mesh used to treat pelvic floor disorders in women, such as pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Mounting reports of injuries associated with the devices prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct an investigation in which the agency found that complications with the device were not uncommon and women should weigh the risks carefully with their doctors before deciding whether to have the mesh implanted.
Complications included mesh eroding inside the body and mesh perforating organs, causing chronic pain, disability, inflammation, bleeding, infections, and incontinence.
Currently in the United States, transvaginal mesh manufacturers are facing thousands of lawsuits alleging the companies’ devices were defective and caused women to suffer serious injuries.
In a statement to NZ Parliament, Jen explained that she suffered adverse events almost immediately after having surgery to implant surgical mesh. She couldn’t urinate and returned to her doctor for corrective surgery. When that surgery proved unsuccessful, she underwent more surgeries, ultimately having the mesh removed.
For many women, mesh removal requires multiple surgeries because the mesh erodes into tissue. Jen believes some mesh remains in her body because she lives with constant groin pain, numb legs, and bladder and bowel problems.
“It can’t be a coincidence that so many people are being so maimed by it. All implanting of it needs to stop until the inquiry is finished,” Jen said.
The case is currently under review by the NZ Health and Disability Commissioner.
Source: New Zealand Herald