Professional Groups Issue Recommendations for Use of Vaginal Mesh
The America College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Urogynecologic Society have issued a joint Committee Opinion stating that there is an “urgent need” for the development of a national registry to track outcomes for all current and future patients who receive vaginal mesh implants. There have been serious concerns regarding the safety and efficacy of these synthetic mesh products that are placed vaginally to treat a condition known as pelvic organ prolapse (POP). Given the horrific side effects thousands of women are experiencing as a result of receiving these transvaginal mesh implants, these groups now recommend that use of these mesh implants should only be reserved for high-risk women “for whom the benefit may justify the risk.”
Pelvic Organ Prolapse
What is pelvic organ prolapse? When the organs in the pelvis such as the uterus, bladder, urethra, small intestine and rectum, drop down and bulge into the vagina, that condition is known as a pelvic organ prolapse. POP can be caused by several factors including menopause, aging, intense physical activity, obesity, prior pelvic surgery, chronic coughing, and straining to have bowel movements. According to the American Urogynecologic Society, more than 350,000 women undergo surgery for this condition in the United States. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration first approved the mesh implants for use in 2001.
However, the mesh implants led to a number of complications among the women who received them. Instead of improving women’s lives, many women experienced horrendous symptoms including excruciating pain. In some women, the mesh cut into the vaginal lining causing infections and even nerve damage. Others could not sit down or urinate without a catheter. Some patients even had to be hospitalized or stop sexual intercourse because the symptoms had become so painful and unbearable. In July 2011, the FDA issued a safety alert warning consumers about the possible risks these defective products pose.
Recommendations by Professionals
The professional group’s other recommendations include continuing the audit and review of outcomes, and establishing a registry for all current and future vaginal mesh implants; surgeon training for vaginal mesh placement specific to each device; patient counseling with regard to alternative options, risks and benefits of mesh implant surgery; and adopting new mesh products and devices only after they have been properly tested and their safety and efficacy have been established.
If you or a loved one has suffered complications as a result of vaginal mesh implants, please contact a reputed California personal injury lawyer who has experience handling similar cases. You can seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.