Studies Presented at May Conference Send Mixed Messages to Women Alleging Vaginal Mesh Injuries

Published on May 20, 2014 by Sandy Liebhard

Women whose vaginal mesh lawsuits allege pain and other injuries may not find relief by having the pelvic implants removed, and may experience these unpleasant injuries even after corrective surgery, a recent study suggests.

According to a HealthDay report from May 19th, findings of a study recently presented at the American Urological Association’s annual meeting showed that some women who underwent procedures to repair mesh erosion and other implant complications continued to experience them after they left the operating table. The research was led by a team at the University of California, Los Angeles and found that one-third of 214 women surveyed in the study reported moderate to severe pain after undergoing transvaginal mesh removal procedures. 28 percent of individuals said they experienced incontinence (otherwise referred to as urine leakage) at least once a day, and half reported pain during sexual intercourse; two injuries alleged in vaginal mesh lawsuit filings. Two thirds of women surveyed in the study said they had no pain or had mild symptoms.

The HealthDay article notes that only one third of 700 women who were sent the survey responded to it, suggesting that different results might have been obtained if more responses were collected.

Another study presented at the AUA meeting showed that 67 percent of women implanted with a mesh device stopped experiencing pain after surgery. 123 patients were involved in the research.

Over 50,000 Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits Filed in U.S. Courts

Given the thousands of lawsuits that have been filed in the absence of a surgical mesh recall, one may wonder how the majority of individuals in this study saw an improvement to their post-surgery conditions. At least 50,000 lawsuits in the U.S. allege that mesh erosion, pain, infection, pain during sexual intercourse and other serious complications may not be relieved by surgery to remove the devices. Many women in these cases further allege that their quality of life has been permanently diminished as a result of implants manufactured by companies including Boston Scientific, C.R. Bard Inc., American Medical Systems and the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, Ethicon.

Many of these claims have been filed in separate federal multidistrict litigations established in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia, and accuse mesh manufacturers of failing to adequately warn women about side effects that may be associated with their products.

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