Transvaginal mesh (TVM) had made headlines for “rotting pelvises” and for feeling like “a cigarette burn that leaves the entire vaginal wall red and inflamed.” More torture tool than medical device, why are women kept in the dark about the dangers of pelvic mesh and why are they still legal in the U.S.?
TVM Patients: In Their Words
TVM is surgically inserted into female patients who have pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or stress urinary incontinence (SUI) that is the result of age or childbirth. When the muscles or tissues become weak, this can cause the organs to sag into the vagina or pressure against the organs can cause urine leakage. TVM is a plastic mesh that is supposed to support the organs to address these problems. Unfortunately, countless women who have had this surgery have reported having mesh migration, erosion, vagina scarring and other complications. Here is what they have said:
- ‘I loved my job [as a paramedic], I did it for 12 years. I miss being out on the road with colleagues and talking to people. Now I’m trapped inside my house… I’m in immense pain permanently. It’s like a cheese wire, glass pain in my groin.” – Julie Gilsennan, 41
- ‘I had my mesh and I had a problem with my mobility, shooting pains down my leg, in my groin and my hips. It grates off, it splinters, it goes into the bowel, it goes into the bladder, it goes into the vaginal wall – it’s outrageous… Things you think can’t be connected to mesh, they are. It poisons you and breaks you down.” – Lizzy Ford, 54
- “All it took was dying to get better care and better pain management. I will take it… it’s better than fighting for my care.” – Chrissy Brajcic, 42, the first woman who died due to mesh complications.
Why is TVM Still Being Used?
Transvaginal mesh is a booming business for those who are manufacturing these faulty medical devices. Pelvic mesh surgery is the most common surgical procedure used to treat SUI in women with 3.7 million sold worldwide between 2005 and 2013. In 2016, Bard – one of the TVM manufacturers, made over $3.7 billion in 2016 alone. Johnson & Johnson made $76.5 billion (yes, billion with a “b”) in 2017. While these manufacturers have other products that are allowing them to reap in huge amounts of profits, TVM is certainly a money maker.
TVM by the Numbers
Here are some other important facts that you should know about TVM:
- Doctors perform about 200,000 surgeries for POP each year which makes it the most common inpatient procedure for women age 70 and older.
- There are over 135,000 women and their families who have filed personal-injury lawsuits against seven makers of pelvic mesh products.
- 59,000 of the 135,000 mesh lawsuits are consolidated in a federal court in West Virginia. These cases are currently being tried and 150 are set for trial in May 15, 2018.
What Can Be Done?
TVM was banned in 2017 in Australia and currently their government’s Medicare system has agreed to pay for any associated TVM procedures that occur after July 2018. In the UK, TVM is banned from being used until further investigation. In the US, TVM is still being used. If you had TVM revision surgery or have had TVM removal surgery, contact us today– cases are currently being tried, so time is limited. You may be eligible for compensation for the financial and physical hardships that you have endured. Moreover, you’ll be joining together with the hundreds of thousands of women who are fighting against the pharmaceutical companies who have put profits over the health of women around the world.