Susan hasn’t been able to get any help from her doctor. He told her that she would have some discomfort for a few weeks, not two years. Susan believes he doesn’t have a solution - he doesn’t know how to remove the mesh. In fact she considered filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against him, until she discovered how many transvaginal mesh lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers.
“I have had nothing but frigging problems since I’ve had this TVM mesh put in,” Susan adds. “Needless to say, my better half is fed up because we have no sex life. My daughter is fed up because we plan an activity and then I have to cancel because I have one infection after the other and it is so painful. To top it off, the incontinence is worse to the point that I have to wear Depends everywhere because of the leaking. It is so embarrassing.”
Susan can’t remember the last time she had sexual intercourse with her husband. She experienced so much discomfort, and it also hurt her husband because he could actually feel the mesh protruding from her vaginal wall. Still, her doctor did nothing.
“I recently saw a urologist who finally acknowledged that I need to have this mesh removed but he thinks it might be beyond his scope,” says Susan, who is now on a long waiting list to see a surgeon experienced in mesh removal.
“My friend had a transvaginal mesh sling removed recently by a surgeon but she is still in pain and has to take pain meds that are so strong she often seems ‘out of it.’ The surgeon told her she is having pain due to nerve damage,” Susan explains. “She is worse off than me but I don’t know how much longer I have to wait to have it removed, and if it erodes any more, maybe I will also have nerve damage. It is so frustrating because I can’t get a definite answer from anyone.”
Susan filed a transvaginal mesh claim last month and she is in the process of collecting her medical reports from her doctor. Her attorney has requested her surgical report from the hospital, so she hopes to get some legal answers soon…
Meanwhile the jury is still out in the medical community. A recent American Urological Association (AUA) meeting debated whether the transvaginal mesh (TVM) risks outweighed the benefits. One specialist in favor of TVM acknowledged that there are complications unique to mesh, but he maintained that it is safe to use and blamed lawyers for highlighting the complications linked to the product.
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Dr. Jerry Blavais, clinical professor of urology at Weill Cornell Medical College and attending surgeon at New York Presbyterian Hospital and Lenox Hill Hospital, is vehemently opposed to the mesh. During his presentation, Blavais showed slides of one patient who underwent six operations to remove the mesh, and acknowledged that many procedures are difficult for the most experienced of surgeons.
“We all agree that most surgeons recommend mesh slings, but in 1965, most Americans smoked cigarettes, and we know what happened by 1978,” Blavais said.