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Transvaginal Mesh Complications Compounded

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Spokane, WACarly says the past three years have been “hell for my husband and myself and our sex life is nonexistent” since she had transvaginal mesh implanted to treat a slight urinary incontinence problem. “Adding to more misery, the mesh didn’t even treat my incontinence.”

But Carly’s incontinence problem is a minor issue compared with transvaginal mesh complications. “Right away the mesh was protruding from my vagina and I was in constant pain,” she adds. “Obviously the mesh wasn’t in the proper place and consequently it had adhered to some of my organs and to my abdomen.” Carly at first believed it was completely her doctor’s error and she considered filing a medical malpractice suit, until she found out about transvaginal mesh lawsuits.

“I’ve lost track of how many times I complained to my doctor that I want the transvaginal mesh out. Finally he referred me to a surgeon who specializes in removing the mesh (of course he is extremely busy),” Carly adds. Along with the mesh removal she also had a partial hysterectomy and a laparoscopic burch procedure, which is done to treat stress urinary incontinence and bladder prolapse. But she wasn’t out of the woods yet.

Abdominal pain returned in full force and Carly was rushed to emergency where she was diagnosed with Chronic Interstitial Cystitis. This is a chronic condition in which you experience bladder pressure, bladder pain and sometimes pelvic pain, ranging from mild discomfort to severe pain, according to the Mayo Clinic.

“The pain continued so I asked for a second opinion,” says Carly. “Another doctor told me I had a lot of scar tissue. He was able to remove the adhesions and release my bowel, which I was told was caused by the transvaginal mesh. Added to the pain is the cost: even with insurance, the co-pay to see all the different doctors so many times was very costly and I had to take a lot of time off work. As for the future, I don’t think I will ever fully recover from this horrific mesh. And I don’t know how much longer my husband can last without sex.”

Most transvaginal mesh manufacturers are settling, or have settled, claims. Medtronic Plc’s Covidien unit in June 2015 has agreed to settle some of the more than 11,000 claims involving its transvaginal mesh devices, according to Reuters. A regulatory filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from Medtronic in West Virginia federal court did not disclose how many claims would be resolved or the settlement amount. What is known is that C.R. Bard, the maker of Avaulta TVM, said that two Covidien units supplied it with mesh products, and that Covidien was responsible for defending or indemnifying it in about 7,000 of 14,000 claims pending.

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