Product News and Recalls

Problematic mesh implants were marketed as safer

A blog entry for the Philadelphia Inquirer notes that vaginal mesh implants, like the kind that recently served as the basis of an $11.1 million jury award in New Jersey, were initially marketed as a safer alternative for women suffering from pelvic organ prolapse.

Instead, thousands of patients who received the implants complained of complications including severe pain, infections and bleeding.

Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when a pelvic organ such as the bladder, uterus, vagina, bowel or rectum droops. It usually happens when muscles weaken due to childbirth, aging, obesity or other factors.

The mesh devices, made of a porous synthetic or biologic material, were introduced more than a decade ago. They’re implanted and tied to ligaments or bone, serving as a sling to lift and support the organ involved. After manufacturers marketed them as a safer, easier alternative to hysterectomy or other surgery, hundreds of thousands of women had them implanted.

But the case in New Jersey represents the first of more than 11,000 lawsuits regarding the devices to go to trial.

The plaintiff, a 47-year-old former nurse underwent 18 operations to treat her chronic pain. The jury ruled that manufacturer Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, failed to warn the plaintiff’s doctor of the hazards and fraudulently misrepresented the procedure.

If you have a vaginal mesh implant, you should consult with a doctor if you have any ongoing symptoms or health concerns. If you have significant injuries, you should also consult with a mesh lawyer to discuss your legal rights.

See the blog entry here: