Thousands of women in the U.S. suffered serious complications from transvaginal mesh devices. These injured women are filing lawsuits against mesh manufacturers for pain and suffering. However, women in the United States are not the only ones reporting adverse events from mesh devices. In Canada, a group of women say they had vaginal mesh inserted with the hopes the implants would fix their pelvic prolapse, CTV Calgary reported. Instead, the women say their conditions have worsened and they’re now in constant pain. They also seek medical treatment, including surgery in the United States to fix their complications or to remove mesh implants.
Canadians Flee South to Remove Mesh Implants
One woman, Annie Simon, was only able to have part of the mesh removed in Canada. “I’m going to have to remortgage my house and I have to have it done,” she said of another future surgery, according to the source. “I need my life back.” Earlier this year, CTV reported women had a hard time finding doctors in Canada willing to remove mesh implants. This was true even after patients complained of pain, infection and had pieces of mesh perforate internal organs. This has forced these women to seek treatment in the United States. Canadian patients said doctors doubted the mesh was the cause of their pain or that they were unable to remove the mesh after it was embedded in tissue.
Women Can’t Find Doctors to Remove Mesh
Ruth Olson of Saskatchewan started experiencing pain immediately after having her mesh implanted. The mesh was supposed to treat her leaky bladder, CTV reported, but it only made her suffer additional complications.
“I had pain coursing through my body,” Olson told CTV News earlier this year. “Burning pains through different parts of my body. It was strange, unbelievable and inexplicable.” Olson traveled to Los Angeles to have the mesh removed.
Marika English, also of Saskatchewan, reported excruciating pain shortly after having a mesh implant inserted. She ended up traveling to Los Angeles to have the mesh removed, according to CTV. Saskatoon resident Stephanie Brad also had to go to L.A. for mesh removal surgery. She first had surgery to insert the mesh in 2006 for SUI. Doctors in Canada were unable to repair the damages the device cause, the source said.
Covering the Costs
Some Saskatchewan patients were asking the provincial government earlier this year to cover the cost of traveling to the U.S. for these surgeries, as the procedure is not available at local hospitals, CTV reported.
“There’s a huge community of women who are trying to get help, slowly, slowly, slowly but we’re not being heard, we’re not being taken seriously,” Simon told CTV.
Dr. John Miklos, a surgeon in Atlanta, acknowledged that not all doctors want to take part in mesh removal surgeries. Miklos told CTV that these surgeries can be complicated as it is difficult sometimes to remove the mesh once it is inserted.
Some Canadian surgeons disagree with the belief that there is no help available to Canadian patients.
“The consensus, across the country in our sub-specialty, is that women can be confident that they can get good care in Canada and in the odd case, where this possibly could not happen, we would tell them that. But certainly, they have no need to go pay large amounts of money and fly around the world, go and see the right people in your local communities,” said Dr. Magnus Murphy.
As many as 10 transvaginal mesh devices are available in Canada, and Health Canada has warned consumers of the risks associated with the implants, CTV reported. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has also issued warnings for U.S. consumers, saying serious complications from transvaginal mesh were not rare.
What You Can Do
If you were hurt by transvaginal mesh, you may have a case. Complete your free TVM claim review form today and an attorney will contact you shortly to discuss your case.
Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.