While clinicians understand the risks of numerous procedures, the plethora of lawsuits by women against vaginal mesh device makers continues to indicate a lack of knowledge about complications concerning transvaginal mesh products. Additional surgery can help to alleviate side effects of transvaginal mesh, but thousands of women still experience symptoms and complications afterward. Some physicians have even been implicated in vaginal mesh lawsuits, and while judges have dismissed claims against certain clinicians, physicians are becoming increasingly on guard about their liability in transvaginal mesh lawsuits.
The Audio-Digest Foundation, a publisher of continuing medical education, recently released a program to help physicians understand the risks of various mesh products for certain pelvic conditions. The goal is to increase clinicians’ knowledge of various pelvic mesh products. Yet it might have taken the thousands of lawsuits to drive physicians to seek additional knowledge about mesh devices in the first place.
Physicians Often Lack Understanding About Vaginal Mesh
In an interview with surgical mesh resource Mesh Medical Device News Desk, Dr. Shezad Malik, a cardiologist and an attorney at his own law firm in Texas, said some physicians didn’t have adequate knowledge about the risks associated with transvaginal mesh before they started utilizing transvaginal mesh kits. Malik noted many clinicians also don’t follow the proper procedures of reporting to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which can put their practice and their patients’ safety at risk.
“They go to meetings and meet vendors who tell them you are not a cutting edge doctor if you are not using this space age technology,” Malik said. “Doctors are supposed to fill out a side effect profile from procedures they do and report them to the FDA. That’s how the FDA finds out there is a problem. Unfortunately doctors don’t do that on a routine basis; they don’t want to upset the apple cart.”
Yet Malik said there’s a reason why thousands of women are suing the device manufacturers rather than their own physicians. The transvaginal mesh makers work in a competitive environment and often don’t inform clinicians about the risks associated with their products, leaving physicians with little way to gain the needed knowledge.
“The short answer is we don’t know what component is medical malpractice by physicians versus what is due to a purely defective product out there,” Malik said. “There are complications after any surgery. Infection is common.”
As complications from transvaginal mesh come into the spotlight, more physicians may seek resources about the products to ensure their patients remain safe.
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.