In 2007, a British woman received a trans vaginal mesh device. She suffered such severe pain afterward that she had to use a wheelchair for five years. The Daily Mail interviewed Karen Russell, 44, about her painful problem. In fact, many women in the United States experience similar trans vaginal mesh problems. These stories prompted global health warnings from various health agencies. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also warned consumers that trans vaginal mesh can cause serious complications.
Trans Vaginal Mesh Surgery Allegedly Caused Internal Lacerations
Russell had trans vaginal mesh surgery to treat postnatal incontinence. She told the Daily Mail her surgeon said the procedure was “uncomplicated with no major risks.” However, the mesh caused internal lacerations. Russell felt such agony afterward that it confined her to a wheelchair, the source said.
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A pain consultant diagnosed Russell with pudendal neuralgia about a year after her initial surgery. This is a condition that can be caused by surgical trauma and leads to intense pain in the pelvis, the Daily Mail reported. For about five years, Russell took a drug to treat the pain caused by the nerve damage.
“For three of those years I was registered disabled,” Russell told the source. “My son, then eight, would push me around in the wheelchair.”
Trans Vaginal Mesh Repair Surgeries
Russell found a specialist surgeon to remove the mesh. However, the removal surgery caused internal bleeding, requiring another operation. She also developed an incisional hernia – a tissue split near the site of a surgical cut made during a Caesarean section to birth a child, the Daily Mail reported.
Months later, she had the hernia repair and was later given a pelvic belt to support her weakened muscles caused by years of inactivity. This August, she was able to regain some of her mobility.
“I’m living a full life again, at long last,” she said. “The pain is lessening.”
Russell said she wishes she never had the mesh implanted. Other women around the world likely feel the same way, as transvaginal mesh implants have caused pain, infection and continued or worsened incontinence, among other side effects, the Daily Mail reported. Some problems stem from surgeons inserting the mesh incorrectly, the source said, which can cause organ perforation. Other women have their mesh implants break inside them, creating small fragments of mesh that damage surrounding tissue.
FDA Issues Trans Vaginal Mesh Warning
Along with stress urinary incontinence, surgical mesh can also treat treat pelvic organ prolapse. The most common complications POP patients with mesh have reported to the FDA include mesh erosion through the vagina, pain, infection, bleeding, pain during sexual intercourse, urinary problems and organ perforation, according to a FDA notice from 2011. Between 2008 and 2010, the FDA received 2,874 reports of mesh complications from POP and 1,503 reports from patients with SUI. Women undergoing SUI repairs submitted 1,371 adverse event reports.
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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.