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Surgical mesh products may cause problems in 10 percent of women

Imagine suffering pain and weakness so intense that it prevents you from performing your job. Then imagine realizing that the symptoms were caused by a defective product. That has been the case for thousands of women who had transvaginal mesh products implanted to help correct problems that resulted from pelvic organ prolapse.

While the surgical mesh products work well for some women, others have suffered serious complications. More than 6,000 lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers of surgical mesh. The companies involved in the lawsuits are accused of "inadequate testing, failing to disclose potential risks and fraudulently promoting the mesh as a safe medical device."

One woman had surgical mesh implanted in 2008. After the surgery she experienced pain and bleeding. She has since had the mesh removed but says it still affects her, causing achiness and pain.

Surgical mesh was approved for use in patients with pelvic organ prolapse in 2002. The federal Food and Drug Administration initially said serious complications were unlikely to arise in most patients. However, two years ago, they announced that about 10 percent of women experience complications just a year after surgery.

Doctors and lawyers agree that part of the problem lies in the hands of surgeons who are not familiar with the mesh products. A lawyer representing one patient says that it is the manufacturers' responsibility to bring surgeons up to speed in order to prevent major complications.

People who experience serious problems with a surgical mesh product may be able to pursue legal action. In July, one woman was awarded $5.5 million. Nebraska residents who believe they are suffering as a result of a transvaginal mesh product would be wise to consult with an experienced attorney to determine what legal action may be necessary and appropriate.

Source: Associated Press, "Thousands of Women Sue Over Surgical Mesh," Kate Brumback, Feb. 8, 2013

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