Is the New Mesh Better than the Old Mesh?

“Scientists from the University of Sheffield have developed a material that could be used as an alternative to the current vaginal mesh material, polypropylene, used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.” (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180213223410.htm). Polyurethane possesses much more elasticity than polypropylene and is therefore better equipped to sustain the pelvic organs — the bladder, bowel and vagina — exerting pressure on the pelvic floor every day. (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180213223410.htm). “Polypropylene (PP) is a nonabsorbable polymer, used widely because of its high tensile strength compare to that of steel. PP is a linear aliphatic hydrocarbon with a methyl group attached to alternate carbon atoms on the chain backbone (-C3H6-). As a result, it is nonpolar in nature, highly hydrophobic, electrostatically neutral and resistant to biological degradation.” (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5571666/). “The overriding benefit of a PP mesh, however, is that even with its propensity to incite infection; the infections often been treated themselves without the removal of mesh. Additionally, many of the risks associated with PP are being modulated by adjusting mesh weight and porosity to promote more or less tissue in-growths. Though obviously not an inert material, PP meshes are considered to be a stable material provides an adequate service to save life.” (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5571666/). The comments are all recent… so, which do you believe?

> 100,000 MESH LAWSUITS

More than 100,000 women have filed lawsuits against mesh manufacturers for their injuries, resulting in multimillion dollar verdicts and more than $1 billion in settlements. In 2011, the FDA reported receiving 4,000 adverse event reports caused by transvaginal mesh in the previous six years. In 2016, the FDA changed the classification of transvaginal mesh used to repair POP from a moderate-risk device to a high-risk device. The FDA orders apply only to transvaginal use of surgical mesh to treat POP, and not to the use of transvaginal mesh for SUI. (https://www.nwhn.org/i-was-diagnosed-with-pelvic-organ-prolapse-pop-what-are-the-side-effects-of-a-vaginal-pelvic-mesh-treatment/). “If you wish to find more information on transvaginal mesh, the FDA publishes information about transvaginal mesh and its risks on their website, and there are several transvaginal mesh patient advocacy groups as well as publications such as Public Citizen and Mesh Medical News Desk, which serve to educate the public about the risks of mesh and also information about safer alternatives.  ” (https://www.nwhn.org/i-was-diagnosed-with-pelvic-organ-prolapse-pop-what-are-the-side-effects-of-a-vaginal-pelvic-mesh-treatment/).

Unsafe Mesh Was Marketed as Safe

Mesh Was Marketed as Safe: “Mesh material, used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence, was marketed by its manufacturers as a durable surgical method for repairing these challenging problems compared to other corrective surgeries with a high failure rate.” (https://healthblog.uofmhealth.org/womens-health/pelvic-mesh-safe-what-patients-need-to-know). “Early clinical trials suggested excellent efficacy and many surgeons saw advantages over traditional open-surgery procedures, which took longer to perform, involved a longer recovery for patients and were associated with their own range of complications. By contrast, a TVT procedure typically takes 3o minutes, is performed using keyhole surgery and patients often go home the same day. Meanwhile, the traditional treatments for pelvic organ prolapse, which included suturing to reconstruct and repair the affected organs and surrounding tissue, were proving less successful, with reports of up to 29%of women suffering another prolapse after treatment. Hysterectomy is another treatment option, which some women wish to avoid. “Because outcomes of using the mesh for incontinence and hernia were so good people were enthusiastic and confident it would also be good for prolapse,” said Christopher Maher, a urogynaecologist and associate professor at the University of Queensland. “That’s what the mindset was when it was introduced for prolapse around 2002.”” (https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/aug/31/vaginal-pelvic-mesh-explainer).

Mesh Was Used and Used a Lot: “Millions of women over the last two decades have undergone vaginal mesh surgery, but it has recently become clear just how many have experienced severe complications.” (https://www.newscientist.com/article/2178297-the-pain-was-instant-the-devastating-impact-of-vaginal-mesh-surgery/). “About 300,000 women in the U.S. underwent surgery to repair POP in 2010. Surgical mesh was used in about one out of three procedures. About 250,000 women in the U.S. underwent surgery to repair SUI in 2010, with mesh placement being used in over 80% of the procedures.” (https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/16298-surgical-mesh-use-and-complications-in-women).

Mesh Was Not Safe: “We estimated that 9.8% of patients undergoing surgical mesh insertion for SUI experience a complication peri-procedurally, within 30-days or within 5 years.” (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-11821-w). “Due to reports of complications during or after surgery for POP, in 2016 the FDA changed the classification of surgical mesh to repair POP transvaginally from a moderate-risk device to a high-risk device. The FDA orders apply only to transvaginal use of surgical mesh to treat POP. The orders don’t apply to the use of transvaginal mesh for SUI.” (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pelvic-organ-prolapse/in-depth/transvaginal-mesh-complications/art-20110300). Vaginal mesh erosion “is the most common complication following the use of surgical mesh devices to repair pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Non-absorbable synthetic surgical mesh, such as that made of polypropylene or polyester, can break down or wear away over time. Part of the mesh may become exposed or protrude through the vagina. (https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/16298-surgical-mesh-use-and-complications-in-women). Along with Scotland, the United Kingdom, and Australia, New Zealand had something to say about the so called safety of transvaginal mesh, even going to the point of effectively banning its use: “New Zealand’s Ministry of Health wrote letters to the manufacturers of mesh – including midurethral slings – requesting that they stop marketing their products in the country, unless they could produce evidence proving their safety and efficacy. This effectively results in a ban in all transvaginal mesh, including SUI treatments.” (https://www.augs.org/update-on-vaginal-mesh-for-prolapse-and-incontinence/).

If you, a family member, a loved one, a friend, or anyone you know has had pelvic surgery that involves mesh and had complications wherein the mesh fell apart, it may be time for you or that other person to contact a lawyer. There are statutes of limitations (deadlines), so waiting too long can mean no case. Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. offers free consultations on mesh cases for patients who had surgery in California.

Removing Vaginal mesh Is “Possible”

“Transvaginal mesh removal is a technically complex surgical procedure in which surgeons attempt to remove as much of the mesh as possible. Complete transvaginal mesh removal is possible for some women, while only part of the mesh can be removed in other women due to complicated issues from the type of mesh that was originally used.” (https://urogyn.coloradowomenshealth.com/services/transvaginal-mesh-removal). Well, anything is possible… highly likely… very probable… those would be better terms for the victims to hear… if true.

 

Doctors Can Be Fooled by Mesh Makers

“Doctors who specialize in female pelvic medicine say lawsuits by four states, including Washington and California, over products used to treat pelvic floor disorders and incontinence might scare patients away from the best treatment options—or maybe even push the products off the market.” (https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-01-physicians-criticize-state-lawsuits-pelvic.html). Wow, this sounds like great support for the pelvic mesh surgery and the mesh. And, then you read this: “In their letter last month, the surgeons insist they were never misled—nor could they have been, because they don’t rely on a company’s marketing materials or instruction pamphlets to divine the risks of medical devices.” (https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-01-physicians-criticize-state-lawsuits-pelvic.html).  This second quote should make you question the truth of that statement. Doctors are people. They can be tricked just like anyone else. They can fall pray to marketing professionals. They can be swayed by bogus studies dressed up like legitimate ones. Some can even be “bought” by the mesh manufacturers to be spokespersons who praise the mesh even when they know how risky it is. Bottom line? Patients should not be afraid to ask questions, do their own research, and make informed decisions. That last part, the “informed” part requires “information” and that means “accurate information.”

If you, a family member, a loved one, a friend, or anyone you know has had pelvic surgery that involves mesh and had complications wherein the mesh fell apart, it may be time for you or that other person to contact a lawyer. There are statutes of limitations (deadlines), so waiting too long can mean no case. Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. offers free consultations on mesh cases for patients who had surgery in California.

Is Pelvic Mesh Good or Bad?

Whether you will read that pelvic mesh surgery is good or bad depends on the source of the words. That should be common sense. The mesh-makers say its great stuff – a wondrous material. The consumer advocacy groups say it harms a lot of women – leaves them much worse off. “In a survey of 2,220 women who had undergone pelvic mesh implants to treat stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, 59% said the procedure did not resolve their original issue, and 58% said they were left experiencing pain during intercourse. However, this was a consumer survey, carried out by the consumer advocacy group, the Health Issues Centre, rather than being a scientific study.” (https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/aug/31/vaginal-pelvic-mesh-explainer). How many women are getting these surgeries? “The latest available FDA figures show approximately 300,000 women in the US undergo surgical procedures for prolapse each year and approximately 260,000 underwent surgical procedures to repair stress incontinence. According to industry estimates, approximately one out of three prolapse surgeries used mesh, and of the incontinence surgeries, over 80% were done transvaginally with mesh.” (https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/aug/31/vaginal-pelvic-mesh-explainer).

But just having a surgical complication does not mean someone did something wrong. Defense lawyers refer to something they call “acceptable risk” when saying that some patients will have unavoidable complications – even in the best of worlds. That’s true… sometimes. But what about when mesh simply disintegrates? Falls apart into many many splinter-like pieces that cause excruciating pain and other problems? What if the manufacturer knew that these complications could be avoided if they made the mesh out of expensive materials but opted to use cheap “blue shit” instead? That’s a different situation, right?

If you, a family member, a loved one, a friend, or anyone you know has had pelvic surgery that involves mesh and had complications wherein the mesh fell apart, it may be time for you or that other person to contact a lawyer. There are statutes of limitations (deadlines), so waiting too long can mean no case. Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. offers free consultations on mesh cases for patients who had surgery in California.

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