The Vaginal Mesh Helpline has heard from thousands of South Florida woman regarding their vaginal mesh complications. These complications are horrific and what is worse, although there are loads of lawyers ready to take these cases and win millions for these women, there a few doctors willing to come to their rescue and remove the mesh. Women call us looking for lawyers and doctors from Boca Raton to Jupiter and as far away as Israel. All these women have horrendous stories to tell to tell and their pain, suffering and loss due to this pelvic mesh implant are all stories worth hearing. Many have lost their jobs and husbands due to the complications. It should be noted that a vaginal mesh comes under many names and your bladder sling, surgical mesh, prolapse mesh are all mesh implants and are a part of the Vaginal Mesh lawsuit.
See article below
Women describe horrific life with vaginal mesh
By Jane Musgrave – Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Having finished three Ironman triathlons, Michelle Nelson is used to pushing through pain.
But, the 43-year-old West Palm Beach mother of three was unprepared for the unrelenting aching she experienced after having what was supposed to be a simple operation to resolve an embarrassing, annoying and not uncommon side effect of giving birth to whopper babies.
Women describe horrific life with vaginal mesh
Michelle Nelson talks about her problems with vaginal mesh.
Her complaints of stabbing pain — which increased during intercourse — went unheeded by doctors until one night her husband was cut while the couple was having sex.
Mesh that was implanted to shore up sagging parts of her urinary tract had penetrated her vaginal wall.
“He has a scar,” Nelson said. “It was an incredible.”
Patricia Keefe talks about her problems with vaginal mesh.
But for Nelson and thousands of women the effects of the mesh are far worse than a simple scar caused by what has been disturbingly dubbed the “barbed wire effect.” While Nelson has had two operations to remove the mesh, much of it remains. “I’ll be dealing with this for the rest of my life,” she said.
And the urinary incontinence, the “leaking,” that prompted her to get the surgery? It, too, remains.
Wilson is one of nearly 70,000 women nationwide who have sued the makers of the mesh, claiming they didn’t properly test it before putting it on the market. Then, when their own consultants warned of life-altering problems that could result, they hid that information from the public, according to federal lawsuits filed around the country that are being considered by a West Virginia judge.
Women describe horrific life with vaginal mesh
Attorney Joe Osborne inside his law office with his clients Helen Morales, left, 80, of Lake Worth, and Tammy Gigele, 57
West Palm Beach attorney Joseph Osborne, who in November won a $26.7 million verdict against Boston Scientific for West Palm Beach resident Amal Eghnayem and three other South Florida women, said the complications are horrific. And because the polypropylene mesh becomes brittle and breaks into tiny pieces once it’s implanted, it’s impossible to completely remove.
“It’s a retained foreign body in your vagina for the rest of your life,” said Osborne, who is representing roughly 3,000 women, including about 200 in Palm Beach County, who are suing mesh manufacturers. “I have a lady now who has mesh embedded in her colon. The doctors said they can’t go in and get it because it could create a catastrophe. They told her, ‘All we can do is hope it doesn’t penetrate the colon.’ It’s a ticking time bomb.”
For 80-year-old Helen Morales the time bomb exploded. The suburban Lake Worth mother of three has had five surgeries, including a temporary colostomy, since doctors in 2009 implanted mesh to shore up her urinary tract when she had a hysterectomy. The mesh had penetrated her colon. Doctors had to take skin grafts from her leg to repair the holes.
Not one to question doctors, Morales said she didn’t even know doctors implanted the mesh. Plagued by repeated infections and nasty discharges after the hysterectomy, she went to various doctors before one finally discovered the reason for her discomfort.
“You have mesh growing all over like a spider web,” the suburban Lake Worth woman recalled the doctor saying.
“What are you talking about? What mesh?” she responded. “I didn’t know there was mesh inside of me.”
How much the women knew about the mesh before it was implanted in them is a key part of the lawsuits.
Mesh-makers — Boston Scientific, American Medical Systems and C.R. Bard — didn’t respond to requests for comment. Johnson & Johnson is also being sued for its vaginal mesh.
In the November trial in federal court in Miami, attorneys representing Boston Scientific insisted the women were warned of the risks.
“No product is perfect. No surgery is perfect,” Boston Scientific attorney Hildy Sastre told the jury during closing arguments. “There is no such thing as risk-free surgery. It’s unheard of. It doesn’t exist.”
Further, she said, the four women had serious medical problems before the mesh was implanted. They had debilitating pelvic prolapses, causing their organs, such as their bladder, rectum, bowel or uterus, to droop so low they could feel them when they walked. The women were in pain. They had bleeding and discomfort during sex. They needed help.
The mesh was developed because there was a high failure rate when natural tissue was used. Further, Boston Scientific lawyer Molly Craig, told the jury that the mesh was tested and found to be safe. “Mesh has been used in human bodies for decades,” she said.
However, Osborne said, Boston Scientific’s own documents dispute Craig’s claims. In 2008, about five years after vaginal mesh was placed on the market, Louisiana urologist Dr. Joseph Macaluso warned the company of its dangers.
“Use mesh only as needed AND IF REALLY necessary,” he wrote in a report solicited by the company. “Less use is better.”
Osborne said the use of the mesh was okayed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration through an abbreviated process that allows companies to piggyback onto approvals given to other products. “We don’t need to do all the testing because this product is the substantial equivalent to something you’ve already blessed,” Osborne said, describing the pitch companies make to the FDA.
In the case of mesh, it had already been approved for use in the abdomen to treat hernias. “If it behaved this way in the abdomen, why not the vagina?” he said the companies argued in getting approval to essentially use women as human guinea pigs.
A Boca Raton urogynecologist testified that compared to the abdomen, a vagina is a hotbed for bacteria. That increases the risk for infection, erosion and other complications.
Dr. Linda Kiley testified that she never implants mesh in the vagina but has removed it from many women. She opted not to use vaginal mesh after watching one operation. “I was somewhat horrified with the way that it went in – the extent of the mesh. There was a large amount of it,” she testified. “I didn’t find that it was an elegant repair.”
The removal process, she testified, is agonizing. Pieces that have broken apart are small and brittle. She has to take great care not to injure a nearby organ. “I have to do a lot of scrapping away using my fingers. I have to actually manually dissect the tissue from the mesh and that can take several hours,” she testified. “It’s like scrapping against sandpaper.”
And, some of the women said, the cure is almost as bad as living with the mesh.
Patricia Keefe, 58, of Riviera Beach, said she still hasn’t fully recovered since having mesh removed in April. She’s nauseous, has no sex drive, becomes drained of energy easily and is now seeing doctors for gastrointenstenial problems. “It just never ends,” she said.
Like Nelson, the triathlete, Keefe decided to have mesh implanted to take care of “leaking” that began after she gave birth at 40 to a third son, who weighed nearly 11 pounds. It was supposed to be an easy fix so she wouldn’t have to wear pads for the rest of her life.
Instead, about a year after the mesh was implanted in 2007, she was doubled-over in pain. “I thought I was going to die,” she said of the night she was taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center where the source of her months-long leg, back and pelvic pain was finally discovered.
Tammy Gigele, 57, of Jupiter, said she feels better since the mesh she had implanted in 2006 was removed in separate operations in December 2012 and March 2013. But, she said, she tempers her activities, is a less enthusiastic about sex and worries about the future. “Who knows what it will bring me for the rest of my life?” she said.
None of the women is looking for a big payout, they say. Nelson said she could have taken care of her urinary incontinence by taking a pill daily but opted for the mesh because she was assured it was safe. Now she just wants the companies to acknowledge what they did to thousands of women. Morales says she wants to make certain what happened to her doesn’t happen to anyone else. Gigele said she is angry.
“I’m mad at these big companies leading these doctors to believe that this was a safe product,” she said. “That’s the only way to get these big companies to say, let’s take another look at this product.”
In 2012, the FDA ordered the mesh manufacturers to conduct clinical studies to track potential side effects. But, Osborne said, vaginal mesh remains on the market although its use has plummeted.
Exactly how long it will take to resolve the lawsuits is unclear. American Medical Systems in May announced it would pay $830 million to settle the 25,000 lawsuits it and its parent company, Endo International, face. Johnson & Johnson also recently settled more than 100 suits filed by women. U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin, the West Virginia judge who is overseeing the cases, has recommended that C.R. Bard follow suit, Bloomberg reported.
His recommendation was based on the lopsided track record of companies that have gone to trial. More than $100 million worth of damages have been awarded to women by nine juries across the country. In three trials, juries declined to find the companies at fault.
The companies are still fighting. Boston Scientific promised to appeal the $26.7 million verdict Osborne and that legal team won in November.
Keefe said women whose lives have been forever changed deserve compensation. “We’re all looking to be OK,” she said. “That’s all we want.”
The Vaginal mesh was FDA approved on a fast track system that did not require sufficient testing. Our Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth, Jupiter, West palm Beach and Women nationwide describe horrific complications. However, many states are closed out of filing a lawsuit due to the statute of limitations even thou these woman just realized their problem, were in fact, mesh problems. Florida woman are still lucky. Florida has a 4 year statute of limitations. There is still time for you.