A recent report in ASC Review, a journal dedicated to providing the latest updates on medical news, suggests that the number of women requiring surgery to treat pelvic organ prolapse will increase.
Pelvic organ prolapse, or POP, is a condition that causes the pelvic floor muscles to sag. Women who suffer from this condition may experience pain, incontinence and other uncomfortable side effects. In extreme cases, the pelvic muscles can deteriorate so severely that the uterus may actually begin to protrude outward through the vagina.
Pelvic organ prolapse typically affects women who’ve undergone childbirth, extreme weight gain or hysterectomy. According to the ASC Review article, aging also influences the incidence of prolapse. With more baby boomers growing older, the article predicts a significant uptick in the number of women requiring treatment for this condition.
One of the most common methods of treating prolapse is the implantation of a vaginal mesh device. This involves attaching a thin piece of surgical mesh to the body’s tissue, which in turn serves to reinforce the pelvic muscles. Vaginal mesh was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1996 and it’s estimated that approximately 300,000 women receive one of these implants each year.
In July 2011, the FDA issued an updated safety communication advising physicians and women of the potential risks associated with a vaginal mesh device. This safety warning was issued after the FDA received numerous from women who said they suffered severe pain, swelling, infection, tissue damage, blood vessel damage and other complications after receiving one of these devices.
The warning prompted many women to file lawsuits in state and federal courts across the country against the makers of these devices. Litigation is currently pending against the Johnson & Johnson Company, C.R. Bard and American Medical Systems. The first bellweather trials in the Johnson & Johnson litigation is scheduled to begin in November 2012, when a federal judge will begin proceedings in approximately 600 cases involving the company’s Ethicon Gynecare mesh system.
In addition to predicting the rise in prolapse surgery, the article also suggests alternative methods for treating this condition that do not require a mesh implant. The methods, which are less invasive and less painful than vaginal mesh surgery, may represent a viable alternative for treating prolapse should the FDA decide to recall the mesh devices.
Women who’ve suffered serious complications after receiving one of these devices are encouraged to seek experienced legal counsel to protect their rights. The law firm of Nadrich & Cohen LLP is currently offering free initial case evaluations to women in all 50 states who believe they may have a claim for compensation.
Call our Injury Hotline today at 1-800-718-4658 to speak with a member of our mesh injury legal team. You can also visit our online Mesh Resource Center to complete a confidential online contact form. All cases are accepted on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t pay unless we recover a judgment on your behalf.