As Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits Rise, Study Finds Women Still in Pain After Corrective Surgeries

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Although it is possible to perform corrective surgery on patients who suffered complications that have resulted in them filing vaginal mesh lawsuits, that success is relative, according to Weill Cornell Medical College urologist, Jerry Blaivas, MD.

A study published in the Oct. 21 issue of Renal & Urology News revealed that out of the 47 corrective surgeries Blaivas performed on patients who suffered transvaginal mesh complications, he achieved a 72 percent success rate. However, it turns out that out of 34 of his patients for whom he tried to repair the defect, about half were still experiencing the painful and unpleasant side effects they had been prior to surgery.

Those side effects include urethra-vaginal fistulas, mesh erosion into the urethra or bladder, stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and an overactive bladder, Blaivas said.

The information revealed in this study was collected three years after he performed the corrective surgeries. It was estimated that success was achieved in 93 percent of women who had pre-operative fistula, in 91 percent of women who had suffered complications stemming from mesh erosion, and in 86 percent of those experiencing discharge.

“Nevertheless, the failure rate is still too high,” Dr. Blaivas said.

Following Blavais’ revelations, this study was presented at the International Continence Society’s 2012 annual meeting as a means of keep urologists abreast of the difficulties that may stem from these risky procedures. Women contained in this case series had undergone an average of 1.9 revision surgeries prior to meeting Blaivas. The average age of women polled was 60 years old.

Vaginal mesh lawsuits are on the rise, despite the fact that an industry-wide transvaginal mesh recall has not been issued. Federal multidistrict litigations of vaginal mesh lawsuits have been created to handle claims against the following manufacturers: American Medical Systems, Boston Scientific, Ethicon and C.R. Bard Inc.

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