On May 17, Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, was ordered to pay $80.025M to plaintiffs who suffered as a result of pelvic mesh products. The Philadelphia jury’s verdict included $50M in punitive damages. This is just one in a string of many lawsuits against Ethicon for their pelvic mesh products. Ethicon lost its first case in February of 2014, and currently, the company faces over 50,000 lawsuits on the state and federal level.
Pelvic mesh, or transvaginal mesh, is often used in surgeries to repair pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Patients have suffered serious complications including infections, inflammation, and revision surgeries as a result of the deterioration of the mesh.
The use of transvaginal mesh in SUI and POP surgeries was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1996 and 2004, respectively. In April of 2016, the FDA ordered manufacturers to halt the distribution of pelvic mesh. Because of the vast amount of injuries, the FDA has re-classified transvaginal mesh into Class III, indicating that it is a high-risk device.
Although pelvic mesh has been reclassified, some surgeries go according to plan and may not need to be addressed. However, it is important to recognize the potential complications of these devices so that you can take action if necessary.
Complications of a transvaginal mesh surgery can include postoperative infection, pain, and scarring. Additionally, faulty devices can cause patients to experience a recurrence of pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence. Frequently, the pelvic mesh erodes and shifts, disrupting surrounding organs and tissues. Individuals with these painful symptoms often experience a decreased quality of life.
Companies like Johnson & Johnson should be held accountable for placing defective medical devices on the market. If you have had a transvaginal mesh procedure that led to serious complications, contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers to talk about your next steps.