Synthetic mesh devices have been widely used since about 1998, primarily in the surgical treatment of stress urinary incontinence (SUI), pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and hernias. Pelvic floor dysfunction is a major health problem with up to 50% of women becoming affected.
It has been estimated that there is an 11%–20% lifetime risk of a women requiring an operation for SUI or POP, which conditions are usually the consequence of childbirth or the menopause. Uro-gynaecological mesh implants are made in a variety of forms (tapes, slings, ribbons, mesh) and are usually made from synthetic, non-absorbable material which are intended to remain permanently implanted in the body in order to provide support for weakened or damaged tissue.
Reports of severe and life altering complications in women who have undergone mesh implantation surgery have increased over the past 10 years and have led to the banning of the use of mesh devices in Australia for the treatment of POP via transvaginal implantation on the grounds that the benefits of such surgery did not outweigh the risks posed by such treatment. A temporary ban in the use of mesh products was introduced in England and Northern Ireland in July 2018 and a similar “temporary pause” was then announced by the Minister for Health in the Republic of Ireland in all HSE run hospitals later the same month. The reviews carried out by health authorities in the face of increasing evidence of complications and adverse side-effects highlighted the limited nature of the clinical investigations and trials which had been undertaken before mesh devices had been approved for use and the absence of registers to record the adverse side-effects associated with the use of these implants.
The nature of the complications reported in association with mesh implants in the treatment of SUI and POP include;
- Chronic pain;
- Mesh erosion through the vagina and/or surrounding tissues;
- Urinary problems including recurrent incontinence;
- Pain during intercourse (dyspareunia);
- Organ perforation;
- Vaginal scarring;
- Neuromuscular difficulties.
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Where we can help
If you have experienced complications or injuries as a result of undergoing pelvic or vaginal mesh surgery, it is important to seek advice in relation to the particular type of surgery which you have undergone in order to ascertain whether there may be grounds to bring a legal claim* with respect to the medical treatment and care you have received.
If your symptoms or injuries are attributable to the adequacy of the medical care provided or are the consequence of “defects” in the products used as part of your surgery, a legal claim may be able to be brought on your behalf in order to help fund remedial surgery to address your current condition and to obtain appropriate compensation for the pain, suffering and loss of amenities which you have experienced as a consequence of such negligent treatment to date and are likely to continue to experience in the future.
Our lawyers have considerable experience in representing clients who have experienced complications from surgical procedures including from gynaecological surgery. We will be in a position to provide you with detailed advice regarding the prospects of successfully bringing a legal claim following a full assessment of the circumstances of your particular injury/complications, to secure the expert evidence which will be necessary in order to fully investigate and establish your legal claim and to guide you through the legal processes which are involved in bringing medical negligence and product liability claims of this nature.