An overview of the adverse events associated with pelvic mesh devices and why they are not suitable.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse (“POP”) and Stress Urinary Incontinence (“SUI”) are two commonly occurring medical conditions where the tissue in the pelvic region weakens or becomes damaged.
POP occurs when the tissue supporting a woman's pelvic organs weaken, causing organs such as the bladder and uterus to descend lower in the pelvis. Women who are diagnosed with POP experience, amongst other symptoms, pressure in the pelvis and discomfort.
SUI is defined as the unintentional loss of urine. This is as a result of the weakened tissue applying pressure on a patient’s bladder and causing urine to leak involuntarily during physical activities such as coughing, laughing, or sneezing.
One of the common treatment options available for these conditions is the implantation of a mesh device into the pelvic region. Pelvic mesh is a sheet of woven or net-like material, typically polypropylene, that is designed in such a way that once it is implanted, the patient’s tissue grows through the porous surface of the mesh. During this process, the mesh becomes fused to the body to provide continuous support to the weakened or damaged tissue and addresses symptoms associated with POP or SUI.
It is alleged that medical manufacturers have not conducted sufficient research to ensure the suitability of polypropylene for permanent implantation in the pelvic region. Several studies have shown that polypropylene is not considered suitable for use as a permanent medical implant, rendering the pelvic mesh defective. Once implanted in the pelvic region, the mechanical stress exerted by the body, along with oxidizing agents that the mesh is exposed to, results in the material degrading by becoming brittle, hard, and cracked.
This has resulted in an increased side-effect profile reported by patients implanted with these devices such as the mesh cutting into surrounding tissue, excessive scar tissue build-up, mesh erosion, and chronic inflammatory responses
Unfortunately, in most cases, the design and procedure for implantation of the pelvic mesh devices prevent and/or preclude the ability to surgically remove or excise the pelvic mesh once implanted due to the integration of the device into surrounding bodily tissue.
RH Lawyers Inc. (“RHL”) and Richard Spoor Inc. (“RSI”) have launched class action proceedings against Johnson & Johnson, Coloplast and various other associated manufacturers and distributors of pelvic mesh, on behalf of class members who were implanted with defective pelvic mesh devices. The class action seeks to claim for compensation on behalf of class members who were implanted with the mesh and class members who have suffered a diagnosable secondary psychiatric injury as a result of the complications suffered by those close to them.
Individuals who believe they may have suffered harm as a result of being implanted with pelvic mesh, or as a result of a loved one being injured by defective pelvic mesh, are encouraged to contact RH Lawyers as soon as possible by visiting www.meshclassaction.co.za or via the methods listed below: