Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) affects approximately 13 million American women. This embarrassing condition can literally change a woman’s life, as she never knows when she’ll leak urine while coughing, laughing, sneezing, having intercourse or performing virtually any physical activity. Suzanne McClain is one of these women.
In 2004, Suzanne’s doctor told her that her SUI was an “easy fix.” The doctor recommended outpatient surgery to support her weakened muscles and bladder by implanting a surgical mesh “sling.” He even went on to say that it was better than wearing a diaper for the rest of her life. He proposed Transvaginal Tension-Free mesh (TVT) which is manufactured by Ethicon, a division of Johnson & Johnson. This mesh is made of polypropylene, and is a woven knit fabric that is pliable enough to form a sling.
Suzanne’s doctor was right. It was an easy fix for four years…until complications arose. And the complications were horrendous. Suzanne developed an infection which came with a terrible odor. She tried using Monistat and antibiotics, but nothing worked. Her doctor gave her estrogen cream to deal with the problem, at which point Suzanne made the decision to never return to him.
In July 2008, she went to a urogynecologist, who told her the mesh from the sling had eroded through her vaginal wall, causing her the awful symptoms she was experiencing. A month later, surgery was performed to remove what amounted to about 1/3 of the mesh. The surgeon tried to extract the rest but it had become enmeshed with her own tissues. Suzanne was told that if the mesh continued to erode, it would need to be removed through her abdomen, which is a complicated surgery that can be extremely dangerous.
Suzanne was never warned of the risks of surgical mesh slings. In fact, the surgeons who are trained by the manufacturers of these slings claim an 80 to 95 percent cure rate for SUI. After her surgery, Suzanne decided to do some Googling and her findings were astounding – hundreds of women were suffering from the same problems she experienced, but were too embarrassed to go public with their issues. It was at that point that Suzanne decided to join the patient advocacy group, Truth in Medicine, to demand a Congressional hearing for surgical mesh to be removed from the market.
Reyes Browne Reilley Law Firm is currently helping hundreds of transvaginal mesh and bladder sling victims and their families recover damages from their devastating TVM complications. If you or someone you know suffered injuries from this product, please call the DFW Metroplex’s expert medical device attorneys at Reyes Browne Reilley for a complementary and confidential consultation. You are under no obligation to use our services. Call us today at 214-526-7900, or submit the short case review form on the right.