Doctor: Plaintiff Lawyers in ‘Attack Mode’ Over Mesh Complications

Sep 25th, 2012 | By | Category: Legal News

Sept 25, 2012 ~ A recent news release from an ObGyn in Minneapolis shows that at least he is on the offensive when it comes to mesh injuries.

The doctor doesn’t let the facts get in the way.

For some reason the doctor, an Ob/Gyn at Oakdale Obstetrics & Gynecology in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area tells patients (here) that “plaintiff lawyers are in “attack mode” and have demonized the MESH rather than the PROCEDURES that were ineffective.”

In other words – blame the bad lawyers and bad doctors, not the mesh.

That is not the only information that is demonstrably untrue. He says “most of these surgical products have also been removed from the market,” referring to mesh that erodes through the vagina.

That simply is not true. Most synthetic surgical mesh remains on the market.

On point one:

It was in 2008 and again in 2011 that the federal watchdog agency, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Public Health Safety Notification (here) that said mesh complications are “not rare” and may include “pain, infection, bleeding, pain during sexual intercourse, organ perforation, and urinary problems.” There were also reports of “recurrent prolapse, neuro-muscular problems, vaginal scarring/shrinkage, and emotional problems.”

Many of these problems required additional surgeries, more mental and physical anguish and hospitalization as well as expense often added to a woman who can no longer work.

It doesn’t sound like a problem caused by a lawyer.

On point two:

Most synthetic polypropylene mesh remains on the market with the exception of four meshes that Ethicon is gradually discontinuing (background story here) and the Bard Avaulta that the company decided in July to stop selling in the U.S.

Why then does the doctor say, “the vast majority of this information (mesh controversy) comes from lawyer offices trying to secure business. Second, the mesh is not the problem, only certain surgeries using the mesh.”

In reality there were nearly 4,000 mesh-related injuries the FDA found in a three-year period from January 2008 to December 31, 2010.  And many of those mesh injuries were associated with “mid-urethral slings” used to treat incontinence which he says “are not criticized or questioned by the FDA.”

In fact the FDA’s July notification says, “The FDA continues to evaluate the effects of using surgical mesh to repair SUI and will communicate these findings at a later date.”

More and more women who go online and read about their complications tell MDND they are deciding to opt out of having a plastic mesh permanently implanted and go for a pessary or suture surgery alone.

Litigation over synthetic mesh used for the transvaginal treatment of prolapse and incontinence is growing. There are five cases consolidated in multidistrict litigation in the Southern District of West Virginia and a sixth MDL in the Middle District of Georgia.

Plaintiffs are filing defective product litigation in both state and federal courts with the first cases to be heard sometime in 2013.

On July 20, jurors in a Bakersfield, California state court determined that the Avaulta Plus Biosynthetic Support System vaginal implant caused Christine Scott’s chronic pain, mesh erosion, and incontinence and that she and her husband deserve the $5.5 million damage award after the Bard mesh eroded into her vagina, perforated her colon, leading to eight surgeries so far and ongoing, severe pain.

 

 

 

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6 Comments to “Doctor: Plaintiff Lawyers in ‘Attack Mode’ Over Mesh Complications”

  1. Nonie Wideman says:

    what an unbelievable but not surprising butt covering attempt at deflecting blame… hope it boomerangs on him!!

    • Betty says:

      Me too! Wish I was surprised. A local butcher (aka OB/GYN LOL), is putting in 3 meshes at a time with the same claims. Talk about russian roulette. Word has it that Vanderbilt in Nashville is no longer using this vile product. I have to wonder why? Guessing — mesh litigation nightmares? Hopefully it will trickle on down to the local level. Meanwhile nightmares for meshies continue on and on. I don’t think torture is too strong of a word to use for these products. Still can’t help thinking that this should be considered “criminal” considering the human cost – that mesh companies are just looking at financial well being boggles the mind. That they have the nerve to fight the “facts” being put before them – incomprehensible.

  2. debc says:

    Right. It seems that many doctors believe that mesh slings for SUI are not the “bad mesh” that lawyers and the FDA are talking about, because the FDA warning was not specifically about SUI (Stress Urinary Incontinence) mesh procedures. I wish the FDA would come out with a follow up report to include all mesh procedures.

    As I commented on this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXBj_-1SxCE

    “I had a TOT sling in the beginning of 2012 for SUI. I thought it would be safe and simple and effective. Wrong. I am 46 and can’t hardly walk now, even with a crutch and pain meds.  After several months of tests and appointments with local doctors, I am now waiting to fly across the country to one of the only experienced mesh removal doctors I could find. So, I do not believe there is “good mesh” or “bad mesh” and believe using mesh for SUI should also come with a big warning.”

  3. survivor of mesh says:

    I would like to say in reference to the statement made about Vanderbilt. They removed my mesh. From what I was told they are removing mesh from a lot of women. I would imagine that is why they are no longer using mesh. I traveled 498 miles one way to get there. I would recommend their urology group to anyone experiencing mesh problems. They did not put my mesh in but they did a very good job of getting it out and taking care of me. I had to have physical therapy because of the connective muscles that were affected which was also affecting nerves. That issue had began before they removed it. They were the one group of doctors that did not deny mesh was in my vagina. I would also like to say that the staff there is one of the best medical staffs I have ever seen. I feel blessed to have been able to go there for my medical problems. I hope all women experiencing mesh problems can get to this facility or another one like this one.

  4. Anne says:

    Mesh for pop put in 2008. Then revision surgery, then removal by original surgeon in 2011. I am still having nerve problems. Have had every test and procedure. Nothing helps. I am a victim of J & J and their wonderful invention.
    7 years of pain is enough. Nothing can be done.

    • Barbara Dykes says:

      So sorry Anne. I can truly “feel your pain”…the emotional/physical pain of this ordeal cannot be measured. I was so excited to have the surgery 2008. Had been so uncomfortable and thought this was the right decision. No one told me about an FDA warning, or that the mesh was only tested on rabbits/hamsters. J&J now has one of the worst records for safety…its all about $$$$. The CEO makes about 7million/year . I have chronic UTIs, cramps, and had explant and told, “We couldn’t get it all out. I used to fly to see my kids/grandchildren but could hardly get back home last time. God bless you. Lets pray for this court to seek justice.

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We hope you find this a helpful resource. National News Editor, Jane Akre, began MDND with the hope of providing the latest news, information and perspective from the regulatory, industry and patient point of view, something that goes under-reported in much of the coverage of medical devices. The public is just now becoming aware that many devices do not undergo the same scrutiny as prescription drugs and are instead grandfathered in under an FDA loophole that has gone largely unchanged since the 1970s. As a result, patients become the post-market clinical trial subjects, and many suffer devastating and permanent injuries.