Just Beginning Your Mesh Journey? A Suggested Roadmap

//Just Beginning Your Mesh Journey? A Suggested Roadmap

Just Beginning Your Mesh Journey? A Suggested Roadmap

Trial by Jury Chaos in the Courtroom Gilbert and Sullivan, WikiCommons

Trial by Jury Chaos in the Courtroom Gilbert and Sullivan, WikiCommons

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, November 14, 2016 ~ Mesh News Desk and its editor take calls around the clock from people who are desperately searching for a law firm or a doctor. They are just beginning their mesh journey.

Since transvaginal mesh is still being used every day, as well a hernia mesh at about one million implants a year, mesh complications are still a problem.  Upward of 30% of recipients of polypropylene mesh used to treat both conditions have an adverse event, or complication.

Since I am not a doctor or lawyer but a journalist who has covered the issue for more than five years, I suggest some common sense actions.  Being in pain and encountering doctors who do not believe you are in pain can be very bewildering and cause panic, which is not the ideal mindset to chart your future.

So I tell folks, first try not to panic. You are your own best advocate. You need to be prepared for what’s ahead.

First, you will need your medical records.image



Some women who call Mesh News Desk do not even know what kind of mesh they have or its manufacturer.  The medical notes will tell those involved in your care how the mesh was placed and what type it was, so it’s very important.

Make sure you have taken charge of your medical records and that includes all of them – nurses notes, operative notes, notes sent to the insurance companies or Medicaid for reimbursement.    Many patients give a law firm all of their notes only to find later on that they do not have a copy. Please retain a copy for yourself. Some readers keep notebooks by date with tabs for different encounters.

Retaining and organizing your medical notes is very important.



Even after attending the recent American Urogynecologic Society annual meeting, I got the feeling that not too many doctors are adept at handling complications, also known as adverse events, following a mesh implant.

Some doctors deny the pain is in your pelvis and think it’s in your head.  You know better.

You know whether your complications started before your pelvic mesh implant or after.  Some doctors recommend a trip to a psychiatrist.  You need not spend time with these doctors.

MND has a list of doctors who others have reported having good outcomes. These would be the few around the country who deal often with mesh complications.  Because you want to minimize the number of surgeries you undergo, and the exposure to anesthesia, you will want to seek an experienced doctor to diagnose what is happening to your body after your mesh implant.

If you have found a compassionate and knowledgeable doctor concerning your mesh implant, please let us know.

The complications can include chronic pain, chronic infections, including urinary tract infections. Mesh erosion, the most common problem, occurs when mesh erodes into the vagina. Cutting out a piece of it is a partial revision and often does nothing to improve the situation but rather, can make it worse.   Mesh shrinkage, painful sex, known as dyspareunia, mesh erosion into the bowel, which is very dangerous, nerve injury during placement and nerve pain shooting down the leg, have all been reported. Bleeding fistulas and systemic autoimmune issues such as fibromyalgia and Lupus are not uncommon and have all been reported as have dental problems and unexplained rashes.

Mesh explanted after 3 mo.

Mesh explanted after 3 mo.

Not all experienced mesh removal doctors are up-to-date on the autoimmune issues which may be related to polypropylene, the main component of mesh. You might tell them your doctor that UCLA is conducting an autoimmune registry to calculate the autoimmune reactions to mesh so the science is just beginning. UCLA has already taken the lead on identifying biofilm that forms around mesh implants.

The goal is to find a doctor who understands that the reaction is not in your head and who knows how to address it medically with the fewest number of surgeries.


Protesters, fed court Charleston WV

Protesters, fed court Charleston WV


How do you find a law firm?  Do you rely on late night ads with “Operators are standing by” slogans?

Of course not.

Word of mouth is best. If you don’t know someone, you might go to the Southern District of West Virginia and click on the Multidistrict Litigation. You will see the leading mesh manufacturers.  Click on one – Bard for example – and see the small print on top. Click on Steering Committee, Lead and Liaison Counsel.

There are more than 100,000 mesh injured who have filed lawsuits in this country, so you are not alone.

Be aware – Not all law firms originally involved in mesh cases are taking new ones.  You will have to ask. Post a qMedical concept - stethoscope over the dollar billsuestion on MND Facebook page here and ask people if they were satisfied with their representation.  Just because you hire a large firm, it does not mean they will seek the highest settlement for you or even be prepared to take your case to court.  Some of the larger firms are instead clearing their inventory of mesh cases because the biggest manufacturers are the last holdouts to settlement, and are making it very difficult.

You also need to determine if the firm has experience with transvaginal mesh cases.  Ask if they have settled cases or taken them to trial. Ask if they have the resources to take your case to trial if a settlement is not forthcoming. Will they partner with another law firm?  Will they charge you for expenses on top of the percentage they charge?  What is the percentage they charge and does it include reasonable expenses? What are reasonable expenses? Do they include five-star hotels and a private jet?  Can you get an ongoing list of the expenses attached to your case? Know who you are hiring.  Interview several law firms until you feel comfortable.

It is very expensive to work up a mesh case to be litigated. You might check out the law firms that DID take cases to court since they have the experience.

dollar-sign-scott-steiner-wiki-200Be aware that any law firm that says yours is a Million Dollar Case or a sure thing in any regard. That is a red flag.  No one can make that prediction with any certainty. No one.  Often those words are uttered to get you to sign on the dotted line.

Also determine who your contact person will be. You will need a name, a cell phone number and an email.  Promise not to hound them with too many contacts from your end, but tell them you do expect regular contact concerning your case, whether there is an update or not.

Just some suggestions to make your quest an easier one.

If you are the type of person who says “I don’t believe in suing,”  know that you were implanted with a medical device that was not tested prior to being marketed, did not receive FDA approval for safety, was aggressively marketed to doctors, even paying them to promote its product, while the makers knew there would be complications!  All of this has come out at trial.

Jane Akre, editor, Mesh News Desk

Jane Akre, editor, Mesh News Desk

You could have have medical expenses connected to your injury for life. So knowing that suing is the only language that some corporations understand should be part of the consideration by those who do not believe in lawsuits.

As always, you can learn from the people who write on these pages and have been there!

Good luck.



Jane Akre, Editor

Mesh News Desk

By | 2016-12-05T05:27:21+00:00 November 14th, 2016|Op-Ed|12 Comments

About the Author:

I’m National News Editor, Jane Akre and I began Mesh Medical Device News Desk aka Mesh News Desk (MND) in the summer of 2011 just after the Food and Drug Administration issued an explicit warning to the public that complications associated with surgical mesh used for prolapse repair (POP) and incontinence (SUI) are NOT rare! That was the starting point for the litigation you see today and thousands of lawsuits have been filed by women whose lives have been altered, some permanently, by the use of this petroleum-based product.


  1. Tami November 14, 2016 at 10:57 pm - Reply

    Does anyone know of a doctor in Arkansas that handles ongoing mesh problems, post removal.

  2. iza November 15, 2016 at 11:30 am - Reply

    Greetings Jane, are you familiar with Potts law firm and if so what their reputation like? Thank you.

    • Jane Akre November 15, 2016 at 12:02 pm - Reply

      Derek Potts was recently at the AUGS, American Urogynecologic Society’s meeting attempting to explain litigation to the physicians in attendance. He was shouted down in my opinion. I was there and witnessed it. The next day his appearance was cancelled. I have not talked to Mr. Potts about his commitment to following mesh cases and taking any to trial and I don’t give lawyer reviews because I haven’t hired them…. those who have should answer here. Anyone? I do know he has some devoted paralegals on his team…

      • iza November 15, 2016 at 1:13 pm - Reply

        Ok thank you. Hopefully someone can add their comments regarding their experince with the Potts law firm. Just waiting patiently.

        • anon November 15, 2016 at 8:47 pm - Reply

          Check with Morgan & Morgan Law Firm. They can help answer your questions about this firm and others. This firm has contact with numerous law firms who have and still do handle male and female mesh cases.

  3. anon November 15, 2016 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    Just a reminder please…

    If you decide to have the mesh removal surgery, please, please follow these rules along with instructions from your surgeon.

    If you don’t, guaranteed you will not heal properly and you will feel much worse than before.

    1. STOP SMOKING-Stop now and no less than 3-6 months before the removal surgery. The complications are too numerous to name, including pneumonia, hearing loss, stroke, and even death.

    2. LOSE WEIGHT-You have to figure out how to do this, if you are in pain.

    If you don’t, you will not be able to get up and move around as well after the surgery. The doctors should force patients to loose some weight before they agree to do the removal. Blood clots, heart and breathing problems, the flu, are all big risks.

    3. The Best Pain Management Doctor-You will need this doctor for months, years or longer after the surgery. It is the hardest doctor to find who can understand your needs. There is so much involved, you can’t imagine. Find a doctor you like really well, as this will be who stays by you through this long journey.

    Never drink alcohol with your pain meds. Never. Not even a toast. Your heart can stop and it is already stressed, because mesh victims are stressed. Plus, it could show up in your drug tests. Don’t do anything to be discharged or dismissed. You will never find another PM doctor to accept you. Your records follow you everywhere.

    Do not doctor shop, (going to doctor to doctor for pain medicine). You will be caught. The narcotic database is nationwide and pharmacies love drama and love looking you and doctors up. They have a lot of power now. You could go to jail on state charges. No matter what your age or condition. Stay focused.

    If you have already participated in doctor shopping, do not tell anyone, but seek out a criminal attorney now, before something comes up, and go to rehab now. Trouble can show up years later.

    Criminal charges and legal fees are expensive. Into the thousands of dollars and you will not be treated special.

    Patients mostly doctor shop out of fear, more than addiction. Fear of being without. Not an accepted defense, but a real fear for patients in chronic pain.

    4. Drink ENSURE or a product like it after checking with your primary care to make sure it is ok, starting weeks before the surgery. Check with your doctors first.

    5. Avoid caffeine, sweets & Coke, all colas & sodas – Forget they exist.
    Stop now. Mesh victims reported dehydration, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. These diseases hurt your heart and may also stop you from having the reversal surgery.

    6. After consulting with your doctors- If they agree, try not to take antibiotics, aspirin, a few weeks before the removal surgery.
    Be careful on self medicating with over the counter drugs. Make sure you tell your doctor everything you take including herbs and vitamins.

    7. After the surgery- For 8 weeks-Longer if possible- You must go to bed or rest significantly.

    If you can not dedicate 6-8 weeks to almost complete rest, avoid the surgery. You should be in a no stress environment. Doctors may say 4-6 weeks, but you will need the extra time if you are over 40 years of age and not in really good health.

    8. Walk- You have to be able to pass all of the tests on the checklist to have the removal surgery. You may be asked to take a stress test. Be prepared. Doctors M&M are serious about this list and they should be. Every box must have a check mark, or you will fail, and that means no surgery. You could die. Check with your doctor on what exercise is best for you.

    9. Follow Up Care Doctor- 2nd hardest task on the list. There are no words.

    10. Support- You will need a lot of support the first few weeks. You may feel fine one day, cry the next three days, be mad the next four days, and then back to yourself until the cycle repeats itself.

    This surgery is so invasive, it is trauma, it is nothing to take lightly.

    Chances are: You will not feel much better afterwards. Do not expect miracles.

    Mentally a little better, but physically not really. The difference; The poison will be out of your body, or almost out in some cases. But the damage has been done.

    One day at a time.

    • Jane Akre November 15, 2016 at 2:15 pm - Reply

      Thank you very much for that good advice!

  4. jan November 16, 2016 at 6:33 am - Reply

    Jane..could you advise me who I would talk with regarding a life plan. . I know I need more surgeries and now I have k.pneumonia
    P.mirabilis along with the ecoli and escherichia coli
    It is resting all antibiotics orally. .
    My attorneys office advised me that nothing will be put on the settlement table after this year regarding health and surgeries. .
    This seams so unfair to me and the others..
    This super bug that I have is nothing to play with..
    Do u think a life plan might help

    • Jane Akre November 16, 2016 at 9:05 am - Reply

      Hi Jan-

      I dont know if the settlement team will consider it but it would seem to be a common sense alternative to some arbitrary number picked out by defense attnys. I believe Greg Vigna does lifecare plans. There is link to him on page one. He is NOT an advertiser, just someone who I respect so his link is there. Others have used him for life care plans. Ask if your law firm will work with him on that…..

    • Kitty November 16, 2016 at 12:48 pm - Reply

      What do u mean..that nothing will be put on the settlement table?

      • Still Standing December 6, 2016 at 11:46 am - Reply

        It means that no new complications or future surgerys or other medical care will be comsidered in this settlement after this current year. And, oncecyou settle, you cannot go back and open your case tfor additional money.

  5. Cynthia December 18, 2016 at 8:20 am - Reply

    i have potts lawfirm, to be honest, you never hear anything unless you call. I have been with them 9 years and out of all that time i received one call. the rest of the time, i called the mesh center.

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