Prolift Transvaginal Mesh – “A Stupid Idea”

//Prolift Transvaginal Mesh – “A Stupid Idea”

Prolift Transvaginal Mesh – “A Stupid Idea”

Slater and Prolift,

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, November 28, 2017 ~ The opening day of the Elizabeth Hrymoc v. Ethicon trial put the focus on the Prolift transvaginal mesh.

While the defense, Johnson & Johnson, and its Ethicon division, stands by its product, saying it’s helped countless women with prolapse and incontinence,  the plaintiffs’ attorney compared it to a plastic octopus and called it “a stupid idea.”

The case promises to be similar to the last Ethicon Prolift transvaginal mesh case, heard more than four years ago in New Jersey, the case of South Dakota nurse, Linda Gross.

Hrymoc’s attorney, Adam Slater (Mazie Slater), also represented Gross and will call many of the same experts.

During the opening Monday, he held the moving piece of polypropylene, with its six arms flailing around, describing it to the jurors as a “defective design that is unreasonably dangerous.”

Adam Slater in Gross trial 2013, Courtesy CVN

The case is Elizabeth Hrymoc v Ethicon, Case No. L-13696-14, heard in New Jersey Superior Court, Bergen Co. NJ, moved from the original New Jersey venue of Atlantic City.

Representing Ethicon is Judy Wahrenberger, Ruprecht Hart Weeks and Ricciardulli LLP, Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP and Butler Snow.

Courtroom View Network is covering the proceedings (Subscriber based).

Hrymoc, 71, a research technician from South River in Middlesex County,  sat with her husband, Tad, listening to Slater’s opening.  They are seeking damages in what calls the “largest tort claims litigation in history.”

The website has a video segment of Slater’s opening from Monday, November 27, here.

Tad and Elizabth Hrymoc, from

Hrymoc was 62-years-old when she had the two implants – the TVT-O for incontinence the the Prolift, a larger piece of mesh used to shore up sagging pelvic organs.

Slater told jurors that Prolift was sold beginning in March 2005 and withdrawn from the market by J&J, quietly without an official recall, on August 31, 2012.

Four years later, the FDA would reclassify the Prolift and other larger pelvic organ prolapse (POP) meshes as “High risk” or class III, raising the bar on clearance and requiring clinical trials to assure safety and efficacy.

Manufacturers were given 30 months to prove their POP meshes were safe or phase them off the market.

Hyrmoc claims she suffers from pelvic pain and dyspareunia, painful sex.

Slater told jurors that polypropylene (PP) mesh could potentially injure the body when implanted and Ethicon knew PP, mixing with bodily fluids, could cause the mesh to stiffen and become brittle. Doctors, even experts agree, it’s almost impossible to completely remove.

PP poses more risk in vaginal tissue and Ethicon knew that but withheld the information from doctors and their patients said Slater.

“This is too much mesh and you will see it in document after document, they knew it was too much mesh… they were looking for lighter weight, larger pore. They had to figure out a way to solve this.”

Prolift, MedTech Marketing

Defense will say that polypropylene mesh was used safely for 60 years but consider the fact that historically that mesh was made into a suture.   Transvaginal mesh implants involve a larger quantity of mesh.  “The risk/benefit ratio is completely different for a suture than for mesh,” he said.

Jurors must decide based on “the preponderance of evidence.”

Evidence for the plaintiff will show an Ethicon power point plan to bring doctors in and teach them how to use Prolift.  Sales reps were told to bring in doctors for training who can do a lot of surgery and influence other doctors, “because this is about money,” he said.

Explaining that some women experience a foreign body reaction to the PP mesh implant, he added that too much material creates a foreign body reaction and “the body rejects the invader.”

“They knew it was too much mesh.”

J&J is a company worth $70 billion and it should pay for its mistakes.  “We know the only language they speak is money….. the only way to deter them and to punish them is to make them pay.”

Attorney for Ethicon, Judy Wahrenberger, said Hrymock had a long history of pelvic problems and that all surgeries carry risks. She claimed that Hrymoc’s complications resulted from surgery, not the meshes.

Scott Ciarrocca was called as the first witness.  He was an Ethicon engineer who helped bring Prolift to market. Ciarrocca has a background in electrical engineering and still works for Ethicon.

During testimony in the Hammons trial (here), Ciarrocca told jurors that safety concerns over Prolift had been answered and the conclusion was it was safe and effective, despite the 20.1 % failure rate.

TVT-O from TVT Meshed Up, UK

Slater told jurors “The defective design is unreasonably dangerous, It’s a stupid idea.”

Prolift has been found defectively designed in two cases heard in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas – Hammons ($12.5 million)  and Beltz ($2.16 million).

TVT-O was found defectively designed in the September 2014 case of Jo Huskey ($3.27 million).  TVT-O (obturator) remains on the market.

J&J is facing more than 55,000 similar cases worldwide including a class action case of 700 women currently underway in Sydney Australia.

Expect the Hrymock trial to last at least four weeks before New Jersey Superior Court Judge Rachelle Harz.  ###



MND, The Launch of Prolift Pelvic Mesh- What the Company Knew, MND January 9, 2015

MND, Ethicon Stops Selling Four Pelvic Meshes, June 2012

MND, Pelvic Mesh Trial Outcomes So Far, October 2017

MND, Day 18 Linda Gross Trial, February 6, 2013, Surgeon says Prolift Warnings were Adequate

MND, Day 16, Linda Gross v. Ethicon, February 4, 2013,  Scientist Knew  Prolift Transvaginal Mesh was Defective

MND, Dec. 10. 2015, Witnesses in Philadelphia Mesh Trial Tell Tale of Prolift Mesh Marketing


By |2017-12-07T17:38:27+00:00November 28th, 2017|News|36 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. Daniee S November 29, 2017 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    Plain and simple

  2. Kitty November 29, 2017 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    Nice report Jane definitely appreciate the details

  3. Daniee s November 30, 2017 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    From the materials composition
    (polypropylene), application, mechanism… everything about this so call devise is wrong…

  4. Daniee s November 30, 2017 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    This faulty devise is still being used in USA !!!

    • Jane Akre December 1, 2017 at 2:40 pm - Reply

      its technically off the market for sales, but it could still be used if there is a reserve on the shelf is my understanding. Do you know of any? I’d love to hear… thank you.

  5. Paula November 30, 2017 at 10:55 pm - Reply

    I am confused as to why some women are going to trial and the rest of us are waiting on settlements. I was under the understanding that the judge ordered the cases to be consuladated and settlements would be decided based on previous trial outcomes.

    • Jane Akre December 1, 2017 at 2:38 pm - Reply

      Whether you are chosen for trial is sort of a random thing…. Most will be set up for settlement,,,, there aren’t enough judges or time to hear all 105,000 cases and growing.

      • Paula December 6, 2017 at 9:52 pm - Reply

        I have been told by my attorney that a settlement packet has been mailed out. Has anyone else received an offer from J&J? I just don’t know how to determine if it’s a fair offer.

  6. Disgusted December 1, 2017 at 9:44 am - Reply

    I am sick over all of this. It seems like the fight should be over by now. I had a TVT-O and have been told by both Dr. Raz and after an 8 hour surgery by Dr. Hibner that there was no mesh left, 100% removed. I had a translabial ultrasound in the spring that said I have 4″ arm on my right side left. It is impossible to get out. Not almost impossible. I’ve had fragments work their way out too.

    • Kitty December 2, 2017 at 12:54 pm - Reply

      Disgusted I am glad u had good Dr’s. I truly believe that our entire pelvis would be mush if they got every bit out. A few years ago I had tiny blue filaments coming out…usually after shower. That was the mesh eroding thru Chk. Did u have trans labial with Hibner?

      • Disgusted December 2, 2017 at 8:30 pm - Reply

        No, at that time he didn’t do translabial ultrasounds. I don’t know if he does now. He was positive I had mesh left, but he couldn’t find it. So he assumed Dr. Raz did get it. Definitely NOT an exact science.

        • Kitty December 3, 2017 at 5:34 pm - Reply

          Thanks for response He does not do it now…i thought perhaps he did it in the past I do know Dr Raz does it

  7. S Williams December 1, 2017 at 12:25 pm - Reply

    I want to know about the pain I read about that a lot of women are having. I too have pain. I started having pelvic pain after my first surgery back in 2009. Of course the Doctor said it was my age and to start using Estrace. So I used it, and it did not work, so I suffered in pain. After my 2nd surgery in 2014 I continued to have pain and once again he said to use Estrace and once again it did no good. And then after my 3rd surgery in 2016 I still have pain, so again we tried the Estrace and still no luck. I don’t understand, I never had this pain before surgery, so why all of a sudden do I have it now. He keeps telling me its because of my age and that it’s because I’m dry, but that’s not the case, the pain is right up front and is extremely painful, even if I use a lot of lubricant. I think it’s more than just me getting old, I think something happened, I just don’t know what. I’ve been to several doctors and they all stated they don’t feel any mesh, so I just don’t know why it hurts so bad. Please, if anyone has any suggestions or answers, please let me know. I’m sure there are a lot of other women out there with the same problem. Thanks

    • Jane Akre December 1, 2017 at 2:34 pm - Reply

      Getting older is insulting….. yes you may have dyspareunia for a variety of reasons but specific pain that you did not have before the implant should be examined and not dismissed. Check with a knowledgeable doctor. Here are some.

      Dr. Charles Butrick in Overland Park, KS.
      Dr. Michael Hibner in Phoenix. (602) 406-6017. Dignity Health
      Dr. Raz, Urology Department, UCLA. 310-794-7700
      Dr. Lennox Hoyt, Tampa, 2 Tampa General Circle, 4th Floor Tampa, FL 33606 (813) 259 – 8500
      Dr. Christopher Walker in Orlando, private practice, UroGyn Specialists 407-648-9400
      Dr. Una Lee, 206-341-0560. Seattle, WA, Virginia Mason
      Una Lee, Virginia Mason
      Edit contact
      Work: +1 206-577-9921
      Mobile: +1 216-406-4808

      Miklos and Moore in Atlanta, 770-475-4499,

      Dr. Veronikis in St. Louis – 314-251-6753. (He works with Sara Wood MD, also doing pelvic mesh surgeries)

      Dr. Phillippe Zimmern in Dallas. U Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Professor Urology, 214-645-8765, 214-648-4765

      Dr. Michael Hibner in Phoenix. (602) 406-6017. Dignity Health

      ***Dr. Raz, Urology Department, UCLA. 310-794-7700

      Daniel Elliott, Urology at Mayo Clinic, MN 800-446-2279, referring a pt 800-533-1564

      Dr. Christopher Walker in Orlando, private practice, UroGyn Specialists, 407-648-9400

      Dr. Ali Azadi in Louisville, Norton Healthcare, U of Louisville School of Medicine, Ob-Gyn, 502-409-5600

      Dr. M. Tom Margolis in SF Bay area, private practice, Bay Area Pelvic Surgery, 650-228-4052

      Dr. Bruce Rosenzweig, Rush University, Chicago, Ob-gyn, 888-352-RUSH (7874)

      Dr. Jerry Blaivas, New York City Urology, 212-772-3900

      Dr C. Y. Liu, gynecologic endoscopic surgery, private practice, NYC 212-988-1444

      Dr. Robert Furr, Women’s Surgery Center, Chattanooga, TN. 866-899-0679.

      Dr Una Lee, Virginia Mason Clinics in Seattle, 206-341-0560

      Dr. Greg Vigna, 318-548-2649, pudendal neuralgia damage

      Dr. Christian Twiss, Tucson, U of Arizona

      Dr. Jeffrey Snow, Pembroke Pines, colorectal surgery and hernia mesh 954-450-1617

      Dr. Francisco Orejuela, Baylor Hospital, Houston, Tx

      Docs I’ve heard reports on:

      Dr. Parnell FACOG in Birmingham, AL, Brookwood Med Center, ultrasound.

      Kenneth Peters, Urologist, Beaumont Hospital in MI- on interstim and implanting into the S2-S4 and the pudendal nerve pain improved.

      Dr. Robert L. Summit, urogyn, Memphis

      Dr. Val Vogt, Memphis

      Dr. Bob Shull, a urogyn from Temple, Texas.

      Antonio Pizarro. Shreveport, LA 318-221-0021.

      Dr. Speights of Jackson Mississippi.

      Dr. Sara Diaz of Richmond, Indiana

      • AmyG December 7, 2017 at 3:45 pm - Reply

        I live in Shreveport Louisiana and Dr. Pizzaro would not even see me when I mentioned mesh. I have seen Dr. Zimmern in Dallas, Texas and he was wonderful.

        • Jane Akre December 7, 2017 at 5:19 pm - Reply

          Wow- Another person told me he was wonderful…. confusing….

    • Disgusted December 2, 2017 at 8:38 pm - Reply

      I went through the same hoopla. I was even told the pain was too high for mesh. Doctor’s are being told that estrogen takes care of the pain. I have my own theories on this. I had horrible pain on left side after 1 1/2 years, none on right. Mesh on both sides. I think we have concentrated nerve beds in areas and the mesh only needs to be ithin 1 cm to set off pain. On my right it wasn’t close enough. Until years later. I think it’s moving in. So depth of mesh probably makes a difference too. The severity of the pain you’re describing is too much for age. No pain before mesh – pain after – it’s the mesh.

      • Kitty December 3, 2017 at 5:34 pm - Reply

        Very interesting

      • Kitty December 4, 2017 at 9:33 pm - Reply

        It looks like there is some movement with MDL as well. Estrogen helps strengthen tissue. It does not help with pain.

    • Lilbit December 6, 2017 at 1:25 pm - Reply

      I wonder what the Dr’s excuse would be for me, I have the same pain , and only 29 when I received my Mesh? 10 years of pain

    • Tammie W December 12, 2017 at 11:28 pm - Reply

      I have the same issue was given estrace over and over with no help doctor says the same that don’t feel anything. My husband left me because he believes the doctor he thinks I am faking so I don’t have to have sex with him. I live in Ohio and ideas

      • Jane Akre December 13, 2017 at 12:22 pm - Reply

        Probably a doctor and a lawyer would be my suggestions… a doctor to give you an assessment of your situation other than estrace. Are you represented? Docs may include Veronikis, Raz , Miklos… write me if you need other names.

  8. Kitty December 2, 2017 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    I meant eroded thru VJJ

  9. Lordhelpus December 3, 2017 at 10:33 pm - Reply

    You would think that none of these people were born to women…(the way they all think so little of us)…and so they’re allowed to continue their carnage…#weaponsofmassdestruction

    • S Williams December 4, 2017 at 10:02 pm - Reply

      You know I forgot to mention that not only do I have severe pain with intercourse but I also have severe pain when I pee. It’s usually just at the start for a minute, but it hurts really bad. I just don’t understand why this has to happen. I will be going back to Dr. Raz in Jan. so I hope he has some answers. Because of insurance reasons I could not go to him this year. He was aware of my pain, but he too blamed it on menopause. So I hope he has an open mind when I see him next year. I really need to have this pain stop.

      • Kitty December 10, 2017 at 1:31 am - Reply

        Hello S William…when I started menopause..age 50..i had cessation of periods. I had a quiet pelvis…no pain. Even though I noticed some bulging from prolapse…my pelvis was quiet.—no pain. There is NO PAIN WITH MENOPAUSE.

  10. Kitty December 5, 2017 at 12:38 am - Reply

    It sounds like pudental pain

  11. LIZ December 6, 2017 at 5:47 am - Reply


    • Kitty December 9, 2017 at 6:23 pm - Reply

      My thought is they actually may be confused with the tier process. Recall…that one of Jane’s followers stated she had 8 surgeries and ended up with $2,000. Perhaps they may believe that some of us are self inflicting harm. Just saying

  12. Kitty December 6, 2017 at 10:02 am - Reply

    I just read that a Canadian woman diedthis past Sunday of sepsis due to mesh. Don’t know if it is one of Jane’s followers….deepest sympathy to her family. She was beautiful.

    • Jane Akre December 6, 2017 at 10:36 am - Reply

      Im working on a story…..she was outspoken and wonderful who reached many through social media…

      • Kitty December 6, 2017 at 11:33 am - Reply

        Oh…. so u did know her Jane. waiting….. thank u

        • Jane Akre December 7, 2017 at 11:49 am - Reply

          No not really,, I had spoken to her…..She did an amazing job speaking out so I didn’t feel the need to tell her story. She really didn’t need help.

  13. ALL MESHED UP December 7, 2017 at 9:18 pm - Reply

    Have a cystoscopy done that’s how my mesh was found. They really push the estrace cream when you say you have pain. My mesh eroded into my urethra and bladder.

    • Kitty December 9, 2017 at 6:18 pm - Reply

      THAT REALLY TELLS YOU HOW IGNORANT THESE DRs’ are. .The name ESTRACE itself is repulsive. I lived on a farm and when the Cows were in Estrus (In heat) we got the bull out for her to conceive. It is so disgusting that they named this pill Estrace.

  14. Anon December 9, 2017 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    Any updates on the Hyrmoc case?

Leave A Comment