Reactions to 60 Minutes Story on Mesh Mess

//Reactions to 60 Minutes Story on Mesh Mess

Reactions to 60 Minutes Story on Mesh Mess

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, May 14, 2018~  Not surprisingly, Boston Scientific is reacting negatively to the story that 60 Minutes aired last night on its substandard polypropylene resin-based mesh and the internal documents that show the questionable way it sourced that mesh from China. 

The piece concluded with the evidence that the network acquired Boston Scientific mesh kits currently on the market and they all matched the China-sourced mesh.  The company had purchased enough raw material from China to supply gynecological mesh production for the next 30 years.


Sunday night on 60 Minutes, Boston Scientific ‘s acquisition of gynecological mesh resin, allegedly smuggled in from China and of questionable quality, was broadcast on the esteemed newsmagazine 60 Minutes.

The story brought to the forefront, the use of polypropylene mesh, which is the primary ingredient in all pelvic, hernia or gynecological mesh, not just those made by Boston Scientific.

Johnson & Johnson, American Medical Systems (Endo), C.R. Bard, Coloplast, all use polypropylene (PP) resin to make their gynecological mesh implants for incontinence and prolapse.

Doctors even today are still using polypropylene mesh and the medical society AUGS (American Urogynecological Society) even refers to a PP mesh sling as the “gold standard.”

This story serves as a wake-up call to women everywhere who are being told “the mesh today is different,” which is today the talking point doctors use to talk women into have a mesh implant.


Dr. Duane Priddy, plastics expert on 60 Minutes

Duane Priddy: I can’t, in my wildest imagination, imagine anybody that’s knowledgeable in the science of plastics ever deciding that it was appropriate to use polypropylene in the human body. It’s well known that it’s oxidatively unstable.



Boston Scientific denied 60 Minutes an interview for the segment, but did issue a statement on its website. See it here. 

It calls the report “irresponsible and misleading” and one-sided and “out of context.”

Calling the 60 Minutes piece “completely false claims” based on ”outdated and previously disproven allegations first made by attorneys in 2016.”

The company insists it uses rigorous testing to show its resin matches “a formulation from the original U.S.-produced resin.”

Ironically, Boston Scientific uses the argument that polypropylene mesh has been used for more than 50 years in hernia repair.   Mesh News Desk readers include a large number of patients who are also suffering after their polypropylene hernia mesh implant, estimated to be about 30% of patients implanted.

Boston Scientific says its mesh products contribute only one percent of annual sales to the company.  To withdraw it from the market would leave women with “few options for these debilitating and often embarrassing conditions.”

AUGS the American Urogynecologic Society issued a statement prior to the airing of the 60 Minutes story (see it here)  that does not address the issue of polypropylene, which it promotes as the “gold standard” but does point readers to a recent New York Times piece on the allegedly unnecessary surgeries some women are encouraged to undergo allegedly for profit.

The medical society expresses concern that the public will react with “another layer of anxiety,” after viewing the 60 Minutes segment.  ###


Please weigh in on the 60 Minutes segment with your additions, comments, criticism, your story and a warning to the women and men who are being told its just a “ribbon” or “sling” and the mesh is different.




By |2018-05-15T13:19:55+00:00May 14th, 2018|News|21 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. Dawn May 14, 2018 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    Yay ! I wish I had had the anxiety and had skipped the Mesh operation! At least women and men that see this segment will have a choice. Let’s keep scaring them !!!!!!
    Mesh kills and Mesh maims 😢😡

    • Jane Akre May 14, 2018 at 2:40 pm - Reply

      And folks should look on Youtube for a mesh operation video…. especially for women, they will never submit to this procedure.

  2. Mary May 14, 2018 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    Great Follow-Up Jane! I was very pleased with the segment and the foot is in the door! I hope everyone will send their stories to CBS! This is an opportunity to be heard! I hope everyone speaks up.
    I know attorneys tell their clients not to speak about their case, but if that’s not working to your advantage, maybe you should think about it.
    The “Silence” is not your friend. It is a tool to keep these victims from ruining the reputation, sales, and future polypropylene device implanting-by big corporate businesses.
    Yay Jane! Great Job Buddy! Mary

    • Jane Akre May 14, 2018 at 2:50 pm - Reply

      Here are two ways to respond to 60 Minutes:

      60 Minutes 524 West 57th St. New York, NY 10019. EMAIL: PHONE: (212) 975-3247.

    • Still Standing May 14, 2018 at 11:48 pm - Reply

      Mary, your attorney asks you to not discuss your case because doing so will jeopardize your case at a trial. They cannot prohibit you from talking about mesh in general, but they are representing you on a contingency basis and you need to follow their advice since they have time and money invested in your case. You should at least inform them that you are not gong to honor their request. Im deeply involved teaching pain management and consulted my attorneys before making presentations. If you want to get personal and speak out about your manufacturer and the specifics of your case, drop your law suit and have at it.

      • DONE WRONG May 17, 2018 at 9:56 pm - Reply

        The truth will never be told, and to tell women that could not get answers and nothing but lies from doctors , had to turn to internet for answers, all they got were lies from medical. How much more cruel from any lawyer , court to try to stop a woman suffering from mesh trying to get answers, . more cruel are those that cashed in on women suffering from mesh. The lying medical doctors and nurses were told attorneys were not going to sue them, MIGHT AS WELL HAVE SAID , DO WHAT YOU WANT TO HER, BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT EXACTLY CRUEL ATTORNEYS HAVE DONE TO SOME, I REPEAT SOME WOMEN WITH MESH. BUT YOU KNOW THAT

  3. Anonomous May 14, 2018 at 6:23 pm - Reply
    Jane kinda hard for me let alone anyone else to understand the first implant I had was in me several months before it was suppose to be approved for Market. Also the patient brochure wasnt available either so how did we know what was going to happen when implanted with the device??? We had no clue neither did my OBGYN she was unaware of any complications or side effects. These Corporations seized an opportunity and ran with it they seen a profit not caring about the patients who were implanted with them. Thank You for all you do without you we wouldnt even be heard. You are our voices. It`s been proven through my attorneys that they hid information and employees of their parent companies as soon as these lawsuits came about. It`s time they start listening to us…Our needs now we are their victims and we will not be silenced any longer.

  4. Billie May 15, 2018 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    Jane, I sent an email to…I said…

    Thank you for following this and HUGE gratitude for your bravery in AIRING this segment!!! What a Mother’s Day GIFT!!! For all of us women in the West Virginia MDL, THANK YOU 60 Minutes!!!

    Please consider further segments!!!

    There are so many facets to this story. Not only that this polypropylene material is being implanted in women, it has been used in HERNIA repair surgeries decades longer than incontinence repair!!!

    Boston Scientific is only ONE of numerous pharmaceutical companies making these kits on the market.

    The FDA has yet to STOP all marketing of all medical implants containing polypropylene, in spite of proof it is causing serious harm!!! Almost unbelievable? I agree. How is it possible that this material is STILL being marketed???

    And then there is the further victimization of the MDL itself! BIG STORY there also. Judge Goodwin recently ruled to cut out all non-revision surgery cases. Thousands of women who filed are ending up with zero dollars. Many MDL cases have settled with the claimants receiving pathetic dollar amounts. So much to inform the public about.

    THANK you…a million times…THANK YOU!!

    • Jane Akre May 15, 2018 at 2:33 pm - Reply

      Thank you! You make excellent points!!! Thank you,,, thank you!!

      • Billie May 15, 2018 at 3:34 pm - Reply

        Note: I did not state ANYTHING personal…other than conveying enormous gratitude. I did not supply my name or contact information either. The subject line of this email read, 1 of the 100,00+ polypropylene implanted

        • Jane Akre May 15, 2018 at 6:39 pm - Reply

          Thank you for making the effort. It’s important!

  5. Janet Varnes May 15, 2018 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    If I could sue my Surgeon and her Husband who referred me I would because nothing was recovered.

    Not one day of my life was better I have to Catherize to Urinate daily, my Husband is a Saint and there was and still is hell to pay for that surgery.

    I could never return to work, we lost our Home, all our Material things but in spite of them the good Doctors who I trusted gained so much I can’t begin to explain how I feel like an experiment for profit and my Surgeon was a Professor and taught the Surgery to other Doctors at CU … to beat it all she left me screaming in pain while post op to take me off pain medications and that was when no one was doing that.

    After my Mesh Failed I was acquiring my Medical Records and she ( The Surgeon) said I was a Drug Addict. ( Life changing Medical procedure followed by idiot status ). Do No Harm is what your Oath was but apparently both you and your Husband should have gone first as far as I am concerned.

    Roll this 60 Minutes again it’s impot this never happen to Women again and if you believe this is a cure you are sadly mistaken. Second opinion if it is ever even mentioned.

    By the way Dr. do you remember you saying this will make you feel seventeen again , you meant seventy did you not !!!! Your the Teacher and the
    Greedy Dr’s Dr’s Wife is what you are and so I rest my case.

    I wish you all the best of health and happiness as best you can do with this partial device still within doing damage.

    Too bad the statutes of limitations ran while the Attorneys were sent on a wild goose chase for records wasting time trying to settle something that will never be settled. It has been proven you can’t give a life back so stop trying. I now wish I had just hired privately and sued them both but again what for, there is nothing money can do to change this.

    No worries I am still not taking pain medications as I had to return back home after being away thirty-nine years and now pain medications can not ever be prescribed here. I am in the worst city ever.
    Run it again for those who missed the segment it is so important that no one miss this !!

  6. M. Atkins May 16, 2018 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    Janet and Jane,
    I truly understand Janet’s frustration at her surgeon. I have constant pain from the Boston Scientific transvaginal mesh and get constant urinary tract infections. I was accused of not wiping correctly. I’m 50 years old and have known to wipe from front to back since I went to the bathroom by myself. My surgeon won’t remove the mesh even though it doesn’t work and I’m in pain. He says the pain isn’t from the mesh and apparently neither are the constant urinary infections. I will never again be myself and my family suffers from this. I don’t leave the house unless I absolutely have to because of the smell and pain and embarrassment.
    I also left a message for 60 minutes but didn’t give my name only my initials and didn’t put anything really personal in it. I thanked them for airing it because it helped my husband understand what I was going through. He didn’t know what the mesh looked like and couldn’t believe that it was implanted in me. He wants me to have it removed as much as I want to have it removed but the surgeon refuses to do it. Thanks for helping others to understand what women are going through with this transvaginal mesh.

    • Jane Akre May 16, 2018 at 10:11 pm - Reply

      M. Your doctor is incompetent at best. Please seek an expert opinion..let me know if you can travel..

      • M. Atkins May 18, 2018 at 4:12 pm - Reply

        Even though travelling would be difficult medically and financially, especially financially because my husband is the only one working to support our family of 7 we are both willing to do it if an expert that will remove this Boston Scientific mesh and relieve me of this pain can be found. We have tried to find someone that would be willing to remove it but haven’t been successful.
        Please advise us if there is assistance financially or if we can do it by driving. I’m sure I can get someone to drive me. I don’t drive often because of the pain and don’t leave my house due to the pain and embarrassment but I would be willing to do this if there is relief.

  7. Sue May 22, 2018 at 11:49 am - Reply

    I had the surgery for a pelvic prolapse in 2004 and I knew immediately that something was wrong. The doctor ignored me and I ended up having 3 more surgeries to have one removed but another was implanted a year later. It’s 2018 and I suffer as I did in 2004 and nothing else can be done.i lost my ability to work ,even part time ,because of the pain. It has caused damage from the waist down and now I try to take care of myself and survive on $800 disability. It has destroyed my life!

    • Jane Akre May 22, 2018 at 1:02 pm - Reply

      Can you make it to a mesh expert?….. sounds like you had a partial removal. I’m sorry you had more put in since you reacted badly first time.

  8. Jane Akre June 5, 2018 at 11:32 am - Reply

    Anonymous- What is an attorney to do if the manufacturer is holding out and only offering so much? You can’t force them to pay more unfortunately….I believe the focus should remain on the manufacturers who did this in the first place, knowingly, then did not adequately inform the doctors. You are right, some lawyers had had their hands open from day one, knowing this would be a windfall for them, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t try. It is a travesty all around.

  9. Kathleen June 7, 2018 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    My husband was set for abdominal surgery to implant a mesh screen back in 2004. Then I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and we decided his hernia surgery could wait (he has never had any pain) until after we saved my life first.
    Also at that time I had a strong intuitive feeling that the mesh was not what it appeared to be and that there would be lawsuits to follow. It gives me no pleasure to have been right about that intutition. So here we are 13 years later, I am well and my husband still has the hernia (still no pain or discomfort). I pray there are other alternatives because there is no way we would sign up for the mesh version after reading your stories. My heart goes out to all the men and women who have had to live with chronic pain( of which I am one). The forced isolation and day to day management of pain is most debilitating and changes your whole life.

    • Jane Akre June 7, 2018 at 10:13 pm - Reply

      Kathleen, a very good option is Shouldice Hospital in Toronto, in 99% of cass they can do a non mesh repair. Compared to costs in US hospitals, even the trip should not be more costly.

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