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Surgical Mesh Complications Tear Lives Apart

Linda Felts

Linda Felts

March 25, 2013~ First Coast News Jacksonville has just aired the latest mesh complication story at its Gannett station. See the story here.

The pain was severe enough that I couldn’t stay still on the bed.” 

It just became unbearable.  I went into seclusion from this.

These are some of the comments from the four women interviewed by reporter Heather Crawford.

Barbara Carter had a sling for urinary incontinence.

Barbara Carter

Barbara Carter

“The next morning after surgery, I knew something wasn’t right,” she said. “I had pain where I had never had pain before. I told my doctor when we went in the next morning I couldn’t move my body. My legs hurt so bad, he told me I would get better. I didn’t get better I got worse.”

Three years later another doctor told her the mesh had eroded into her bladder and intestines.

Crawford reports in 2008 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first issued a warning which said mesh complications were “rare” even though thousands of reports of complications were coming into the agency.

[What Crawford fails to report is that the FDA in July 2011 issued a second, more strongly worded Safety Communication that complications are “not rare” and that mesh surgery complications may outweigh any benefit. See it here.] *Editors note.

This is key information for the public to know.

Henry Garrard

Henry Garrard

Georgia attorney Henry Garrard of Athens represents about 2,700 women including the women interviewed, Linda Felts, Elizabeth Greene and Barbara Carter. They have filed product liability lawsuits against the five major mesh manufacturers.

Garrard wants mesh taken off the market.  “That tells you the breadth of it. It is a national catastrophe,” he says.

The story also includes an interview with hernia surgeon Dr. Bruce Ramshaw of Daytona Beach Florida (here).

Dr. Bruce Ramshaw

Dr. Bruce Ramshaw

He helped one of the women in the piece who had been suffering with the effects of a hernia implant.

“And you can see they are like a screen door screen and they come out of the package nice and soft but in the body in some people, they can undergo pretty significant reactions and they can get brittle. They can get more hard. They can crunch up into a ball or like a rock, but it’s variable. The same exact mesh in two different patients can do very different things,” he said.

Ramshaw said while eroded mesh doesn’t always cause pain, it certainly can. Pain so severe he said has had at least one patient commit suicide. Dr. Ramshaw estimates up to three percent of patients he sees will have complications, though the complication rate has been seen at 30% in studies conducted by mesh makers concerning the same polypropylene mesh used to shore up pelvic organs.

Even so, he says up to hundreds of thousands of women and men may be affected.

Irene Hicks had her hernia mesh removed and now says she is 80 percent back to normal.

Carter concludes the story by saying, “A lot of women could be spared suffering. I did have a life before this. I don’t have a life anymore. I don’t even know who I am anymore.”

 

 

10 Comments

  1. Zac Miller says:

    Will lawyer please take a herina case involving mesh complications or a class action. For 10 years I have suffer auto immune problems that occurred and were caused by mesh right after I had mesh implanted. All of the people with herina mesh have been ignored by the legal and medical community for 10 long years… There were no instructions, no list of complications, possible side effects, no panthlet telling us early victims anything. We were used and continue to get screwed over because lawyers and doctors are cowards. Step up to the plate and help.

    • Paul says:

      Hi Zac, I had hernia surgery in 1995, no problems. In 2003 I started having problems urinating, no idea why, it would come and go. 8 months ago, I was diagnosed with MS. About 2 month after that, I started feeling pressure in the area where I had surgery(right inguinal) it turned it major pressure, moderate to severe pain and it is now hard to walk by 2-3 in the afternoon. I saw a surgeon who worked for the same hospital that did my surgery, and right away became very defensive of the mesh, he could not give a *** about me so I demanded an MRI after he told me the mesh has never been proven to cause problems. The radiologist(27 years experience came in after & asked I was sure they used mesh, yep 100% why? I did not see it, normally I can…WTF?..Dr. called next day to tell me it was fine. I was then sent to a Urologist, and after 3 months, 3 diagnosis, 8 meds, I was worse, he then did a CT scan. He called to tell me that the degeneration in my spine is causing this, so I asked about the mesh. He along with a surgeon could not see any mesh? CT scans show everything, where is it? (BTW, I do not like trying to explain this in chats, this is a very long story, I’m trying to tell you important details only) I called the hospital that did the surgery 5 months ago to get records, was told they no longer have them, as pain worsened, I became more frustrated and just plain pissed off. I called the dr.’s office that did it, nurse said the same, no records, I told her to go get the ****** surgeon, and ask him what mesh he used back then…. he doesn’t know, sorry. So today I went to the hospital, went to his office and of coarse, he’s gone, I went to medical records, lady behind the counter just started this week, and amazingly, she found my records…..the used a polypropylene mesh, but no info on who made it. I’m smoking pissed to say the least, and was shocked to see what you posted, I have an excellent lawyer, he doesn’t deal with bullshit like this, but told me he’ll do what he can if we find the mesh caused my problems, but it will be hard to find a lawyer unless you sue for a large sum? This is the problem, companies making the mesh f**ked us, Dr’s f**ked us, and the only way to get back at them is to find a greedy lawyer to take on the case—–my lawyer guessed 10 million range…so yes, someone step the F**K UP, mesh is proven to ruin peoples live but nothing is being done, I will not stop until I get answers…..I like this site, but http://www.topix.com has over 7000 posts about this, let me know if you find any info, and I will do the same, this has got to stop, but it is not going to be easy….can I ask what auto-immune you have? go to the last 3-4 pages as of today 3-29, somebody replied to me that the complications of mesh implants and auto immune disease is just starting to get attention, also, Lupus was brought up numerous times, along with others……hope to hear back from you, this is soooo F**KING wrong, and nothing is being done

      • Brandi says:

        Just got a CT done, hernia back, they can’t find mesh, but…. They did find forgein growth nodes, on both lungs, adnoids, gallbladder and pelvis…. They think it’s camcer, wonder if it’s the mesh…

  2. Nonie Wideman says:

    with no tests for biocompatibility synthetic mesh products should be consider defective as they do not remain inert in bodies that have a high foreign body response….. a foreign body response is expected, was known about by researchers and the mesh manufacturers…. the implants were supposed to be permanent so if the mesh cannot remain inert it must be defective as it gets brittle , breaks apart …what part of this do lawyers not get as they persue justice for injured patients? they also do not get that even with mesh removed many patients have autoimmune issues caused by mesh that do not always resolve after mesh extraction….thanks to all docs who swim against the popular tide and say …wait something is wrong with this picture!!

    • Kathy says:

      Imagine what will become of mesh inside of women after fifteen, twenty, thirty of fifty years? Mine has been inside me for six years. I was a young woman when it was implanted into me. Since Menopause it has become so much worse. Our tissue and skin change with the lack of hormones. It can become tissue thin. To have this mesh erode into our vagina, bladder and ureatha is so painful.

      I am at a complete loss as to how and why we can not get help. What other health issue is there on this planet that the patient is forced to suffer for so long trying to get help for so long ?

      Mine was for SI, I say to the FDA that you need to address that mesh is mesh.

      I feel very strongly that the fact that doctors are still using mesh and afraid of lawsuits or having to face the fact that they have hurt patients is creating a danger to all of us. It is time to step up and do the right thing.

      Women that have been hurt by mesh deserve to be listened to by a FDA panel. We need help getting the healthcare we need. We need follow up care for the rest of our life.

  3. Betty says:

    How can Dr.’s continue to sell this stuff, on the basis of “it’s the technique” that is used. It is a LIE. Technique and training only go so far. Not everyone’s body is the same! We are not robots and cannot be put on an assembly line!!! If it is only good for a certain population of Dr.’s, then they should all be rigorously trained and tested. Of course, I don’t believe this is true, I think it’s justification to keep putting this dangerous product into women in the name of helping them while bringing in the bucks. Disgusting.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Betty- During the Ethicon trial it was clear from the scientists who developed the mesh that they had no idea how it would be removed if it was ever necessary. They didn’t consider that possibility either because the surgical technique was tested on cadavers. And you’re right- it is still used!!

  4. top_bard says:

    Hi Jane
    This is a global Mesh. Award winning Sunday Mail journalist Marion Scott published this article on 24th March: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/health/plastic-mesh-implants-could-causing-1781448
    Any mesh injured individual can contact Marion in the strictest confidence: m.scott@sundaymail.co.uk
    The more feedback she receives the more she will campaign to raise awareness in regards to polypropylene mesh implants and the unacceptable complications and severe disabilities this material is responsible for. They knew a Linda Gross was going to happen and there are Linda’s all over the planet enduring a daily nightmare.
    Thanks for this window of opportunity Jane to raise awareness on this subject and Marion would love to speak to you. best regards Top_bard

  5. top_bard says:

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/nhs-patients-want-summit-health-1794929

    Journalist Marion Scott has been overwhelmed with individuals contacting her in regards to her first article on polypropylene mesh implants and the serious complications that are debilitating recipients of various implants. Please take the time to read her second two page article in the Scottish Sunday Mail and watch this space for article number three, You can email Marion at: m.scott@sundaymail.co.uk. Thanks Jane.

    Best regards Top-_bard

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