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Surgical Mesh: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

By Jason Bottlinger on August 5, 2019

On July 15, 2019, an attorney for the State of California asked a San Diego judge to award more than $704 million to victims of a faulty implantable mesh made by a subsidiary of corporate giant Johnson & Johnson. The claim, which was filed in 2016, is now being heard in a bench trial: the first such trial to take place between a state attorney general and a mesh manufacturer. We expect the outcome of this lawsuit to set a precedent and create more rights for victims.

Our urogynecologic mesh lawyer in Omaha would like to share some facts of this case with you. If you have experienced mesh failure or had to have revision surgery, please call Bottlinger Law L.L.C. right away so we can take immediate legal action.

What Went Wrong with Transvaginal Mesh?

The cause of this lawsuit is transvaginal mesh. The State of California alleges that Ethicon, Inc., the subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, misrepresented its products to doctors and their patients by failing to warn of known risks and complications. The attorney is asking for $5,000 per violation in statutory damages based on California’s unfair competition law and false advertising law. The State’s expert witness estimated that the company circulated its false message nearly 200,000 times. The attorney also noted Johnson & Johnson’s history of misconduct, and estimated value of $70.4 billion—more than enough to compensate victims of its bad faith dealings.

This news comes in the wake of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banning transvaginal mesh outright on April 16, 2019, for use in repairing pelvic organ prolapse in women, saying that the risks outweigh the benefits. Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) occurs when pelvic organs, such as the bladder or uterus, aren’t well supported and droop, creating a bulge in the vaginal wall. This can be caused by childbirth, age (after menopause, it is more common), or another strain on the area, such as heavy lifting.

Since the FDA approved the first specific transvaginal mesh device in 2002, patients have been reporting serious side effects: persistent vaginal bleeding and discharge, pelvic and groin pain, chronic inflammation, urinary tract infections or blockage, and the mesh eroding or protruding into nearby organs or soft tissue.

However, transvaginal mesh isn’t the only surgical product to harm its recipients. Let’s talk about hernia mesh.

Did You Have Hernia Mesh Implanted? You May Have a Case

Hernia mesh, like transvaginal mesh, is commonly made of polypropylene plastic with an absorbable film coating. These types of meshes are known as “composite mesh.” The absorbable film is supposed to lower the risk of adhesion inside the body, which occurs when scar tissue starts growing between organs, binding them together in unnatural ways. But it seems certain mesh products’ film itself may be increasing the risk: while it is dissolving, the body cannot integrate the mesh into the wound properly. In addition, laparoscopic surgery, the most popular method for performing hernia repair surgery, involves a small cut into which the mesh is inserted and pushed to the site it will be stitched in. This allows the mesh to scrape against the intestines and other organs, increasing the likelihood of adhesions forming.

Many other things can go wrong after a hernia repair using surgical mesh, including bowel blockages, mesh shrinkage, mesh hardening, mesh migration, localized infection, chronic inflammation, foreign body reaction, and even sepsis, an immune system overreaction to an uncontained infection that is often fatal. The symptoms of a complication may not show up right away; you may not know which mesh you have inside your body—and whether it was recalled by the FDA, “pulled off the market” by the manufacturer in response to complaints, or is facing multiple lawsuits over safety issues.

Here are the meshes Bottlinger Law L.L.C. is currently evaluating:

· Bard – any product
· Davol – any product
· Ethicon – Physiomesh
· Atrium – C-Qur

It is alright if you do not know which mesh was implanted during your hernia revision surgery. Bring your medical records and any details of the surgery to our office in Omaha, and Bottlinger Law L.L.C. will investigate. If you have a valid claim, we will represent you at no upfront fee, and only take payment after we have received a settlement or jury verdict on your behalf. Call a hernia mesh lawsuit attorney today at (402) 505-8234 to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.

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