Vaginal mesh implants should not be used to treat pelvic organ prolapse, according to the United Kingdom’s health watchdog group. The Independent reports that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has ruled that evidence for the long-term efficacy of treating pelvic organ prolapse with transvaginal mesh implants is “inadequate in quality and quantity.” This decision mirrors Australia’s recent decision to ban mesh implants specifically to treat prolapse declaring them too risky and riddled with horrific side effects.
The new Nice guidelines state that while the devices may still be used to treat stress-urinary incontinence (SUI) and to repair hernias in men or women, mesh repair for pelvic organ prolapse should be banned. In the UK alone, around 10,000 women are implanted with these plastic mesh devices each year. The devices are inserted into the vaginal wall to treat incontinence and prolapse, which are common side effects after pregnancy. The Nice statement falls short of the updated guidelines in New Zealand, which recently became the first country to ban all vaginal mesh procedures.
Horrific Side Effects
An estimated 10 to 20 percent of women with mesh implants have suffered severe side effects. And this is worldwide. The side effects range from severe and chronic pain, nerve damage, organ damage and inability to have sexual intercourse. The plastic in the mesh devices is known to erode and disintegrate. In many women, it has sliced through organs and vaginal walls causing severe pain and irreparable damage.
Some women are so affected that they are unable to stand, sit or walk and almost all those who are affected report chronic pain, repeated infections and loss of sex life. Recently, Chrissy Brajcic of Ontario, who had become a patient safety advocate and activist campaigning against these devices, became the first woman to die from complications stemming from her vaginal mesh device. Brajcic was only 42, but was left bedridden and in constant pain after the procedure, which was done to treat mild incontinence. She died of sepsis and organ failure.
Lack of Regulation
While other countries are realizing the danger posed by these defective medical devices, albeit a little late for many of the victims, here we are in the United States where the issue is still being hashed out in civil courts. There has been little or no attempt to take these dangerous and faulty devices out of the market. Many women who experienced horrible side effects after receiving the implants said they had not even been warned about these potential side effects. If you or a loved one has suffered side effects due to a transvaginal mesh implant, please contact an experienced product defect lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.