Transvaginal Surgical Mesh Risks Highlighted in PBS Report

Harvey Kirk

By Harvey Kirk
Posted April 8, 2013


A recent report on PBS highlights the problems transvaginal mesh products are causing for many women throughout the U.S., detailing how these devices were introduced without clinical studies by exploiting the FDA’s 510(k) fast-track medical device approval process.

The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. represent women who are pursuing product liability lawsuits against the manufacturers for failing to adequately warn about the transvaginal surgical mesh risks. The March 22nd segment on “Need to Know” on PBS provides a clear example of the devastating and life-changing impact these products can have on a woman’s quality of life:

Watch Web extra: Coping with chronic pain on PBS. See more from Need To Know.

The episode presents the story of Linda Gross, a South Dakota mother and former nurse who was implanted with a Ethicon Gynecare Prolift vaginal mesh. She developed severe complications that required numerous surgeries, destroyed her ability to have intercourse with her husband, caused her to have to quit her job and left her permanently injured and in pain.

In February, a jury awarded Gross more than $11 million in compensatory and punitive damages after she filed a product liability lawsuit against Ethicon, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary that manufactured the device. The case was one of the first complaints over transvaginal mesh to reach a jury, and a series of additional trials are scheduled in the federal transvaginal mesh litigation over the next 18 months, which may set the tone for eventual negotiations to settle vaginal mesh cases.

Other portions of the PBS program highlight the need for a new regulatory framework for the approval of medical devices. The show points out that some countries, like Australia, have registries for certain medical devices that track problems, allowing early warning when complications appear to be commonplace. Similar registries are in place in Europe.

In Australia, a hip implant registry noticed metal-on-metal hip replacement systems had a high failure rate and an alarming number of complications, leading doctors there to avoid using them years before doctors in the U.S. realized there was a problem, according to the program.

However, the medical device manufacturing industry is resisting any attempts to reform the 510(k) process or to require more stringent clinical testing of devices before they go to the market, claiming that such efforts at improved patient safety would choke innovation and drive costs up.


For women who have suffered complications from transvaginal surgical mesh used to repair pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence, financial compensation may be available as a result of the manufacturer’s failure to properly research their products or warn about the risk of problems.

The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are reviewing individual lawsuits nationwide for women implanted with mesh products from:

  • American Medical Systems
  • Boston Scientific
  • C.R. Bard
  • Ethicon
  • Coloplast
  • Cook Medical

All cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning there are no fees unless a recovery is obtained. If you, a friend or family member has suffered vaginal mesh complications, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.


2 Comments • Add Your Comments

  • Marcia says:

    I had a hysterectomy in 2010,because of a cancer that was in stage 3 almost stage 4. I was very tired and worn out so when I went in for the surgery I was not always paying attention to things. The doctor asked if I was allergic to anything again and I said no. The doctor then good the —– mesh should ————. I did not hear it all so I asked what, what is that and he said something needed for the procedure you are having surgery for. In the last 3 years I have been back for my follow ups and I am always asked if I have pain. They won’t answer when I ask where. I was assuming they meant in my incision area or in the personal area. My body has gone from being active to not very active. Every bone in my body hurts. More so my spine and middle of my body. I can’t sit very long without pain, can’t stand for very long without pain. I am no longer able to work because of the pain. About every other day all I can do is stay ion bed. I can not pick up my younger grand children anymore. My shoulders are not able to go up straight and stretching my arms is not very easy. I had some pains before my surgery, but, since it progressively gets worse. It has been 3 yrs. since my surgery. Intimacy with my husband is almost zero. Not because it hurts to have it, but, because my body hurts to much to want it anymore. I am still driving only because my husband does not understand what I tell him when I am in so much pain. I pray to God to get me to where I have to go and get me home. Other tan I o not drive much anymore, because my back hurts so much to move right to clear all sight areas.

    Posted on July 7, 2013 at 2:51 pm

  • denise says:

    I had the same thing, my hips hurt so bad that I prob would not be walking right now I had the mesh removed and almost instantly my hip pain had subsided, The mesh had shrink and was pulling my hips inward my lower back hurts all the time but if I stretch daily that helps I went to rehab and was told because the hips were pulled together the muscles in the back were compressed and now the mesh was removed my muscles need to lengthen. Hope this gives you some insight.

    Posted on February 15, 2014 at 10:40 pm

Add Your Comments

  • Have Your Comments Reviewed by a Lawyer

    Provide contact information below and additional private comments if you want an attorney to contact you to review a potential case.

    The information below will not be published to this page.

  • NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.