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How Pelvic Mesh Affects Women

How pelvic mesh affects women

Pelvic mesh is a loosely woven sheet which is used as either a permanent or temporary support for organs and other tissues during surgery. Pelvic mesh is created from both inorganic and biological materials and is used in a variety of surgeries.

In the late 1990s, a new treatment for stress incontinence using mesh was introduced. This was the first time that mesh had been used for gynaecological surgery.

By 2002, the mid-urethral sling became the most frequently performed type of incontinence surgery in Australia. While this procedure was often shown to be effective in improving the symptoms of stress incontinence; it gave rise to other issues directly related to the insertion of mesh.

Following the perceived success of the sling tape in stress incontinence, additional mesh products were manufactured to treat vaginal prolapse.  This involved sheets of mesh being placed under the bladder, or in front of the bowel, to stop prolapse and prevent recurrence.

While some women were getting good results, others were starting to experience problems, from mild, to extreme and totally life changing.

Women have reported some of the following symptoms after pelvic mesh insertion:

  • Infection
  • Erosion of the mesh into the vagina
  • Bleeding
  • Recurrences of prolapse
  • Urinary problems
  • Bowel, bladder and blood vessel perforations
  • Injury to nearby organs
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Pelvic pain
  • Extrusion of the mesh device

Many women who encountered problems after pelvic mesh insertion went on to have multiple operations to treat the exposed mesh and suture over the vaginal tissue. Surgical correction has had varied outcomes.

For some women, the pain following mesh insertion was totally unbearable, impacting on every aspect of their lives. These women say that the issues they had prior to surgery are insignificant to those they are now suffering and they wished they had been better informed before agreeing to the surgery.

The women seeking our advice on potential legal redress are frequently suffering extensive injuries, may have undergone multiple surgeries and are often left with horrific pain and debilitating symptoms.

We believe there are also a number of women in the community who are too traumatised by their ongoing pain and dysfunction or too embarrassed to talk about such a sensitive issue and have therefore kept silent and not explored legal options.

We urge you to read more of Joanne McCarthy’s excellent coverage of this important issue. Read more here:

If you or someone you know is suffering from symptoms following the insertion of pelvic mesh, please contact us on (02) 4929 3995. Our friendly team of solicitors and clinical consultants will investigate your situation and explore your legal options with you.

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