Compensation for Vaginal Mesh Problems
There have been many reports of vaginal mesh problems in recent years. Since the 1950s, mesh has been inserted by surgeons to assist in repairing the hernias. Since the 1970s, surgeons decided to also use it to try to reverse the prolapse of organs in the pelvis (the uterus, vagina, bowel and bladder).
Some ladies experience troublesome symptoms of prolapse, a feeling of a bulge (or ‘something coming down’), pain during intercourse and problems passing urine or faeces, perhaps also issues with incontinence as well as general pain and discomfort.
If your problems are affecting your quality of life, it is important that your GP refers you for further investigations under the care of an appropriate speciality surgeon which depends on the organ that is affected. This may be a gynaecologist, or more probably a urogynaecologist, also a colorectal surgeon may need to be involved in severe cases affecting the bowel.
On 30 January 2018, in the light of increasing pressure, the Government announced that there will be a review in England, with a full audit to be carried out. The audit should establish how many women in England have suffered from complications because of vaginal mesh implants. In the meantime, it is estimated that more than 800 women have commenced claims for compensation because they have vaginal mesh problems that are significantly impacting upon their lives.
Why are patients entitled to bring Compensation Claims for Vaginal mesh problems?
About 100,000 women in the UK have had mesh surgery for prolapse. Mesh can migrate and the pelvic organs are delicate. Prolapse indicates weakness and the surrounding structures into which mesh is inserted can break down, allowing the mesh to move away from its intended position (this is called ‘migration’). This can cause agony for patients treated with mesh surgery.
Patients should be fully informed of the risks of the proposed surgery and have the choice to refuse a particular surgical option if the risks appear too high. There are alternatives to mesh, being trial of proper physical therapy (pelvic floor exercises), surgical placement of sutures for support and surgical repair without mesh products that carry lower risks than vaginal mesh. Therefore, it can lead to compensation claims if patients were clearly better candidates for other methods. Patients should be advised as to the various alternatives to mesh surgery and able to make a fully informed choice about which type of treatment they wish to undergo.
Even if it may have been reasonable to recommend a mesh repair (which is highly debatable now as there are Gynaecologists in the Uk who are now refusing to offer mesh), in some cases patients have been shown to have had problems because of an inexperienced surgeon doing the mesh procedure. There may have been substandard placement of the mesh.
In other cases, problems that were preventable may arise even under the care of a more experienced surgeon. If a patient has a particularly complicated history (such as significant bowel issues e.g.) Crohn’s disease, diverticular disease etc) and an obvious risk of abdominal adhesions, then it may also be important that the surgeon consults with and involves a colorectal surgeon in the procedure. Failure to do so can lead to devastating consequences for a patient. If a bowel perforation occurs during surgery and a colorectal surgeon is not present to deal with a repair, then a lady can be left with a very significant and life-changing outcome, such as having to live with a stoma. Some ladies have found that their symptoms have been made significantly worse by the mesh surgery.
The potential for a product liability claim also has to be considered in every case. We know of no reported cases, as yet, against manufacturers of transvaginal mesh in the UK. However, in the U.S, there have been successful lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, Avaulta and Align. Also, there are ongoing actions in Austrailia and Scotland.
About Medical Solicitors
Our friendly team of specialist lawyers at Medical Solicitors have a lot of experience in bringing successful medical negligence claims. We have an expert register for surgeons who are undertake medico-legal work and prepare reports commenting on surgical claims in the fields of gynaecology, urogynaecology and colorectal surgery.
Compensation can be claimed where there has been inappropriate advice given concerning care options and risks and benefits of such options, where there have been excessive delays in providing actual treatment, or where there has been any substandard surgical care that amounts to actual Medical Negligence.
Do contact our friendly team of specialist lawyers at Medical Solicitors. We conduct most of our Clinical and Medical Negligence claims under ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreements, also known as Conditional Fee Agreements. So, you do not have to worry about how you are going to afford to bring a medical negligence claim for compensation. You have nothing to lose in speaking to us.
Contact our Expert Medical & Clinical Negligence Lawyers
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