More than 800 women in the UK are suing the NHS and the makers of vaginal mesh implants. Many of the women have been left in states of permanent and excruciating pain, some are unable to walk, while still others are unable to work or have sex (some have even said the perforation was so severe their partners were injured by the mesh during sex).
Vaginal mesh is used to support organs like the vagina, uterus, bowel, bladder or urethra which have prolapsed after childbirth, as well as treat incontinence. But the mesh is made of polypropylene, the same material we make plastic water bottles with, and there are risks associated with its use; risks that many women say they were never told about by their surgeons.
There are around 100 types of vaginal mesh in the UK and thus far not one has been recalled.
Between April 2007 and March 2015, more than 92,000 women had vaginal mesh implants in England and about one in 11 of them has experienced problems. And now, a growing number of those women are calling for the NHS to stop fitting the implants and ban the procedure- one some have called barbaric- altogether.
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If the women are successful in their suit, the NHS payout could be tens of millions of pounds (1 million pounds is roughly equal to $1,285,245 dollars). In the US, thousands of women have sued manufacturers and received payouts totaling several billion dollars.
It appears that Johnson & Johnson have known that problems existed with their product since 2004 saying in a leaked company email that they “needed to start a ‘major damage control offensive’ because ‘the competition will have a field day.’
We will update you on the UK suit as more information becomes available.