Maurice Blackburn Fight BackNews
Maurice Blackburn investigates risks of surgical mesh
Pelvic organ prolapse is a common but hidden health problem that often requires surgical repair involving 'surgical mesh'.
It's often a taboo subject, and when something goes wrong, it's one that many Australians suffer from in silence.
Maurice Blackburn is currently investigating the impact of serious health complications arising from the use of surgical mesh to address vaginal, bowel, bladder and uterine prolapse.
An Australian study published in 2010 found more than 50 per cent of women over 50 have some form of pelvic organ that can lead to incontinence.
Our investigations show that many Australians with debilitating pelvic organ prolapses seek help from specialist surgeons and end up having procedures involving surgical mesh, which can lead to serious side effects.
Not everyone who has surgical mesh suffers from complications, but many people do. These complications include issues such as erosion, pain, infection, bleeding, painful intercourse, organ perforation and organ dysfunction.
Canberra woman Jan Osborne has suffered life-threatening complications since her complex surgery to fix her problem in 2008. She shared her story in the Canberra Times, and gave Maurice Blackburn permission to talk about her problems.
Johnson & Johnson's Gynecare Gynemesh was used in Mrs Osborne's surgery.
Unfortunately, since 2008 Mrs Osborne has had severe symptoms, and has been in constant pain. The mesh tangled around tissue and organs and was impossible to remove.
Mrs Osborne has had multiple hospitalisations. She is now completely housebound and treated as a paraplegic.
"This mesh is wound around my bowel and I've now been told by a specialist that I'm unfixable," Mrs Osborne said.
"This has ruined by life. It has affected my family so badly too. I had all these dreadful symptoms and no one could give me any answers."
Mrs Osborne has instructed Maurice Blackburn to investigate a potential claim for her in Australia or in the United States, where the mesh used in her surgery was manufactured.
At Maurice Blackburn, we believe there are many other Australians with a range of problems associated with surgical mesh.
We are investigating whether it is in the best interests of potential clients to form a class action or to act on an individual basis. Whichever way we progress, we will continue to fight for a better outcome for these people who have suffered for so long in silence.
Blog by Rebecca Gilsenan, Principal