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Surgical Mesh Causes Pain, Complications in Some Patients

A 2005 surgery meant to correct Frances Schulte's urinary incontinence brought her pain and further embarrassment rather than relief.

Doctors implanted a medical device known as surgical mesh, which has since eroded --- which means her mesh sling is poking and irritating nearby organs.

"I get stabbed thousands of times a day," Schulte said. "People don't understand that I'm in pain every day." Schulte, whose surgery was done in Illinois, said that the pain prevents her from comfortably moving around and going to the bathroom.

Surgical mesh, which is generally used to repair weakened or damaged tissue, is made from synthetic material. It is permanently implanted to reinforce a weakened vaginal wall to repair pelvic organ prolapse or to support the urethra to treat urinary incontinence, which can commonly occur in older women, women who have had children and women who are obese.

However, more than 1,000 adverse events were reported to the U.S. Federal Drug Administration between 2005 and 2007, which caused the agency to issue a Public Health Notification in 2008. Since then, the FDA received 2,874 additional reports of complications associated with surgical mesh devices used to repair pelvic organ prolapse. To read the entire article click here.