Susan Harrison, 63, of Lawrenceville, Ga., left, and Vea Gaby, 73, of Athens, embrace after telling their stories about complications from having surgical mesh placed in their pelvic cavities following an interview in their attorney's office, Monday, Jan. 28, 2013, in Athens, Ga. The Georgia women are some of the thousands of women nationwide who have sued manufacturers of the surgical mesh, claiming they’ve suffered severe complications and intense physical pain when the flexible plastic mesh hardened inside their bodies. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
ATLANTA (AP) — Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against the makers of surgical mesh used to treat incontinence and other pelvic problems in women.
The lawsuits accuse the companies of inadequate testing, failing to disclose potential risks and fraudulently promoting the mesh as a safe medical device. The manufacturers deny those allegations in court documents. Some companies have released statements saying they did extensive testing and insist their products are safe and effective.
While many women benefit from the mesh surgery, the Food and Drug Administration has warned some can suffer complications. But some doctors have said the warning — and the lawsuits — are misguided. The doctors blame inexperienced surgeons.
The mesh is used to support the bladder and other organs that slip because of age, childbirth or other reasons.