Hundreds of women in Australia have joined a federal class action lawsuit alleging that they incurred painful injuries after undergoing surgery with Johnson & Johnson’s tension-free vaginal tape (TVT) and transvaginal mesh products.
Sometimes I can be really bedridden for a couple of days.
At least 460 women are covered by the class action, which is now pending in federal court. The women allege that both Johnson & Johnson’s TVT and TVM products are defective and can cause adverse side effects.
TVT is often used to treat stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and works to strengthen the pelvic floor by creating a cradle for the urethra. TVM works similarly to strengthen the pelvic floor, but is often used to treat a different medical condition known as pelvic organ prolapse (POP).
The lawsuit alleges that both of Johnson & Johnson’s pelvic-floor products can erode after surgery, resulting in pain, infection, or incontinence. Some women have also reported that the TVT and TVM products rubbed holes into their surrounding tissues, while others claim they were forced to have the products surgically removed.
After being implanted with TVT, one class member claimed the product created two holes in the wall of her vagina when the tape eroded. She was forced to have two revision operations to attempt to remedy the tape’s painful side effects, she said.
“Sometimes I can be really bedridden for a couple of days,” she told ABC News Australia. “It’s really made my life a living hell.”
Last year, Johnson & Johnson pulled its mesh products off the market in Australia; however, a spokeswoman for the company has said that four of the tape products are still available. Lawyers for the plaintiffs said they are worried about these devices still being available to women and believe all of the tape products should be recalled.
Johnson & Johnson’s TVM has come under increasing scrutiny in the United States during the last few years. There are currently more than 20,000 lawsuits pending in a federal multidistrict litigation involving the company’s TVM products, with women making similar accusations against the manufacturer.