Tuesday, December 13. 2011
So you have been seeing commercials on TV recently about Yaz or vaginal mesh. What do you make of this? Let me summarize by saying "LAWYERS." Whenever a popular therapy is found to have a potential problem, plaintiff lawyers smell money. There is noted to be a potentially higher risk of venous blood clot in women on the extremely popular birth control pill Yaz, so lawyers try to get enough clients to start a class action lawsuit. If enough women sign up, it might be a small payday for each client, but a big payday for the lawyers. The FDA has ruled that the potential benefits of this (and similar) medication significantly outweigh the risk. The risk of blood clot is very small, even if it is higher than with other pills. It is unfortunate that medications have any risk, and patients should be aware of risks. Ultimately the decision for any therapy rests with the patient. Yaz is not a "bad drug." It is just not a perfect drug.
Same with vaginal mesh. There is risk to surgery, and a special risk whenever a foreign body is placed. The many usual risks of vaginal surgery are not significantly increased with placement of a polypropylene mesh graft, but the risk of graft "exposure" or "erosion" is increased. This means that in a minority of cases, the vagina might not heal properly over the mesh, or the mesh might erode into the urinary tract or intestine. Futher surgery could be required to correct this complication. This special risk should be discussed and accepted as a potential complication before proceeding with vaginal reconstructive surgery. The tremendous benefit which mesh brings to the patient is the much better chance for successful, long lasting repair. Much of the time a patient's native tissue is simply not adequate to repair a vaginal "hernia" or support defect. Consider repairing a hole in a pair of old worn jeans. Without a patch, the likelihood of the repair holding up is decreased. Sometimes a "biologic" graft can be used. This could be something like pigskin or cow intestine or human cadaver fascia. These tissue grafts are specially prepared for use in the pelvis, and they carry less risk of erosion, but their longevity for support is variable.
So it is important to keep abreast of the pros and cons of various therapies that may be offered to you. It is wise to do your own research and talk to your doctor about any concerns. Ultimately, it is your body, your life, and your decision. Don't let TV commercials by New York lawyers influence you.
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
My wife used the nuvaring for almost 2 years now she has blood clots in her kidneys and are at 11% kidney function.
She is on the National transplant list
at Mayo Clinic Transplant center in Phoenix
I know it was the nuvaring that caused her to have end stage kidney failiure
what are we to do?
if class action is a bad idea is a regular laawsute a better idea?
I feel her life is now at risk and she will never live to be old so the makers of Nuvaring owe her compensation.
This is a very tragic story about the potential complications caused by clotting dysfunction. It is certainly possible that your wife's condition was related to the use of Nuvaring, and it might have happened with a birth control pill as well. The unfortunate dilemma to consider is that pregnancy is an even more risky situation for blood clotting. As devastating as her condition has become, adding pregnancy to the equation would have been doubly disastrous. In terms of compensating her for her illness, in today's world lawsuit is about the only recourse; but as I stated above, this event might have happened anyway. It would, in my opinion, be much better for this country if there were a "no fault" money pool for injured patients. Drug companies, device makers, doctors, hospitals and insurance companies could all contribute; and a nonbiased committee could oversee distributions. Lawyers would be the only unhappy players. I hope your wife gets the help she needs.
What makes me more angry than 'lawyers who smell money' are the doctors that knowingly prescribe dangerous drugs to their patients and when those people begin to have all the bad side effects, many doctors deny it's the drug or dosage. The thing is, doctors think they do no wrong and don't want to admit to any mistakes. Doctors seldom 'listen' to their patients when they complain of adverse side affects of medicines they prescribe. Most of the time it's "Oh, it's not the drug, it's something else...you need to keep taking this!" or if someone decides to just stop taking a drug they KNOW is making them worse off the doctor treats them like they're crazy, orders them back on the meds and in some cases ups their dose! Doctors need to get off their high horses and stop peddling for the big parma companies like pushers! Stop blaming lawyers for going after doctors and drug companies that knowingly harm people, look int the mirror every once in a while and ask yourself "what the hell am I doing to people and WHY?!" You doctors and drug companies need to start taking responsibility for your actions...you are HURTING thousands of people for profit and you should all be held accountable.
Well I certainly understand where you are coming form. There is indeed a problem when a doctor doesn't properly consider a patient's complaints. I am sorry that some (I hope not most) doctors don't take the time or have the knowledge to to consider medication side effect as a cause of almost any complaint. It would seem that you or someone you know has had a bad experience. I encourage you to find a caring doctor who will take the time to listen, consider and offer alternatives. It is true that drug companies are "in it for the money," in my opinion. Drugs can be outragiously expensive, so many doctors prescribe generic medications whenever possible. I believe that Wal-Mart's move to offer $4 drugs has been the most significant change to the cost of healthcare in my career.
But let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Without medications, especially immunizations, and surgical advances, including implanted devices, our current life expectancy and quality of life would be far worse. Unfortunately, there is risk to any intervention. Even the most common medications such as Tylenol, vitamins, and aspirin can be deadly. Even physical therapy and close observation can cause harm. It is a doctor's job to help educate patients as to risks vs. benefits of various options. Ultimately it is the patient's choice what course to take. I'm sorry that you have gotten the feeling that doctors consider themselves infallible. I believe that it is important for doctors to be able to say "I don't know," and even more important to feel the freedom to say "I am sorry," and "I made a mistake."
Syndicate This Blog