The New York Times reports this week that a federal investigation into allegations of women pressured into surgery is reaching a critical new level. Although officials aren’t confirming, the Times has sources claiming subpoenas have been issued.
The United States attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York apparently launched the investigation following an earlier story in the Times detailing a scheme to coerce women into undergoing surgery to remove pelvic mesh implants. The article claimed many of the surgeries were unnecessary, but were expected to bolster a lawsuit against Boston Scientific, the manufacturer of the mesh.
Medical personnel in walk-in surgery centers, legal firms, marketing agencies, and hedge fund investors backing the whole endeavor were identified as complicit in the recruitment of hundreds of women to endure unneeded procedures and then join the mass tort legal action.
Complications related to surgical mesh do take place and are best addressed with a procedure to remove the device. For those who aren’t experiencing difficulty, however, undergoing a new invasive surgery can have devastating consequences.
As Victor Nitti, MD, a urogynecologist with NYU Langone Health, explained to the Times, “scaring a patient who has limited to no symptoms into removal is just dangerous and irresponsible.”
Without official confirmation from federal prosecutors, the direction of the current investigation remains unclear.
The Times adds the attorney general’s office Florida is engaged in their own investigation of the matter.