Thousands of Australian women could be suffering severe side-effects if surgical mesh has been used in operations to repair a pelvic organ prolapse, law firm Maurice Blackburn says.
Using the mesh in the corrective surgery can cause pain, infection and bleeding and can lead to painful intercourse and damage to the organs, the firm says.
Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when an organ, such as a bladder, drops from its normal position. The prolapse can occur if muscles are damaged in childbirth.
Maurice Blackburn's class actions principal Rebecca Gilsenan says the firm is now investigating the impact on women from complications arising from the surgery.
''Our investigations show that many Australians with debilitating pelvic organ prolapsus seek help from specialist surgeons and end up having procedures involving surgical mesh, which can lead to serious side effects,'' Ms Gilsenan said.
Her comments came as Maurice Blackburn was exploring a potential claim for Canberra woman Jan Osborne, who was left with life-threatening complications from the surgery.
Mrs Osborne, 70, had the surgery in 2008 but has been left in constant pain after the mesh tangled around tissue and organs.
She is now housebound after multiple stays in hospital, according to Maurice Blackburn.
''This mesh is wound around my bowel and I've now been told by a specialist that I'm unfixable,'' Mrs Osborne said.
''It has affected my family so badly too. I had all these dreadful symptoms and no one could give me any answers.''
Maurice Blackburn is investigating Mrs Osborne's potential claim in both Australia and the United States, where the mesh used in her surgery was manufactured. AAP