Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuit

by Steve Fields on September 4th, 2011

Following increasing failure of surgery mesh, women have started filing transvaginal mesh lawsuit claims. Surgical mesh has been used to correct a condition called pelvic organ prolapse (POP) in women since the 1970s. This condition occurs when the muscles and ligaments holding the pelvic organs in place begin to falter. They weaken, allowing the organs to fall from their normal spots into the vaginal canal. A special mesh is installed to hold them in place. It can be installed in a number of ways, including through conventional abdominal surgery, an incision made near the bikini line, or through the vagina. Today, many companies manufacture products for transvaginal placement of surgical mesh.

A number of vaginal mesh complications may occur that can substantially lower a woman’s quality of life. In 2008, the Food and Drug Administration announced a formal public health notification, alerting women to the dangers posed by these products. The agency released an update in 2011, stating that complications associated with the pelvic mesh were “not rare.” This has prompted hundreds of transvaginal mesh lawsuit claims against the companies that manufacture the products.

Potential Vaginal Mesh Side Effects

The vaginal surgical mesh (sometimes called a bladder sling) is installed through tiny incisions made into the vagina. The body’s tissues grow into the mesh to hold it in place. At the same time, the device strengthens the tissues, and helps to correct the prolapsed (dropped) organs. The entire operation usually requires less than two hours, and the patient is ready to return home within one or two days.

The seeming ease of the operation belies its risks. First, many skilled surgeons who have installed the bladder sling through the vagina have unintentionally caused damage to the bladder, bowel, and blood vessels. This may be due to the fact that several organs are enclosed within the pelvis, leaving little margin for error. The risk of bladder and bowel injury during the procedure is higher than many women realize.

Second, many women have experienced serious health problems as the result of transvaginal placement of mesh. Some have developed dangerous vaginal infections. Others have experienced bleeding and pain during sexual intercourse. Still other women have had difficulty with urination and bowel movements. Many women have also reported a recurrence of pelvic organ prolapse, the condition that the bladder sling was originally installed to correct.

Thousands of women who have encountered these serious side effects have needed to seek hospitalization. In many cases, surgical intervention was necessary to address the medical issues.

Possible Cause Of Pelvic Mesh Side Effects

In the FDA’s 2011 update to their original public health notification about the surgical mesh, they noted that the most common complication with transvaginal repair was erosion through the vagina. Although the body’s tissues were expected to grow into the mesh’s pores to hold it in place, the device was passing through the vaginal wall. This could be the root cause of many other side effects.

The agency further cautioned that correcting mesh erosion could require several surgeries, and in some cases, be impossible. The results would likely include persistent pelvic pain as well as pain during sex. The agency noted that some women would be unable to participate in sexual intercourse.

Vaginal Mesh Lawsuit Claims Heat Up

Between 2005 and 2007, the FDA received more than 1,000 adverse event reports noting the complications described earlier. Between 2008 and the end of 2010, they received nearly three times as many reports. The agency has admitted concern that the number of complaints was so high.

To date, nearly 600 transvaginal mesh lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers of these products, including C.R. Bard, Avaulta, and Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Many women expected relief from pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence, and instead now suffer from numerous side effects. Some have not only experienced bleeding, severe pain in the pelvis, and vaginal infections, but have also had to endure a recurrence of POP.

If you underwent transvaginal repair with surgical mesh, and have suffered these or other complications, you may be eligible to file a claim for compensation for your injuries. Contact a transvaginal mesh failure lawyer to discuss your case. There is never any obligation or cost to have your potential case reviewed.

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