Thousands of women have been injured due to the surgical insertion of a transvaginal mesh.
A mesh is a plastic device inserted into the body to support a weak wall. In transvaginal mesh cases, a surgical mesh is inserted into the vagina to support the weakened area. Prior to the development of transvaginal mesh, surgical mesh had been used with success in hernia surgery.
The Use of Transvaginal Mesh
Transvaginal mesh is used to hold-up and support organs in the pelvic region which have moved or sunk due to the effects of child-bearing and aging.
Transvaginal mesh is intended to address the following problems:
- Pelvic Organ Prolapse (“POP”): When the vaginal wall is weakened, either the bladder or urethra may sink into the vagina. As a result, a woman may not be able to empty her bladder completely, she may leak urine, and she may suffer from increased bladder infections. The bladder conditions is called “cystecele” and the urethra condition is known as “urethrocele”. A third condition, “rectocele”, exists where the lower intestine bulges into the vagina.
- Stress Urinary Incontinence (“SUI”): The hallmark of stress urinary incontinence is leakage of urine while coughing, laughing, or sneezing. This condition may exist because of pelvic organ prolapse. SUI should be not confused with other urinary conditions, such as urge incontinence, overactive bladder, and overflow incontinence.
The Dangers of Transvaginal Mesh
The primary problem with this procedure involves the failure of the mesh to properly integrate with the vagina. This “erosion” can result in serious inflammation which breaks down the surrounding tissue.
The use of mesh to address the weakening of the vaginal walls is unsafe. A woman’s pelvic area undergoes too much movement for the safe integration of the mesh. In comparison, mesh is successfully used in other parts of the body where minimum movement and twisting occurs. Further, the vaginal wall is very sensitive and does not adapt well to receiving the mesh.
“Erosion” of the mesh may lead to the following symptoms:
- Tremendous pain and discomfort
- Scarring, including the movement of the mesh outside the vagina
- Severe infections
- Damage to the other organs, such as the bladder and intestine
- Inability to engage in sexual intercourse
Once erosion occurs, the only treatment is surgery to remove the mesh. Unfortunately, surgery may be unsuccessful because part or all of the mesh may have integrated with the surrounding tissue. In these cases, surgical removal can lead to further injury.
On July 13, 2011, the FDA issued an alert stating that complications are not rare from the use oftranvaginal mesh. Furthermore, the FDA has stated that recurrence of POP and SUI is a complication of the initial surgery, strongly suggesting the procedure is ineffective.
The 4 largest manufacturers of transvaginal mesh are:
- C.R. Bard
- Ethicon (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson)
- American Medical Systems
- Boston Scientific
What To Do
If you believe that you are experiencing any of the issues identified in the article, you should schedule an immediate consultation with an attorney. A great deal of medical review must be performed prior to filing a suit.
The major manufacturers are having cases consolidated for joint discovery. For example, a judge in the New Jersey Superior Court is controlling the discovery of all cases involving Ethicon mesh. Therefore, there will be a coordinated and orderly scheduling of discovery and trial.
Please contact us today for a free consultation.