Transvaginal or vaginal mesh is a type of surgical mesh used to surgically correct certain female reproductive organ issues.
Why Vaginal Mesh Is Used
One common condition in women is pelvic organ prolapse (POP), a disorder similar to a hernia where pelvic organs shift or move within the pelvis. Of women who have had at least one child, it is estimated that 50% have some extent of POP with up to 20% of them having symptoms. Women with POP have a variety of symptoms, ranging from minor to severe. There are actually 5 different kinds of POP with symptoms such as vaginal pain, pressure, urine and fecal incontinence and sexual pain/dysfunction. Since the 1970’s, surgeons have been using surgical mesh for repairing pelvic organ prolapse (POP) in women, even though the FDA did not approve it specifically for that use until 2002.
Transvaginal mesh is used to enforce the weakened muscles within the pelvis in women with POP. Basically, the mesh acts as a hammock or sling to hold the organs such as the bladder, uterus and rectum in place. This is meant to prevent these organs from dropping or descending in to the vagina region. However, the FDA has determined that even though there was an estimated 75,000 vaginal mesh surgeries to correct POP in 2010 alone, there is not any evidence that the mesh worked better than non-mesh repairs. There was also a higher chance of recurring SUI after mesh repairs versus non-mesh repairs.
Vaginal mesh is also used for surgical correction for stress urinary incontinence or SUI, often related to POP. There are even more surgeries performed using mesh for this condition, with over 200,000 reported in 2010 alone.
Problems With Vaginal Mesh
Unfortunately in the case of vaginal mesh, the problems from the treatment are often worse than the symptoms of POP itself. Some symptoms reported from patients who had the POP corrective surgery using transvaginal mesh include:
- Vaginal mesh erosion
- Urinary problems
- Organ perforation
Treatment For Vaginal Mesh Problems
According to the FDA, vaginal mesh problems are not rare. Vaginal mesh erosion happens in an estimated 10% of women who have the procedure within 12 months of the operations. Surgical removal of the vaginal mesh is often required and many women may have 2-3 surgeries to try and alleviate the problems caused by the vaginal mesh. Even with surgical removal, there are often symptoms such as pain that continue even after the mesh is successfully removed.
In 2008, the FDA issued its first Public Health Notification regarding the use of transvaginal mesh in POP and SUI repairs after receiving over 1,000 reports of complications in 3 years time, but stated the complication was “rare”. In 2011, it reissued the notification, but emphasized that it was not rare.
There are dozens of companies that sell and manufacture the vaginal mesh that are now targets of thousands of lawsuits for the complications arising from these products. Some of them include:
- Johnson & Johnson aka Ethicon
- Boston Scientific
- C.R. Bard
- American Medical Systems (AMS)
- Island Biosurgical
Attorneys For Vaginal Mesh Complications
As attorneys who presently represent numerous women in pending claims involving vaginal mesh complications, we know firsthand the pain and personal shame associated with these cases. In this sense, our job remains to be both zealous advocates and open-minded counselors– sensitive to our clients wishes. Our goal with vaginal mesh cases is to tailor the type of representation to each client’s desires. If you are impacted by a vaginal mesh complication, contact our attorneys for a free, confidential legal consultation to determine your rights. We will stand with you through the course your case. (888) 424-5757