Risks of Transvaginal Mesh Implants
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Joe Jones with Law Office of Bruce A. Ralston.
Transvaginal mesh is a type of medical implant that has been stirring debate since soon after its appearance as a treatment option in the 1990s. Transvaginal mesh implants are often compared to hernia mesh implants and work similarly, carrying some of the same risks in addition to their own unique dangers. Depending on the condition, a surgeon using transvaginal mesh may place the mesh on the front, back, or top wall of the vagina, and may refer to this as a graft, patch, biomesh, or vaginal support system.
In April of 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered manufacturers to stop selling all surgical mesh products marked for transvaginal repair. This decision came after a series of lawsuits against the manufacturers exposed the high level of risk associated with transvaginal mesh as a treatment option. If you or a loved one have suffered from complications caused by a transvaginal mesh implant, reach out to a transvaginal mesh attorney to discuss your eligibility for compensation.
There are several conditions for which transvaginal mesh has been used as a treatment option, including:
- Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP): A variety of issues can occur when the muscles holding pelvic organs in place begin to weaken. In some cases, people with weakened pelvic floors may experience pelvic organ prolapse in which pelvic organs such as the bladder, uterus, rectum, or bowel fall out of the body. The most common type of POP involves the bladder sagging or falling out of the body. In this situation, transvaginal mesh has been used as a sort of hammock to hold the pelvic organs and bladder in place.
- Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI): This condition occurs when physical movement such as sneezing, coughing, or other physical activities cause urine to leak out of the urethra. This condition is commonly treated with vaginal mesh referred to as a bladder sling or vaginal tape similar to how POP is treated, with the goal of strengthening the pelvic muscles. This type of treatment has been considered minimally invasive, but like any treatment involving vaginal mesh presents its own risks.
- Vaginal Vault Prolapse: This condition commonly occurs after a hysterectomy. Without the presence of the bladder to provide structure and support, the vagina may collapse in on itself. In this situation, vaginal mesh may be sewn into the necessary connective tissues to hold the vagina in place.
Risks of transvaginal mesh include but are not necessarily limited to the following:
- Erosion of the vaginal walls or internal organs damaged by the mesh, including vaginal scarring and sloughing of vaginal tissue
- Infections caused by bacterial growth on the mesh
- Severe pain and discomfort occurring while walking, sitting, or during intercourse
- Urinary complications including frequent urination, the inability to urinate, or pain during urination
- Recurring organ prolapse or incontinence in case of a failing implant
- Revision surgeries to repair or replace the failed implant
Symptoms of transvaginal mesh complications may look like:
- Pelvic or vaginal pain while walking, sitting, and/or during intercourse
- Mesh unsecured inside or protruding from the vagina
- Vaginal tissue sloughing off or falling from the body
- Recurring or otherwise unexplainable infections
- Unexplainable bleeding
- Recurrence of vaginal prolapse
- Recurrence of pelvic organ prolapse
- Recurrence of or new incontinence
Transvaginal mesh complications could qualify you for a medical malpractice or product liability claim.
If you have suffered from new injuries or a worsened condition due to your transvaginal mesh implant, you may be eligible to seek compensation. Compensation in a successful transvaginal mesh case could cover damages including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Depending on the party determined to be at fault for your mesh-related injuries, you may be eligible to file a medical malpractice or product liability claim. For example, if the surgeon knowingly used recalled material for your surgery, your case may fall into the medical malpractice category. However, if this is not the case, you may have a product liability claim.
The complications caused by many transvaginal mesh implants often require patients to undergo additional revisional surgeries; surgery is expensive, and the recovery process including lost wages and physical pain can be just as significant. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for the average person to identify the liable party in a transvaginal mesh case. This is why it is important to reach out to a transvaginal mesh attorney. These attorneys know how to identify liability and offer free consultations. Additionally, most of these attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, allowing victims to focus on healing and recovery rather than worrying about hefty legal bills. If you or a loved one were injured by transvaginal mesh, it is important to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options for physical and financial recovery.