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Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits on the Rise

By Jason Bottlinger on July 20, 2018

Transvaginal mesh has been a controversial product for a number of years now. It is a net-like implant that is frequently used by surgeons to repair several common conditions, but it has been riddled with numerous issues.

In 2016, the FDA classified transvaginal mesh as “high-risk” due to its high risk of erosion and organ perforation, which has resulted in multimillion-dollar lawsuits for many people who’ve been injured by it. Despite the safety risks associated with transvaginal mesh, some surgeons continue to use it.

The History of Transvaginal Mesh

“Transvaginal” is a reference to the type of surgical technique that is used to implant the mesh. Transvaginal mesh had its beginnings in the 1970s, and was designed from mesh used in hernia repairs. The FDA noticed that complications from transvaginal mesh were increasingly common, and that implanting transvaginal mesh was not superior to alternative treatments. With such high risks, it would seem reasonable for companies to take transvaginal mesh off the market. However, it has not yet been recalled.

Currently, only three countries have a ban on transvaginal mesh: Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

What Does Transvaginal Mesh Treat?

Transvaginal mesh is mostly used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence in women. Many women experience these conditions after a hysterectomy, menopause, or childbirth.

  • Pelvic organ prolapse: Pelvic organ prolapse is when muscles holding up the pelvic organs are weakened, and allow the organs to drop to or through the vaginal opening. It is often associated with childbirth, but anything that puts great pressure on the abdomen (like obesity, constipation, or a long-term cough) can cause pelvic organ prolapse.
  • Stress urinary incontinence: When activity such as coughing, running, or even laughing causes a person to unintentionally release urine. Stress urinary incontinence is caused by the weakening of muscles that support the bladder. This condition is also common after childbirth.

Transvaginal Mesh Doesn’t Affect Women Only

Some complications from transvaginal mesh include:

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Vaginal scarring
  • Infection
  • Nerve damage
  • Vaginal shrinkage
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Mesh erosion
  • Organ perforation
  • Neuromuscular problems

While the majority of victims hurt by transvaginal mesh issues are women, men have also experienced issues with the device. Men receive the mesh for a few different conditions. Men who are treating stress urinary incontinence sometimes opt for the mesh procedure over other non-surgical methods. Like women, they too have been left with erosion, bleeding, and inability to urinate.

Symptoms of Mesh Erosion

Here are some symptoms of transvaginal mesh erosion:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Vaginal pain
  • Abnormal discharge
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Urinary fistula

Trying to Undo a Transvaginal Mesh Surgery

Due to the numerous complications patients have experienced with their mesh devices in the United States, revision surgery is common. However, doing a revision on a mesh implant is not easy. The mesh implant is meant to meld to the patient’s body, so trying to get it out from beneath the organs, tissue, and blood vessels is difficult for surgeons. Oftentimes, multiple surgeries are required to remove the mesh in pieces.

Have you or a loved one suffered from complications related to a transvaginal mesh surgery? If so, you’re not alone. Thousands of people have received these imperfect implants, and suffered injuries because of them. If you received a transvaginal mesh implant and suffered side effects, you may be entitled to compensation.

Contact the dedicated Omaha product liability attorney at Bottlinger Law L.L.C. Our team has handled many similar cases involving defective medical devices, and we’ll sit down with you and figure out if you have a case. Call (402) 505-8234 for your free consultation today.

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