Women who suffered mesh complications after undergoing pelvic organ prolapse repair surgery with a trans vaginal mesh may have legal recourse. On July 13, 2011, the FDA announced that patients undergoing pelvic organ prolapse repair with a surgical mesh may be at a greater risk for mesh complications than women pursuing other surgical treatments. Because the manufacturers of trans vaginal meshes failed to warn patients and doctors about this increased risk, women suffering mesh complications may be able to file a claim seeking compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering and other damages.
Did you experience mesh erosion or other mesh complications following pelvic organ prolapse surgery? Find out if you can seek compensation for your injuries by completing our free, no obligation case review form with details of your mesh complications.
Vaginal Mesh Complications: Eroded Mesh, Infection
Surgical meshes have been used on thousands of women to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). These conditions are a result of the relaxation of tissues that hold the bladder, bowels, and reproductive organs in place, causing them to slide forward and downwards. This can place pressure on the bladder, causing incontinence, and cause vaginal prolapse. Organs may prolapse close to or even outside the vaginal opening. This condition is not only unsightly and distressing; it can cause severe discomfort and disrupt sexual function. Transvaginal mesh is often used to reinforce the weakened vaginal walls and give support to the pelvic organs.
Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) repair surgery can be performed through the abdomen or the vagina, using stitches or a surgical mesh to reinforce the repair and to support the pelvic organs. According to the FDA, the transvaginal placement of the surgical mesh may put women at a greater risk for POP mesh complications than other surgical options. In addition, the agency claims that with the exposure to greater risk comes no indication of greater clinical benefit in women electing to undergo pelvic organ prolapse repair surgery transvaginally.
The following are among the vaginal mesh complications reported by women who underwent pelvic organ prolapse repair surgery with a trans vaginal mesh:
- Mesh erosion
- Pain during sex
- Urinary problems
- Contraction or shortening of the vagina
- Vaginal scarring
- Bowel, bladder and blood vessel perforation
Additionally, many women have reported a reappearance of their vaginal prolapse or stress urinary incontinence, the very conditions the devices were designed to treat. Vaginal scarring due to mesh erosion has let some patients permanently injured, and revision surgeries could leave a woman disfigured.
The FDA first alerted the public to these trans vaginal mesh problems when it released a safety communication in 2008 regarding the complications associated with the trans vaginal placement of surgical mesh to treat POP and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). In the vaginal mesh complications safety announcement, the agency claimed that in the past three years it had received more than 1000 reports of mesh complications from nine different manufacturers. Since then, the number of mesh complications reported to the agency has increased; from 2008 to 2010, the agency received more than 1500 reports of mesh complications stemming from pelvic organ prolapse repair surgery, five times as many as it had received between 2005 to 2007. However, these reports of mesh complications did not always indicate whether the patient underwent POP surgery through the abdomen or the vagina.