The transvaginal mesh implant is a synthetic device that is placed in the vagina to strengthen the weakened vaginal walls, to repair the prolapse of pelvic organs or to support the urethra in cases of urinary incontinence. Mesh implants are also used to treat prolapse of the vaginal vault, a condition where the vagina loses its shape and falls into the vaginal cavity.
It is estimated that about 50 percent of women will experience some type of pelvic organ prolapse in their lives, a condition where a pelvic organ, such as the bladder, rectum, or uterus, pushes against the vaginal wall. Prolapse of pelvic organs occurs in different degrees, and approximately two percent of women experience notorious symptoms. In some cases, women may experience pain and discomfort, but in other cases, it can be much worse. The bladder, rectum, or uterus push through the vaginal wall, and surgery is needed to repair the tissue that supports the pelvic organs. In the 1990s, doctors began using transvaginal mesh implantation to provide additional support for organs that had detached and fallen into the vaginal canal and to support the bladder in cases of urinary incontinence. Both conditions are common among older women who have had a hysterectomy or have entered menopause. Before its use for prolapse of the pelvic organs and urinary incontinence, the mesh had been used for the treatment of hernias.
Complications of vaginal mesh
Complications of vaginal meshes began to intensify in 2008, when more than 1,000 reports against it were made to the FDA by women throughout the United States. This year, the FDA issued a Notice of Public Health and Additional Information for the Patient, but stated that complications were rare and an area of “constant concern.”
While the complications of the mesh continued, the FDA revised its statement in 2011 and issued an update to healthcare providers, including specialists in gynecology, urogynecology, urology, general surgery, internal medicine, family medicine, emergency medicine, as well as patients, indicating that mesh complications were not uncommon.
In addition, the FDA acknowledged that mesh implant surgery may not be more effective than the non-mesh treatment for pelvic organ prolapse, and that mesh may increase the risk of patient health complications.
The complications of the mesh that are most frequently cited are erosion that can cause pelvic pain, infection and hemorrhage. The mesh can also be reduced or contracted within the patient causing vaginal pain and hardening.
Other complications of the mesh include:
- Recurrent prolapse
- Vaginal scarring
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Urinary incontinence
- Neuromuscular problems
- Emotional trauma
In 2010, 75,000 women underwent mesh surgery for the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse, and more than 200,000 did so to treat urinary problems. Despite its widespread use among doctors, it is estimated that 60 percent of mesh surgeries, lead to complications that require hospitalization and multiple surgeries to correct them. A recent article in the journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology holds that women who have undergone mesh surgery would have been better off without it.
Demands of transvaginal mesh
The mesh implants were never officially removed from the market despite the numerous reports on their complications. However, in 2012, the FDA ordered 44 mesh implant manufacturers to conduct additional research on problems such as disintegration, erosion and mesh infection. The absence of a withdrawal from the FDA does not mean that women can not file a lawsuit against the mesh. In fact, thousands of women in the United States have filed different mesh demands against the manufacturers of medical implants, due to defective design, incorrect representation of the product and lack of adequate notification to patients about the serious side effects and complications to the Health.
The transvaginal mesh demands currently underway involve the following manufacturers and their respective mesh implant devices.
- Johnson & Johnson (Ethicon, Inc.), the makers of Gynecare and Gynemesh
- C.R. Bard, Inc., the makers of Avaulta and Pelvicol
- Boston Scientific Corp., manufacturers of Advantage Sling, Obtryx, Perfyx and Pinnacle
- American Medical Systems, Inc., the makers of Spar, Miniarc, Monarc, Apogee, Perigee and Elevate
- Coloplast Corp., manufacturers of MPathy, Mentor-Aris, Supris, Suspend, T-Sling, Novasilk, Exair and Restorelle
In some vaginal mesh trials that have concluded, the plaintiffs have received millions of dollars in monetary compensation, from California to South Dakota and New Jersey. Due to the large number of mesh demands that have been filed, some cases have been consolidated in a multidistrict litigation (CDM), in order to expedite the pre-trial process. This means that in similar cases in different places they were consolidated under the jurisdiction of a judge during the pre-trial; but each claim is still treated as an individual case.
What Can You Expect from a Vaginal Mesh Demand
Although each case is different, most manufacturers will try to resolve the case outside the court. An offer may include financial compensation for medical expenses, expenses that are not covered by insurance and lost wages due to time away from work. It is important that you keep track of all doctor visits, all procedures performed, as well as all expenses. This information will be essential to determine the amount of compensation you are entitled to receive. In some cases, compensation for pain and suffering will be awarded in particular if the injuries make it difficult to perform simple daily activities. Your lawyer will play a fundamental role in the negotiations and in the trial if an agreement is not reached.
If you or your family members have health problems due to vaginal mesh implants, you need not suffer in silence. Contact vaginal mesh attorney in your city. They can help you get financial compensation for your injuries.