More than three years after our law firm first started to investigate injury cases for women who suffered complications from vaginal mesh or a bladder sling used to repair pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or female stress urinary incontinence (SUI), it continues to amaze me how many women have experienced these horrific and painful problems, which can have a devastating impact on their quality of life.
In recent years, these mesh products have been promoted to the medical community for surgical treatment of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and female stress urinary incontinence (SUI), intended to reinforce soft tissue or bone where weakness exists. However, thousands of women have reported experiencing complications and problems, often resulting in the need for additional surgery, and there is little evidence that they provide any benefit over other treatment alternatives.
In 2010, when use of the devices peaked, it is estimated 75,000 women received transvaginal mesh for POP repair and about another 200,000 women received a transvaginally placed bladder sling for treatment of SUI.
According to an FDA report released in July 2011, on the Safety and Effectiveness of Transvaginal Mesh Placement (PDF), data reviewed from 110 studies involving 11,785 women suggests that approximately 10% of women may experience mesh erosion within 12 months of surgery for POP repair, which is an alarmingly high rate. More than half of women who experienced the vaginal complications from non-absorbable synthetic mesh required surgery to excise or remove the mesh, some requiring 2 or 3 surgeries.
Vaginal mesh erosion occurs when the mesh penetrates into the vagina, causing severe pain, infection and other complications. This can result in a feeling of tightness or pulling, as well as vaginal discharge of blood. In some cases, the mesh becomes exposed inside the vagina and can be felt by a partner during sexual intercourse.
Contraction of vaginal mesh following surgery is another painful and debiltating complication, often requiring surgical intervention to excise the contracted mesh. Following surgery, many women continue to experience severe vaginal pain and subsequent excision of the entire accessible mesh is often necessary.
These problems can be life-altering for women, yet the manufacturers promoted and sold these products without providing adequate warnings about the extent of the risks. Women allowed doctors to implant the vaginal mesh, unaware of that the procedures carry a high risk of needing additional surgery due to mesh complications, and that additional surgery may not resolve the complications.
The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are pursing claims against a number of manufacturers, including C.R. Bard, American Medical Systems (AMS), Ethicon, Boston Scientific and others. While many women are unaware of the exact manufacturer of their vaginal mesh or bladder sling, free consultations and claim evaluations are provided to help determine if financial compensation may be available for vaginal mesh complications.
To review a potential claim on behalf of yourself, a friend or family member, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.