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Vaginal Mesh Complications are Painful and Debilitating

Austin Kirk

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.

▸ Lawsuits for Vaginal Mesh Complications

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.

14 Comments Add Your Comments

  1. I thought the surgery would be beneficial to me. I didn’t know about the long term effects.

  2. I had the Mesh implanted Feb 2011 and as early as a couple months after started to experience complications. My incontinence was worse and there was the constant pain, bleeding, burning and excruciating pain during interactions. I had a corrective surgery in August to correct Obstructive Bladder. I havent noticed any relief yet. I wish I knew about these complications before implanting the sling. I would never have that surgery! I hope these lawsuits bring a change.

  3. I had pelvic prolapse surgery in Sept. of 2009 and my pain and discomfort started shortly after. I have no reason to believe that the Novasilk graft material used is causing my problems and can’t find any other cases with the same symptoms. How would I find out if this could be my problem? Should I contact the surgeon who did my surgery?

  4. I had mine done in 7-2010 and within a year was experiencing a constant round of bladder infections which led to yeast infections due to antibiotics. Steady trips to urologist, severe incontinence (wetting the bed), constant, severe pelvic and thigh bone pain and eventual surgery by a reconstructive surgeon. He couldn’t remove the old mesh because it has eroded INTO my bladder. Instead, he used a skin graft from my bikini area and created a new one. I was catheterized on a constant basis for the inability to urinate for 34 days and the surgery was in October of 2012 and I AM STILL SELF-CATHING at least 2 – 3 times per week for the inability to urinate. THIS IS A NIGHTMARE, THIS THING IS A JOKE AND FRANKLY, SO ARE THESE LAWSUITS. I hired an attorney in July 2011 and have heard next to nothing and when I ask questions I am told it is still in its infancy. DON’T SIGN WITH AN UNKNOWN FIRM, HIRE A PERSONAL ATTORNEY. THAT IS WHAT I SHOULD HAVE DONE. Might I add, 4 trips across my state for appt, surg, and 2 followups, copays, med costs, pain ctr treatment for the pain………..the list goes on

  5. I had my surgery done back in 2003. I was fine for the first year, but then I started to leak again and since have had pain during intercourse, my lower back and the right side from my abdomen down my leg is in constant pain and is hard for me to stand for long periods of time while trying to hold and work a steady job. I cannot even get the surgery done at this time, due to no insurance to cover the cost.

  6. I had the TVT-0 put in on 3/21/11. I am having complications. I can not have sex with my husband because it causes both of us pain. he can feel the sling(which I was told he shouldn’t). I talked to the doctor that put it in and she seems to think that I am going through the change. But I really don’t think so.She doesn’t want to believe that there is anything wrong with the sling. I also sometimes have trouble with urinating.Cramping and pain where the graph was put in. I was wondering one thing. When I sit up I can feel a popping in my vagina. Is that the sling eroding into my vagina wall? Does anyone have any Ideas? I have an attorney but he doesn’t seem to be thinking about my best interest. I know I need to have this removed but the cost is way to high. I have medicaid but I have to go out of state to have it removed. I guess there is only 4 doctors in the united states that know how to remove it completely.

  7. I had transvaginal mesh and a bladder sling done in July 2009. About two years ago I could feel the mesh where it had eroded through the vaginal wall which led to pain during intercource. I sought the help of an urology oncologist. She went in and tried to remove as much mesh as she possibly could. I ended up having blood loss during that surgery and she had two vascular clips to stem bleeding. We waited 8 weeks to go back and repair a prolapse that had developed after surgery. This surgery seemed successful but started bleeding from several areas because the mesh and scar tissue wouldn’t seal. I was rushed back to the hospital, given 5 pints of blood and she went in and did emergency surgery which did not stop the bleeding. I was placed in ICU and sent down to radiology where he went in and used a glue type of substance to stem the bleeding. This was successful. This has been an absolute nightmare. I am very upset and almost lost my life because of this stupid stuff. I was not adequately informed about possible complications that could arise from this mesh. I would absolutely i courage anyone with a prolapse and or incontinence to stay as far away from this as possible.

  8. I had the sling and an upper abdomen hernia repair
    my doctor is at a loss of what is going on with me urine always comesback with blood in it my knees are swelling up like cantaloupes had to have drained have some yeast in my esophagus have severe pain in right side thought gallbladder but tests say no, severe cramping in my stomach legs and back told auto immune disease unknown origin my body is attacking itself they tell me, seen rheumatologist not arthritic they say we don’t know I asked dr. is this because of the mesh she said I don’t think so all of these issues started happening after my surgery I am in pain daily and no one has any answer I was not having issues before the surgery and now I am living at the dr office or emergency room

  9. My implant surgery was performed in June 2008 and I do have a lawyer, but he tells me my surgery may be beyond the statue of limitations. I have had a constant pain for 6 yrs–feelings of pressure in the pelvic area, feels like a very long contraction which tightens up until I have to change positions. Have been back to Dr. that did the surgery and can’t find anything wrong. I also have leg pain which I attributed to an earlier broken hip. After reading about leg pains from the other ladies in their comments, I’m not sure where this pain is coming from. I’ve consulted the Dr. that operated on the hip and he could not find any reason for the leg pain. I also have taken several kinds of medicine which were supposed to stop my incontinence–nothing worked. I’ve just resigned myself to living with this pain for the rest of my life.

  10. I had mine april 1999 I’ve had incontinence. and pain and bloating, pain in my right side , painful sex, been dealing with this since. why doesn’t it have to go back to 2000 what about the ones before that year. also trouble going to bathroom sometimes.

  11. Rhonda, Your story mirrors mine. It IS the mesh and don’t let the doctors tell you otherwise. The mesh breaks down (it is not inert) releasing toxins into your system. These toxins cause major inflammation in your system. Your body is fighting the inflammation and probably infection that is from the mesh too (mine was) so the yeast that is naturally in your body goes rampant. I also had the yeast in my esophagus yet the infectious disease dr couldn’t figure out why. Then the GI doctor couldn’t figure out why I had a mass in my throat (tonsil on the lower part of my tongue), these are just a few of my long list of problems that I never had before the mesh was put in. Test after test was done on me. They saw all the problems but couldn’t put the puzzle together. I was in my doctors office every week and going to specialists constantly. I was also going to the emergency room but hated going because they never found anything. When the dr took the mesh out (finally saw Dr Raz UCLA) all my autoimmune problems went away (took a while for my system to get stronger but it did) and now I am pain free too. I am one of the fortunate ones who got it out and am pain free. So many are still in pain after removal.
    Rhonda, my heart goes out to you and others who are searching and trying to find out if the mesh is the reason. I asked my doctor and he said no. I even called up a lawyer on tv and asked if his clients had a slew of autoimmune problems and he said ‘no’. I almost gave up looking into mesh but thankfully God kept prompting me.

    Lawyers only look at what has been proven for them: mesh causes erosion, pain, painful intercourse, etc.
    Doctors think that the studies from pharma companies saying mesh is safe is correct so they think you are just complaining.
    I wish that more doctors and lawyers would study up on how mesh causes so many other health problems. Hopefully one day all the truth will come out on the absolute nightmare of this product!

  12. I had mine done in 2011, which on the paperwork I brought home it says, suburethral writting in hand writing under Bladder Sling procedure. The only other thing it says is, Bladder sling procedures, so not sure what that mean’s. I had pain constantly for the past two years, and feels like constant pain, with tightning of the area like a fist. It still help’s the incontenance, more so in the beginning, and now it has turned into not being able to hold the need to urinate as long as before, and even have to get up a couple times at night, with major pressure, pain in the whole center of vaginal and above area to just below my belly button. I did go to the doctor last year, and he did a reg vaginal test by feeling the area, but no other tests. None of my paperwork says what king of mesh was used, and just gets worse as it go’s on. I would think they would do a scan or something. Then they have the attorneys on tv, which I called one of them, recieved their info, and they get 40% of everyone that wins, if it wins. Can anyone tell me why none of my discharge papers say what kind of mesh was used. Any help from your esperience, I do not have insurance anymore, and cannot go to a obgyn right now. Then I saw something that was written above, that I have back problems, so attributed the leg”s aching, and when laying down at night it is the wierdest felling, you can’t stand the feeling, and it is like a pricking in all areas of the legs, and you can’t stand keeping your legs stationary, and nothing help’s take it away. Any ones help would greatly appreciated, and how do you pick a lawyer out of all the tv ads.

  13. mischelle says:

    I also had a mesh done in 2011 , and I knew about 6 mo. later something was wrong, so I went back to the dr. that did the surg. .2 different times only to be told there was nothing wrong.

  14. I had a total hysterectomy and bladder sling 2010. Enjoyed the sling for the first couple years. Now 4 plus years later, I’m having side, back and leg pain. Having a very difficult time sleeping, can’t lay in any position without pain. Causing issues with work. I lift and move around heavy materials often. Which is becoming extremely difficult now. I have very low energy or interest in getting much done at home or work. I’m thinking it’s toxic to me. I just don’t feel right. Seeing a doctor about getting it out soon.

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