Bladder Mesh and Sling Problems Are Not Rare

Austin Kirk

By Austin Kirk
Posted December 12, 2011


The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. represent women throughout the United States who are pursuing a bladder mesh lawsuit as a result of problems associated with transvaginal placement of surgical mesh for treatment of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and female stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Unfortunately, these painful and debilitating complications from bladder mesh and bladder sling products are not rare, and can leave women with life-long problems.

In July 2011, the FDA issued a warning about the risk of transvaginal bladder mesh problems, not only because of the potential risk of infection, vaginal erosion, protrusion and other complications, but also because of the alarming frequency that women and their doctors have reported experiencing these issues.

From January 2008 through December 2010, the FDA recorded 2,874 reports of vaginal mesh complications, including reports of defective bladder mesh, injuries and deaths. That is nearly 1,000 women a year who suffered from problems with their vaginal mesh implants.

According to the FDA’s numbers, 1,503 of those reports involved women who had received a surgical mesh implant to deal with pelvic organ prolapse, and 1,371 of the reports involved women who were implanted with a bladder sling to alleviate stress urinary incontinence.

That represents a sharp jump from previous years. From January 2005 to December 2007, the FDA only received about 1,000 such reports. The number of injuries and complications from pelvic organ prolapse procedures alone ballooned by a factor of five. The increase could be due to increased use of bladder mesh products, the growing number of new products rushed to the market, increased awareness or other factors.

The FDA reported that from 2008 through 2010, at least seven women died due to problems linked to pelvic organ prolapse mesh procedures. Three deaths were directly linked to the mesh implant procedure, including two bowel perforation deaths and one hemorrhage death. Another four deaths were linked to post-operative medical complications indirectly related to the mesh implant procedure.

Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI) are frequent health problems for women. An estimated 20-40% of women will suffer SUI at some point during their lifetime. POP, caused by pelvic organs bulging into the vagina due to weakened pelvic walls often stretched due to childbirth will occur in 30-50% of women, although only about 2% become symptomatic.

Last year alone, about 300,000 women in the U.S. had some surgical procedure to repair POP and 260,000 underwent a procedure for incontinence. Of those, about one in three had a surgical bladder mesh or sling implanted to treat POP, with 75% of those implants using a transvaginal mesh. Transvaginal mesh products are the standard in SUI treatment, used in 80% of all procedures.

The most common complications reported in women who received a transvaginal mesh to treat POP included:

  • Vaginal mesh erosion (where part of the mesh migrated into the vagina)
  • Pain (including pain during sexual intercourse)
  • Infection
  • Urinary Problems
  • Bleeding
  • Organ Perforation
  • Recurrence of Pelvic Organ Prolapse
  • Neuro-muscular Problems
  • Vaginal Scarring/Shrinkage
  • Emotional Problems
  • Death

In many cases, the complications required additional surgical treatments and hospitalization.


The bladder mesh attorneys at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are currently reviewing claims nationwide by women who have suffered injuries or complications after receiving a transvaginal mesh.

All consultations are confidential and cases are taken on a contingency fee basis, meaning there are no fees unless a recovery is obtained. To review a potential case for yourself, a friend or family member, request a free claim evaluation.

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17 Comments • Add Your Comments

  • maxine says:

    had this surgery twice still have problems, my advice dont have it done you will have major problems the rest of your life

    Posted on January 9, 2012 at 3:17 pm

  • Kathy says:

    i was told this suit has been pushed back to 2001, i believe. I hope so mine was in 2004.

    Posted on February 1, 2012 at 5:26 am

  • Linda says:

    I had the mesh implant the same time as a partial hysterectomy to stop stress incontinence. It was fine for about 2 months and then back to the same problem. In addition it has caused constipation, pain in my groin and painful intercourse. It is just miserable and I would never suggest having it done to anyone.

    Posted on April 12, 2012 at 11:17 am

  • Sherry says:

    I had this procedure in 2006. I am now in the process of having it removed because of all the serious health problems I am experiencing. T least 2 surgeries are required with possibly a 3 or 4th. My quality of life has gotten to the point…there’s no quality of life. I have had to do a complete Lifestyle Adjustment.

    Posted on May 18, 2012 at 7:08 am

  • Kay says:

    I have suffered for the last 15 years painful intercourse probably caused my divorce 8 years ago, however I have a urinary tract infection about ever 6-9 weeks, I have tried everything, I have no insurance so cant go any further with testing, how do you find out what was used in 1987 is when My bladder was lifted….it has always been painful.

    Posted on September 28, 2012 at 11:32 pm

  • tina says:

    I have fibermyalga for 8 years I have had my gallbladder removed and all my female parts but I have cramping in the lower part of my stomach and around to the lower part of my back but no one can find out what’s going on .Pain is so bad can get help the only other thing it could be is my bladder .

    Posted on November 13, 2012 at 12:41 pm

  • Kim says:

    I had a partial hysterectomy in 2002 when I was 40. One year later the rest had to be taken out. I have had uninary tract infections, constipation, incontintinence, pain in my groin, painful intercourse, and many more side affects since I had the surgery.

    Posted on January 9, 2013 at 6:25 pm

  • Jeannette says:

    I had a total hysterectomy in 2000 and a year later I had the blader sling mesh to stop incontinence. It was fine for a while, then I started having all kind of problems, pain, cramping, painful intercourse, constipation, pain, pain, pain. I checked with a lawyer, I signed an agreement last year and today I was told by this law firm that I don’t qualify because of two elements: 1) That my surgery was in 2001 and they only take cases from 2002 up and 2) That the hospital where I had the surgery has not provided them with any information about the kind of sling mesh I have, etc, etc. Is there an attorney that can help?

    Posted on May 8, 2013 at 8:29 pm

  • Robbie says:

    I had a surgery in 2012 in newport due to cancer cells n while I was incarseraed I stoped haveing my monthly for 6mon I dident have one n I toke meds to make me start but nothing then they finely got me toa doc n he said I had cancer n he wanted to do a surgery well I let him cause I want to fight this well he said he had to tie my uteris to my pelvicx n made me go like that for over two week then I went bk n he went n side me n cut some thing I heard it n felt it I have had so much pain after that n befor that doc in texas couldent find any thing wrong wit me its goten ten tims worse sence then

    Posted on September 4, 2014 at 2:26 pm

  • Cynthia says:

    Prayers to all:
    I had a hysterectomy & Bladder Repair in 2004. 2005 I started bleeding , I’ve been have all the symptoms and dealing with it thinking it was all part of my hormones and I should just tuff it out. I’ve been hospitalized for urine backed up and my urethra closing. On antibiotics one after another due to it seems that all the doctors find.
    Was diagnosed with fibromyalgia 21/2 years ago.
    Now , this pain has been going on and on . Now , just out of now where I end up having to have my gallbladder out , with a bad infection in my pancreas.
    Still hurting and trying to Convece my doctors that something is wrong and it’s not in my head. I found a new doctor..cute! This Doctor looked like the young man who played in the Movie ( The Note Book ) ok! Had to put a smile on your face. Anyways, I told him I was bleeding , had a hysterectomy bladder repair and it felt like a stitch was still their. After checking three times he seen something and checked me for shiftless. Well I was beside myself with inbarssment . Test came back normal. Yea..! So, he sent me to a Woman gynecologist , whom read my history and reviewed my paper work. She than proceed to check with a pelvic exam . Took her three time but the 3 time she felt that I had Mesh Erosin.
    That was on Dec 23,2014 so I’ve been dealing all these years with this and was told it was in my head.
    She said it has to come out now and she is referring me to a specialist in Little Rock Arkansas. With it being the Holidays I probably won’t hear anything till after New Years..! I’ve been through three Breast surgery on right Breast and thinking this Mesh Erosin my have something to do with it not healing. Been 3 years and my breast Doctor says is debris and no antibiotic we’ve tried will kick it. I still get puss out.
    Any ways , each and everyone of you have a safe Journey, and keep your eyes on God. He’s healing hands are among us..
    Blessing to you and yours.

    Posted on December 27, 2014 at 1:34 pm

  • Tonya says:

    I had hernia surgery 2 years ago and have serious pain ever since, today I had to have the mesh removed because it infused itself to the lining of my stomach, now I am in the worst pain I have ever experienced. It hurts so bad I have had to take double the dose of pain medication and it isn’t even touching the pain

    Posted on September 1, 2015 at 9:11 pm

  • Cynthia says:

    I’m a nurse and when I went for my consultation about my prolapse in 2012 my surgeon assured me that the mini sling he was going to use was different than the med that all the commercials were talking about. He said he had never had a complication related to the mini arc and talked to me not just as a patient but as another medical professional. Unfortunately I was reassured and allowed him to do the surgery his way. The area never healed. I went back to him several times over the next 2 years as he sewed up the one area and had me use premarin cream for months. Finally he cut out the middle portion. Also clipped some sutures that had never dissolved further along the vaginal canal that I had also been complaining about that he had til me weren’t there. This final appointment I had with him he found them gave me more premarin cream and said it would all be better now. Well it didn’t get better. Only got worse. I had by that time personally heard from numerous patients of his with similar outcomes. I live in a small enough community that it became very obvious that he knew when we had our consultation before my surgery that he had already had numerous failures of the mini arc. Enough that if he had even said I have had a very small percentage of my patients have adverse effects I would not have agreed to the sling. After a couple of more years of living with what felt like a cheese grater in my vagina I found a doctor I trusted to remove the sling. It was made more difficult because of the 1st doctor’s removal of the middle section. But after all of that I still have a piece of the mesh that is poking through that the second doctor missed. 37 years before I had my surgery my mother also had surfer for prolapse. She had same surgery except the doctor used her own tissues and she has never had any problems or incontinence. As a woman who has been through hell, had a wonderful sex life ruined and been through daily pain and irritation I encourage anybody who is told they need to have mesh or sling used to go to a different doctor. As a nurse I hope I never have to meet another patient who has been through this. As a citizen of this country it is time for the FDA to tell doctors and the companies that make these products that they can no longer be used. The risk for adverse effects is too high and the ability to remove all of the mesh/sling after it is implanted is impossible. Even if I manage to get the rest of the mesh that is poking through out after a 3rd try there is still the matter of the hooks where the sling attaches to the ligaments. That part doesn’t erode through and doesn’t effect your sex life but I have had pain in the groin there ever since the sling was placed. Constant dull ache with occasional sharp pains in both areas. That I have to live with because they can’t remove the hooks.

    Posted on March 8, 2017 at 2:45 pm

  • Ruby says:

    I had a Monarc Sling/Mesh implanted in 2007. My life ended that day for me and my 10yr old daughter I’m raising alone. I was very hands-on mom and played outdoors every weekend. I had a career.
    The moment I woke up from surgery, I felt this sharp pain to the left side of my pelvis. My doc first mentioned that it could have been a pulled muscle due to the position I’m placed in during surgery. I could barely walk for weeks and I was severely constipated. I returned to original Surgeon many times because the sharp pain to the left side began moving throughout the entire left side of my body, from head to toe. Then as you can imagine, the severe pain was then throughout my entire body from head to toe. I was diagnosed with many medical problems over time and now I depend on medications just to function. There was a urologist that stated that he felt the mesh too tight with tension and it felt like possible sutures hadn’t dissolved. They poked his fingers during exam. The released the tension and removed the sutures. Still there were no changes to the agony I feel Day and night. This doctor then refers me to Dr. Shlomo Raz, at UCLA. This is what he specializes in. My first surgery dr. Raz noted mesh infection and erosion to vaginal wall, erosion through urethra, erosion through pubic bone and bladder wall. I needed an additional 8to 10 corrective surgeries for the dissecting of mesh and the reconstruction of the organs the mesh damaged.
    There was no improvement after all of my surgeries. I actually feel I’m becoming progressively worse with every medical problem, symptoms I suffer from and all a result to mesh implant. I continue to experience bladder incontinence, I continue with chronic constipation. Now I suffer from migraines and severe weakness. I honestly feel I’m slowly dying. I’m unable to drive, cook, bathe, and do basic chores for myself. My pain and weakness is debilitating.
    I hope this makes sense. This has affected my speech and short term memory. I forget the names of my family members or the easiest words. It’s very frustrating and humiliating.

    Posted on July 11, 2017 at 3:35 am

  • Deanna says:

    In 2014 I had a bladder sling put in. It’s been 3 years now and I have been nothing but very sick. I have infection constent and sore popping up here and there. My stomach is in pain all the time. There is times when I don’t have a pain pill for a few days I lay in bed and cry in constant pain. I have fever on and off in the mean time. And when I sit down to go to the bathroom it does not come out all the way than when I stand up I pea every where. It’s like I have a storage compartment some where. These symptoms keep getting worse but I don’t know if it’s caused by the bladder sling, it’s only how I’ve been feeling. Please I need advise and thank you all!!

    Posted on September 8, 2017 at 5:34 am

  • Linn says:

    Ma’am I understand your pain and suffering as well as feeling helpless. Thank God for answering my prayers. I have my 3rd surgery associated with bladder incontinence tomorrow. This time I am actually going to UT Hospital in Dallas and they have one of the best urologist nationwide. I hope you could possibly see him. He is my last hope to end this pain and suffering, not to mention embarrassment from never knowing if I am going to have”accident” anytime I stand up, sit down, etc. I am really excited this time because I have faith in the doctor but most of all, in our Lord! Hope this brings you some peace. Good luck to you.

    Posted on August 21, 2018 at 1:07 am

  • Angela says:

    I had a many abdominal surgeries including Bladder repair surgery for stress incontinence many years ago. Since the time I had my mesh implant I always suffered with UTI very often but it were treatable with antibiotics. As of March of 2020 up until now it has been almost 7 month I am suffering very severely with UTI symptoms non stop. I have been on almost 6 different antibiotics, seeing a few doctors and urologist and it seems nothing is helping. I am still in a lot of discomfort in my vaginal area and I am still having a UTI symptoms again and again. My condition is chronic and I don’t know what to do. I hate living like this. I thinking to speak to my doctor about a surgery to remove my mesh implant. I think that is causing my UTIs. Please advice me if I need to have my mesh implant to be removed. Thanks.

    Posted on September 17, 2020 at 8:09 am

  • Barbara says:

    I had a total hysterectomy around 2010 mesh was used to hold my prolapsed bladder up, it gradually dropped back down, I’m getting ready to have surgery again soon for
    the procedure , hopefully this month

    Posted on June 13, 2023 at 10:54 am

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