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Vaginal Mesh

Vaginal mesh is a medical device that is implanted in order to treat problems like urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.

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Vaginal Mesh Attorney

When the mesh works as it should, it can free the patient from discomfort and embarrassment. When it doesn’t, it can lead to a variety of conditions including:

  • Urinary incontinence
  • Bladder perforation
  • Bowel perforation
  • Organ damage
  • Vaginal scarring
  • Infections
  • Chronic pain

These conditions are usually due to erosion of the mesh, which is simply not supposed to erode. Many sufferers of injuries due to faulty vaginal mesh have sought attorneys to bring the manufacturer and/or the surgeon to account. Some of these lawsuits have resulted in settlements in favor of the sufferer.

The Potential for Harm

Transvaginal mesh (more commonly referred to simply as vaginal mesh) is most often used to treat urinary incontinence that occurs in women following pregnancy and/or childbirth. The burden of carrying a child can cause the pelvic area to weaken, and when that happens, a woman may leak urine during routine activities, or even when laughing or coughing. It is also used to treat pelvic prolapses, which occur typically in older women as the tissues and muscles in the bladder, uterus, and the rest of the pelvic region weaken and stretch.

The theory is that the vaginal mesh will strengthen the woman’s internal organs, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Over the past ten years, more than a thousand complaints have been filed with the FDA related to the use of vaginal mesh. Many women have had the mesh surgically removed. Many have also sought relief from the pain and discomfort caused by their faulty vaginal mesh through attorneys who specialize in such cases.

The FDA

In 2012, the FDA demanded that manufacturers of vaginal mesh study the risks that can occur with the use of their products. Not all vaginal mesh products were affected – surgical mesh that was implanted intra-abdominally was not included. The order referred to vaginal mesh that was placed vaginally, and based on evidence that the use of the mesh had a greater potential for harm than other surgical options.

Safety Concerns

Before the use of vaginal mesh, prolapse and incontinence were treated surgically, using the patient’s own ligaments to offer support to muscles that were weakened. With vaginal mesh, the surgeon weaves interlaced polypropylene throughout the pelvic tissue, and then places it beneath the urethra, creating a sling that offers support. The concern of the FDA, and indeed the basis for several lawsuits, is the belief that these products haven’t passed reasonable safety standards, and that the manufacturers do not warn about the risks involved. Some experts believe that the product is inherently defective.

In some cases, the mesh has eroded into the patient’s vagina, migrated to other areas, or shrunk, leading to pelvic pain, urinary problems and infections. A 2005 study in the Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology suggested that there was insufficient data on the safety of vaginal mesh, and that its use could not be recommended. Certainly, the plethora of lawsuits brought on behalf of patients by vaginal mesh attorneys would seem to validate this assessment.

Removing Vaginal Mesh

Placing vaginal mesh is a surgical procedure, and so is removing it. Many women have had to undergo surgery to remove defective vaginal mesh, and several have also required blood transfusions, IV therapy, and drainage of abscesses or hematomas that resulted from the use of the vaginal mesh.

Seeking Help

If you or someone you care about has been harmed by the use of vaginal mesh, see an attorney who specializes in such cases. He or she can help you to hold manufacturers and surgeons liable for complications due to vaginal mesh.

 

Sources:

http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/lawsuit/transvaginal-mesh/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/08/pelvic-mesh-lawsuits-surgical/

 

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