Vaginal Mesh Treatments
For women facing the pain and discomfort of a pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or stress urinary incontinence (SUI), the variety of available treatments can be confusing and alarming. Some of the procedures can be relatively safe, while other carry great risks. With an estimated 250,000 procedures performed in the United States to repair POP and SUI, medical device manufacturers have long been trying to come up with treatments that will be safe and successful.
For women who have suffered with POP and SUI, a fix that will fit both bills can't come fast enough.
One of the safer routes to go when seeking treatment for POP or SUI is a vaginal pessary. A pessary is a small, flexible plastic ring that fits into the vagina and supports the fallen organs including the vagina, rectum and uterus. Since it is a removable device and is not surgically implanted, the device poses fewer risks than other treatments on the market. It can, however, cause irritation and provide some discomfort during sexual intercourse.
Another helpful tool in fixing SUI is botulinum toxin A, commonly known as Botox. This injectable medication temporarily paralyzes muscles and can be used in SUI. However, this type of treatment is still under investigation and will provide no relief for women suffering from POP.
Once thought to be the gold standard for POP and SUI treatment, vaginal mesh has become a medical pariah for its link to painful results. Also called transvaginal mesh, this surgical treatment uses flexible plastic mesh to support fallen organs and hold them in place. But instead of permanently fixing the prolapse problem, mesh creates a while new set of complications. Typically, women need multiple surgeries to correct vaginal mesh treatment.
What happens During Mesh Surgery?
According to doctors, implanting transvaginal mesh is a relatively easy procedure. Doctors insert the mesh through the vagina and sew it into place to support the organs. However, within months, many women start feeling pain and cramping. The mesh is eroding.
For reasons unknown, vaginal mesh tends to fall apart once implanted. While some pieces simply fall out, other sharp shards of plastic cut through the inside walls of the vagina. These sharp pieces are known to slice through nearby organs including the bladder and colon. Doctors are now trying to perfect revision surgeries, which are very complicated. Because the mesh literally disintegrates inside the pelvic tissue, doctors have to pick out little pieces at a time, excising them from surrounding tissue. Most women must undergo several mesh extrusion surgeries for the device to be completely removed.
Complications in court
Today, hundreds of women have sued four major mesh manufacturers – C.R. Bard, Johnson & Johnson's Ethicon division, American Medical Systems and Boston Scientific – for their faulty devices. There are four multidistrict litigations (MDLs) in a West Virginia district court with a total of more than 600 cases. Our experienced attorneys can help you navigate your vaginal mesh case for the best possible financial outcome.