Vaginal Mesh Complications
From severe pain to uncontrollable bleeding, the list of complications resulting from vaginal mesh is long. Nationwide, women were led to believe that vaginal mesh, also called transvaginal mesh, was the best fix for pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Instead, thousands have undergone revision surgeries to fix the resulting complications.
For more than a decade, vaginal mesh was used to support organ that slipped through the vagina due to weakened pelvic muscles from childbirth, menopause or a hysterectomy. Mesh manufacturers told women that the transvaginal insertions of the mesh devices were safe and harmless procedures. But that simply was not true.
Defective Vaginal Mesh Brands
Today, all of the transvaginal mesh devices on the market are modeled after a device that was recalled in the 1990s due to safety concerns. Shortly after Boston Scientific's ProteGen device was voluntarily recalled, the company quietly settled several product-liability lawsuits. However, within years of the ProteGen recall, other companies started making vaginal mesh models based on the ProteGen device. Because of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's slipshod rules, vaginal mesh manufacturers didn't have to follow any approval protocol. The devices simply went into surgeon's hands.
The four main mesh manufacturers – Johnson & Johnson's Ethicon division, Boston Scientific, American Medical Systems and C.R. Bard – are also the most maligned today. All four of these companies have been sued in federal court for their link to faulty mesh devices that have injured hundreds of women. More than 600 legal complaints have been filed against all of the companies.
Side Effects of Vaginal Mesh Implants
For the women who have sued the four companies, the injuries are sustained and lifelong. The mesh, made of a flexible plastic material, is known to erode and expose sharp edges. These sharp edges often cut through pelvic tissue and puncture nearby organs and tissue. Also, the mesh is known to contract as much as 85 percent. This mesh shrinkage can cause excruciating pelvic pain. In addition to the physical damages, there is ongoing mental anguish caused by interference in normal activities.
Once the FDA acknowledged ongoing problems with vaginal mesh, federal regulators composed a list of common complications:
- Having mesh surgery puts you at risk for needing additional surgeries due to mesh complications.
- Repeated surgeries may not resolve the complications.
- Serious complications include pain during sexual intercourse, the inability to engage in sexual intercourse and the scarring and narrowing of the vaginal walls.
- Infection and mesh erosion are not rare.
- There is no evidence that vaginal mesh fixes POP or SUI.
Many women opt to have the mesh surgically removed once the problems begin. But this too can be the cause of more physical and emotional pain. It takes only the most skilled surgeons to remove the mesh since it typically crumbles into surrounding tissue. Often, multiple surgeries are required.
Our Attorney can help
After undergoing painful mesh procedures, it may be comforting to know that our expert product-liability attorneys can guide you through the court system. Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation about your case.