Transvaginal mesh implants were once thought to be promising treatment option for women suffering from conditions like pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence. The mesh implants were intended to provide support around key organs and muscles. Unfortunately, however, the frequency of complications related to the use of transvaginal mesh has dampened the promise of this product.
Transvaginal mesh is a net like implant that has been used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) occurs when the muscles and ligaments supporting a woman’s pelvic organs weaken, allowing the organs to slip out of place. In cases of POP, doctors used transvaginal mesh to reinforce the weakened vaginal wall, thus “propping up” the wall and preventing the organs from slipping out of place.
Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is the unintentional loss of urine due to a physical movement or activity, such as coughing, sneezing, running, or lifting. Doctors used transvaginal mesh to treat SUI by implanting the mesh to support the urethra or bladder neck, which helps balance out the pressure on the bladder that would otherwise lead to incontinence.
In many cases, however, the surgical insertion of the transvaginal mesh, the mesh itself, or both led to serious complications. This happened so frequently that the FDA released a warning in 2008, acknowledging that the use of transvaginal mesh to treat POP and SUI posed serious risks. For instance, some patients experienced a phenomenon known as “mesh erosion,” whereby the mesh device gradually moves through the vaginal wall and sometimes even in to surrounding organs. Where erosion occurs, the patient may have to endure further surgeries to remove the mesh. Other side effects and complications include pain, bleeding, infection, pain during sex, urinary problems and even organ perforation.
As a result of these side effects, the FDA proposed reclassifying the surgical procedure involving the insertion of transvaginal mesh to treat POP and SUI as a “high risk” procedure, rather than a “moderate risk” procedure. In addition, thousands of women around the country brought lawsuits against the manufacturers of transvaginal mesh, arguing that the use of their product not only failed to help them, but left them worse off than before! One manufacturer recently paid around $830 million to resolve a number of lawsuits brought by women claiming injury from the implants.
Although some of the cases were brought in class actions, many others are being resolved individually through the courts in large groups referred to as multidistrict litigation (MDL). Through MDL, groups of cases that deal with similar facts and injuries, such as the cases brought by many women who have been injured as a result of transvaginal mesh procedures, are handled by the same judge or group of judges.
If you or a loved one have suffered injury after undergoing a procedure to implant transvaginal mesh for the treatment of POP, SUI or some other condition, you may have legal recourse through a class action or MDL action. Call the skilled attorneys at Brooks Law Group. We can help.