Made from synthetic or biological material, a surgical mesh is a device that is used for repairing damaged or weakened tissue. It is often used as a treatment for Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) and Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI).
POP is a name given to the condition that develops when the tissues that hold the pelvic organs in place become stretched or weak. As a result, the organ/organs prolapse or bulge into the vagina or the vaginal opening. Organs that are usually affected include rectum, uterus, bladder, vaginal and the bowel. SUI, on the other hand is a medical condition that is primarily characterized by the leakage of urine during day-to-day physical activities such as sneezing, coughing, laughing, or working out.
Since the mesh is placed ‘through the vagina’, it is referred to as Transvaginal Mesh.
Serious Complications Associated with the Transvaginal Mesh
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an updated public health notification in 2011 that was based on an analysis of the adverse-events reports and a review of the scientific literature. The update clearly stated that the dangerous health effects that have been linked with the placement of surgical mesh are common.
Where just over 1000 adverse cases associated with surgical mesh devices were reported to FDA during 2005 to 2008, they rose by 2,874 during 2008 to 2010. Of the total cases, 1,503 reports were by POP patients and 1,371 cases were related to SUI repairs.
The patients of TVM implant procedures have reported some very serious health effects to FDA.
The most commonly reported problems included:
.Mesh erosion through the vagina (referred to as exposure, extrusion or protrusion) - It is the most widely reported problem, can prove to be very painful for some women and may require multiple surgeries. In severe cases, even multiple surgeries may not be effective
. Neuro-muscular problems
. Vaginal shrinkage
. Emotional problems
Most of these complications require medical or surgical treatment and hospitalization. The failure of the product can cause a great deal of emotional, physical, and financial harm. According to Zuckerman, the director of National Research Center for Women & Families, "If the manufacturers had been required to go through the more rigorous approval process, similar to that for prescription drugs, it would have been obvious years ago that surgical mesh has more risks than benefits in many types of surgery."
Transvaginal Mesh and Legal Action
In 2012, Johnson & Johnson, the world’s biggest manufacturer of medical products, discontinued the sale of some lines of vaginal mesh implants after a large number of lawsuits were filed over the devices.
In addition to the pain and suffering, the treatment of complications linked with mesh failure can prove to be quite expensive. Therefore, if you or somebody you know develops a complication, you should find out about the legal rights and explore the options. It is also recommended that you contact a law firm that particularly deals with transvaginal mesh lawsuits. Based on your case, the attorney will help you in filing a lawsuit and make a claim for financial compensation for the expenses already incurred in the treatment as well as those anticipated in future.