How Can Transvaginal Mesh Complications Affect Women?

by Terry Bryant

Some transvaginal mesh complications are serious enough to cause permanent health problems in a victim. This surgery is normally for women with pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or stress urinary incontinence (SUI). In fact, it was the most-popular form of treatment for these conditions in 2010, as it was administered to about 300,000 women. By 2011, though, the surgery had fallen out of favor with many healthcare providers as there were serious side effects beginning to show. This is still the case, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned doctors about the frequency of severe adverse effects.

The deadliest adverse effects associated with the surgery are organ erosion and perforation. Initially, it was believed that these mesh complications were rare, but thousands of cases were reported from 2011 to date. As the sling shifts around the pelvic floor or abdominal cavity, it can rub up against organs and cause serious abrasions. Over time, this will severely damage the organ, develop scarring and may eventually result in perforated organs. When erosion or perforations are present, the victim will likely be subjected to searing, debilitating pain and may bleed internally. Both conditions are medical emergencies that will require surgery to correct. This means an extended recovery, expensive treatment, and possibly a worse prognosis than the victim had originally. In the end, some women were rendered infertile by the sling and have had to deal with chronic pain and discomfort.

Lawsuits against manufacturers due to mesh complications already exist, and many more are sure to follow. These suits claim negligence on the part of manufacturers for not testing their products enough to account for all possible dangers. Because serious side effects appeared quickly after the surgery became popular, it appears that manufacturers were extremely negligent in product design and prototyping, leaving hundreds of thousands of women at risk.