Transvaginal mesh failure is becoming increasingly more common among women that have undergone the insertion procedure. While as many as 50% of women suffer from pelvic organ prolapse, or POP, the Food and Drug Administration is warning patients of the serious complications that can arise following this type of surgery.
The POP condition occurs due to the weakening of the ligaments and muscles that hold the organs in the lower portion of the abdomen including the cervix, rectum, and urethra. The organs consequently move out of place and can often times protrude into the vagina. Many women experience such decline because of childbirth, menopause, or hysterectomy. It has become quite common for women to undergo a surgical procedure to repair or reinforce the internal support system. A permanent, synthetic mesh is surgically inserted within the vaginal wall that adheres to the existing tissue around it. This option was first introduced more than 20 years ago. Once believed to be the most successful method for addressing the problem, the resulting health risks may overshadow the supposed benefits. Whether complications arise from the surgery itself, or are caused by the implanted material, a growing number of patients are describing serious consequences that negatively affect their quality of life.
In the early 1990s, reports of transvaginal mesh failure began to surface. Women continue to experience erosion or tightening of the mesh, which leads to a wide range of additional complications. Patients experience chronic pain, recurrent prolapse, infection, neuromuscular and urinary tract problems, bleeding, scarring, organ perforation, and pain during sexual intercourse.
The large volume of victims affected led the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate and deliver a public health warning in 2008. Reports of complications continued to grow, thus resulting in an update to their corresponding advisory. Since 2010, they have seen over 1000 reports of material and procedural complications. The FDA stated that the problems are not focused upon a single manufacturer. Over 30 manufacturers have been required to perform post-market health and safety studies on the complications caused by their mesh material. While the problems may not occur for every patient, the FDA believes that women opting to undergo the mesh implantation procedure are at a higher risk than those selecting an alternative treatment.
Upon placement, the mesh is meant to permanently adhere to the vaginal walls. If the material begins to erode it may be difficult for it to be entirely removed, leaving the patient unable to fully return to their pre-surgery health and quality of life.
Manufacturers of the mesh failed to caution medical professionals and their patients of the material’s potential risk. Therefore, those women experiencing transvaginal mesh failure can request compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. While there are no time constraints for taking legal action, it is important to work with a lawyer experienced in this type of lawsuit. By entrusting the case to an experienced legal professional, an impacted patient can rest assure that thorough negotiations can occur, and maximum damages may be awarded.