Transvaginal Mesh Failure and Complications Are Common
A transvaginal mesh, or TVM, is inserted into a woman’s body when the support cells inside the vagina give out and fail to maintain their integrity. This is known as a pelvic organ prolapse, and it can cause other organs in the body cavity to shift if left untreated. Instead of stinting or stitching everything back in place, this mesh is supposed to hold everything in place. Unfortunately, research on the procedure has recently shown that it can cause some severe post-op issues.
A pelvic organ prolapse is more common than most people would think. Between the ages of 50 and 79, around half of women have some kind of prolapse, though not every woman with one requires a TVM. Only about 11 percent will need surgery to correct the issue. There are multiple risk factors for a prolapse, and past injuries, childbirth and race are all contributing factors. Caucasian women are more likely to suffer one than African American women. Childbirth, previous trauma to the area and tobacco use all increase the chance that this will occur.
The problem with TVM, though, is that it causes a fairly high rate of complications in people who receive the treatment. Nearly 10 percent of women experience some negative effects from the procedure within the first year following the implantation. A study conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine confirmed that patients that received the treatment were inflicted with higher rates of severe complications like pain during intercourse and urinary incontinence. Around 75,000 women had received the treatment as of 2010.
In addition, the Food and Drug Administration has weighed in, and concurs with the New England Journal of Medicine’s findings. The FDA has expressed concerns with the TVM as well. It has found that erosion through vaginal epithelium, urinary problems, infection, recurrence of prolapse and/or incontinence and pain are some of the most common issues.
Bladder, blood vessel perforation during insertion and bowel issues are also major concerns. Some patients were reported as having erosion problems and vaginal scarring as well, resulting in unnecessary pain. These issues can linger and worsen over time, and can significantly lower a woman’s quality of life.
If these issues do worsen over time, they often eventually require a second surgery to clear them up and return the patient to good health. Blood transfusions, hemotoma or abscess treatment, and IV therapy are all common secondary procedures that can be needed post-op. The FDA now recommends people try to seek alternative methods to TVM due to ongoing complications that have been responsible for thousands of injuries and three deaths since 2005. As of yet, there haven’t been any recalls for the meshes, but those affected by post operation problems have begun filing lawsuits against the manufacturers. As many, many people have been afflicted, it’s a standard case of mass tort.
Anyone who has undergone this surgery and has suffered from any of the above should call a personal injury lawyer and get proper representation. Thousands have filed for restitution, and five companies are involved to date. An expert can help someone who has been affected navigate the tricky process of filing a claim and putting a solid case together.