Surgical mesh implants were designed in the 1950s to repair abdominal hernias. These implants were originally inserted through the abdomen to patch the abdominal hole and to prevent intestines and surrounding tissues from extending through the wall of the abdomen. Doctors later began using the mesh to treat pelvic organ prolapse, a condition in which organs in the pelvic area have dropped from their normal position. To keep the organs in place, a sling would be placed underneath the dropping organ and secured to surrounding muscles or ligaments using the surgical mesh.
Surgeons next embraced the idea that implanting the surgical mesh through the vagina would be more efficient in treating pelvic organ prolapse; this technique is known as transvaginal implantation. Unfortunately, thousands of women have suffered severe and adverse consequences as a result of this procedure. In 2008, after hundreds of reports including complications, injuries, and death after procedures using transvaginal mesh, the Food and Drug Administration issued a Public Health Notice. This Notice warned consumers of the risks and complications associated with the product and advised physicians to inform their patients of the serious potential complications.
Transvaginal mesh erosion is the most critical complication. Erosion occurs when the implant moves through the vaginal wall and into surrounding organs. Many women find themselves experiencing extreme pain related to sitting, walking, or sexual intercourse. Other complications include infection, bleeding, and urinary problems. Often, multiple surgeries are performed in an effort to correct the defective mesh implant. In many cases, corrective surgeries do not fix the problems, and in some cases where the tissues surrounding the implant have already grown through the mesh, removal is impossible.
To date, there are approximately 49,000 federal lawsuits against mesh manufacturers. Women who file suit are typically seeking compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of wages, loss of spousal consortium, and loss to quality and enjoyment of life. For more information about legal options related to defective medical devices, contact a personal injury attorney at our firm. For a free evaluation of your case, please call Bill Easterly & Associates, at (615) 244-2222.