Bladder Slings and Transvaginal Mesh Risks and Current Litigation

Transvaginal mesh is a netting material usually made out of a plastic material, such as polypropylene. The expression “transvaginal” refers to the kind of surgery that is used to insert the mesh. This is through the vagina. The mesh was created to permanently fix pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.

These conditions can occur in women after a hysterectomy, menopause, or childbirth. Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition where a woman’s pelvic muscles weaken to the degree that the pelvic organs, for example the bladder, fall into the vagina. Stress urinary incontinence occurs when the bladder leaks urine during physical activity that increases pressure on the bladder. The surgeon can place the mesh through the vagina or the abdomen. However, insertion through the vagina is quicker and less invasive.

What Risks are Associated with Transvaginal Mesh?

Warnings have been issued by the FDA with respect to the use of surgical mesh. In 2008, the FDA stated that there could be serious complications from mesh inserted to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. In 2011, the FDA said that these complications were not rare. Also, they said that it’s not clear whether or not transvaginal mesh is more effective than traditional methods of dealing with these issues.

There has been research that shows that transvaginal repair of pelvic organ prolapse might cause complications such as mesh erosion, pain, infection, bleeding, pain during sex, organ perforation, and urinary problems. Many of these complications need more treatment, including surgery. Also, the treatment of stress urinary incontinence with a mesh sling can cause complications, including mesh erosion, infection, and pain. These complications seem to be less frequent than those associated with pelvic organ prolapse surgeries.

Current Litigation Against Manufacturers of Mesh Systems

In recent times, tens of thousands of women have filed lawsuits in state and federal courts against the manufacturers of mesh products. Sometimes the lawsuit is successful and sometimes the company settles out of court. The claims of plaintiffs have been similar to each other. These claims have been to the effect that the manufacturers did not test the mesh products properly for use in the human body. Also, these companies failed to warn doctors and patients of the potential risks involved with the insertion of mesh. The companies actually placed mesh products on the market with claims that they are safe and effective treatments for pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.

Recent Lawsuits

Transvaginal mesh attorneys have reported a $5.7 million verdict for a California woman who needed surgery after Johnson & Johnson’s Abbrevo mesh implants eroded
inside of her.

Boston Scientific Corporation was found liable a number of times for selling defective vaginal mesh implants. This has increased pressure on the company to settle thousands more such lawsuits.

Coloplast A/S, the Danish maker of medical products, has agreed to pay about $16 million in an effort to settle lawsuits that accuse it of harming women with its vaginal mesh inserts.

Tens of thousands of women are filing against mesh manufacturers with no end in sight. However, in many cases time might be running out. Many states have time limitations which will stop some women from collecting compensation for their injuries.