Pelvic mesh lawsuits are one of the biggest mass tort cases in United States history, with approximately $8 billion paid out to more than 100,000 women to date. With so many lawsuits filed, it’s natural that you’d wonder if using mesh means you will end up needing to file a mesh lawsuit.
If your doctor has recommended transvaginal mesh, don’t panic. There have been advances in technology, and not all mesh is dangerous. Make sure your doctor is experienced in mesh placement procedures, and don’t be afraid to discuss any concerns you have.
The more you know about mesh implants, the better prepared you’ll be to make decisions that may affect your health in the future. Keep reading to learn more about transvaginal mesh, its complications, and why there have been so many lawsuits.
About Mesh Implants
A mesh implant is a surgical mesh that can be implanted in your pelvis to reinforce a weakened vaginal wall. In some cases, a patient’s own tissue can be used to reconstruct pelvic organ support. When this isn’t possible, a mesh is alternative many women opt for.
This mesh is not much different from the mesh that is often used to treat hernias. Although the FDA has deemed this mesh to be safe for use and is not associated with significant complications, many lawsuits have been filed after women were injured.
What Transvaginal Mesh Is Used For
Transvaginal mesh is used to treat stress incontinence. This is a condition that is common in women who have recently given birth and in menopausal women.
Mesh is also used to treat pelvic organ prolapse. This condition happens when a pelvic organ moves out of place because the muscles that usually hold it in place are weakened. This can happen to your bladder, uterus, or rectum.
In serious cases, the organ can bulge down into the vagina. Mesh can be surgically implanted to reinforce the weakened area by placing it between where the organ is attached to ligaments in the pelvis.
It is estimated that the complication rate for mesh for pelvic organ prolapse repair is approximately 15% to 20%. It has also been reported that one in 15 women who are fitted with the most common type of mesh support will require surgery to remove it.
The FDA reported the following complaints from women who were suffering complications between 2005 and 2010:
- 528 reports of erosion
- 472 complaints of bleeding
- 253 cases of infection
- 108 complaints of painful sex
- 88 cases of organ perforation
- 80 complaints of urinary problems
Some other complaints that were less common include vaginal scarring, neuro-muscular problems, and recurrence of the prolapse.
Why Mesh Can Cause Problems
The majority of transvaginal mesh is made from polypropylene. The problem may be that this material is not compatible with human tissue. Sometimes vital organs are also damaged during the implantation procedure because surgeons aren’t able to see where they are placing the mesh.
Why Women Are Suing
Women are filing lawsuits after suffering complications from transvaginal mesh after suffering from debilitating pain that interfered with their daily lives. This caused many women to end up with medical bills and lost wages. It also led to a great deal of pain and suffering.
The FDA has estimated that as many as 50% of all women will experience some form of pelvic organ prolapse during their lifetime. Of these, only 2% will experience severe symptoms.
If you are one of the women who experiences complications, you do not have to suffer alone. An attorney can give you information about filing a lawsuit to help you recover your damages.