Thousands of recipients of transvaginal mesh implants have reported an array of dangerous complications and injuries, some of which have resulted in vaginal mesh revision surgery. In many cases, more than one revision surgery was needed to remove failing mesh and, even after several procedures, full correction was not possible.
Transvaginal mesh devices are used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. The synthetic mesh devices have been associated with internal organ damage and other serious injuries that require revision surgery to remove the defective mesh. Complications arising from initial mesh implant surgery that could lead to the need for vaginal mesh revision surgery may include:
- Mesh erosion and extrusion
- Blood vessel injury, severe hemorrhage
- Bowel injuries or perforation
- Nerve injury
- Urethra obstruction
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) indicated that it received close to 3,000 adverse event reports associated with transvaginal mesh from 2008 to 2010. Although not every injury required vaginal mesh revision surgery, others required no less than three corrective surgeries.
Vaginal Mesh Revision Surgery Mounting
Transvaginal mesh implants received FDA approval in the 1990s. These devices are meant to be transvaginally (through the vagina) implanted in surgeries to correct pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Pelvic organ prolapse tends to occur with age following childbirth, hysterectomy or menopause and involves weakened pelvic floor muscles that allow the uterus, bladder, bowels, and other organs to shift into the vagina. Without treatment, pelvic prolapse can lead to significant pain and other serious medical issues. Stress urinary incontinence is caused by weakened bladder muscles, and results in urine leakage. Mesh used in incontinence surgery is known as a bladder sling.
Before the introduction of transvaginal mesh, surgery to repair both conditions involved tightening the ligaments and muscles. However, surgical mesh was believed to offer a quicker and easier solution and prompted hundreds of thousands of surgeries—close to 300,000 in 2010, alone—in the United States. Sadly, recent research reveals that the polypropylene mesh used in the devices can cut through vaginal walls, which can also lead to nearby organ damage; abscesses; pain; bleeding; sexual dysfunction, including pain during intercourse; and recurring prolapse and incontinence. The mesh may also shrink following surgery, which can cause serious problems including pain and sexual dysfunction.
Another serious reaction that may require vaginal mesh revision surgery is erosion and extrusion, in which mesh pieces become exposed through the vaginal skin, either the result of surgical technique, the size and style of the mesh, or placement of the mesh too near the bladder. Delayed erosion and extrusion may occur when the body rejects less porous vaginal mesh components and the mesh becomes improperly embedded. This adverse reaction may also lead to vaginal mesh revision surgery.
Vaginal mesh revision surgery involves removing the mesh and surrounding tissue and stitching the area. This is an intense, painful, and complex process that is rarely completed in one surgery and usually never fully resolved. Even after multiple vaginal mesh revision surgeries, small pieces of mesh may remain embedded in nearby tissue and organs and complete removal may never be possible.
Contact a Vaginal Mesh Revision Surgery Attorney Today
American Medical Systems, Inc., Boston Scientific Corp., C.R. Bard, Inc. Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon, Inc. unit, and other manufacturers of transvaginal mesh are facing a growing number of lawsuits filed on behalf of women who underwent vaginal mesh revision surgery due to serious complications. If you or a woman you love were also forced to undergo surgery to remove failing vaginal mesh, you might be eligible to file a similar lawsuit. To learn more and to begin the process of filing your claim, please contact the attorneys at Bernstein Liebhard LLP by calling 1-888-217-3033 today.