Often, medical devices that were meant to be a boon to women’s health cause much distress. For instance, the complications regarding the surgical mesh that gets used for transvaginal POP (Pelvic Organ Prolapse) repair comprise vaginal mesh erosion, organ perforation, and pain.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) had already reclassified the pelvic mesh as a high-risk medical device that has its own set of complications. Back in 2019, the FDA urged all manufacturers to halt selling the POP mesh because its efficiency and safety were yet to be proven. Companies such as C.R. Bard, Boston Scientific, and Johnson & Johnson could be held responsible for defects in design.
When it comes to device issues, Dr. Andrew I. Brill asserted that vaginal mesh erosion is an acute problem, followed by infection and pain. Women can also suffer from urethral burning and hip pain.
In this article, we will delve into problems associated with the vaginal mesh implant and how women can ask for legal help to cover the damages they have endured.
Understanding the Transvaginal Mesh Implant
Simply put, transvaginal meshes, also called urogynaecological meshes, are used for treating stress urinary incontinence. It’s a condition where a woman leaks from her bladder while coughing, sneezing, jumping, and running. It’s a common condition for women who’ve experienced childbirth and menopause. To date, close to 20% of women are affected by this issue, which is why they opt for vaginal meshes.
Additionally, these meshes are also used to treat pelvic organ prolapse in women. This takes place when any pelvic organ, like the uterus, rectum, or bladder, sags and starts to move away from its place. It often takes place when the pelvic floor muscles, tissue, and ligaments that hold organs get damaged or weak.
The Standard Issues with a Vaginal Mesh
By January 2019, MAUDE (Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience) had received close to 139,000 negative event reports linked to gynecological mesh implants. And out of these reports, nearly 69,000 included POP mesh. According to the information provided by Madris Tomes, a former FDA consultant and CEO of Device Events, 393 patients died due to device defects.
The mesh removal process is called revision surgery. At times, this is the only solution to any problem arising from the vaginal mesh implant. But the challenge is that there are times when this removal isn’t possible. Some doctors think that mesh removal is much like cutting out gum from hair.
There are times when women require multiple surgeries with no assurance that the surgeon can successfully remove the mesh. As a result, a few of the mesh complications include vaginal scarring, bleeding, infection, pain, urinary issues, and various other neuro-muscular issues.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from any of these complications, they can file a vaginal mesh lawsuit and get compensated for their pain and suffering. By filing a complaint, a woman doesn’t just secure her chances of getting the justice she deserves but also amplifies awareness about the hazards of this medical device.
There is hope, as seven vaginal mesh manufacturers have paid close to $8 billion to more than 100,000 women.
The Complications of Vaginal Mesh Erosion
Mesh erosion through the vagina, which is also termed protrusion, extrusion, or exposure, is a common issue while using surgical mesh for transvaginal POP repair. It happens when the mesh completely erodes through the pelvic tissues and is visible. This mishap can be highly painful and can result in dyspareunia.
The erosion can adversely affect other organs apart from the vagina. For instance, urinary tract erosion can result in severe pain and periodic infections. The erosion in the rectum or bladder can lead to abnormal connections, called fistulas. A few other complications include vaginal discharge and abscesses.
Some doctors think inexperienced surgeons are the cause of erosion. According to a study done by Illston and contemporaries, these complications affected women who got Prolift mesh implanted by expert surgeons. 23 out of 160 women who took part in the survey reported mesh exposure.
The other reason for mesh erosion to be a severe challenge is that the occurrence rate has been going up over time. For instance, Thierry Vancaillie and his colleagues conducted a study where the erosion rate was 17% in a year. Within seven years, the rate increased to 42%.
Hence, TruLaw states that women who have faced mesh erosion and other complications shouldn’t hesitate to opt for a legal recourse. Getting in touch with a lawyer is necessary to walk the legal path seamlessly without any hassles. A lawyer will delve deep into the matter, ask for the necessary evidence, and create a solid case so that the victim gets the verdict they deserve.
Since the challenges linked to vaginal mesh are increasing by the day and women are filing lawsuits across the globe, it’s necessary to find a better solution. It is essential to find alternative treatment options for pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary continence. Some of the better options include pelvic muscle training, nerve stimulation, electrical stimulation, medicine, and lifestyle changes.
However, women who have already been facing vaginal mesh implant complications should first ask for medical aid. Once they have been adequately treated, they should use all the medical evidence to file a legal complaint and get covered for their pain and suffering.