Vaginal Mesh Causing Serious Complications for Women
In October 2008, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned healthcare professionals about serious complications associated with vaginal mesh. At that time, it had received over 1,000 reports from manufacturers about complications.
Two years earlier, the Mentor ObTape vaginal mesh, or “bladder sling” as it was also called, was removed from the market after studies found a high rate of vaginal extrusion in women who had been treated with it. (In vaginal extrusion, the tape rubs on the top of the vaginal wall until it penetrates or causes major irritation.) Since that time, vaginal mesh lawsuits against several different manufacturers have been filed across the United States.
Vaginal Mesh Complications Increase
On July 13, 2011, the FDA issued an updated safety communication on vaginal mesh, warning healthcare providers that serious complications associated with vaginal mesh are not rare—a change from what they had said in 2008. Having received reports of nearly 3,000 additional adverse events between 2008 and 2010, the agency said it was no longer clear that vaginal mesh repair for pelvic organ prolapse (POP) was more effective than other traditional methods of repair.
What is Vaginal Mesh?
Often referred to as a “hammock” or a “sling,” vaginal mesh is a surgical mesh reinforcement used to treat POP and stress urinary incontinence (SUI) in women. These conditions occur when, as a result of age, childbirth, hysterectomy, or menopause, a woman’s pelvic muscles stretch and weaken to the point where they can no longer completely support nearby organs. As the muscles lose their retaining power, the bladder, urethra, bowel, and even uterus can “drop” downward, bulging into the vagina.
Some women can live with the condition, but others experience symptoms like pressure, pain, SUI, constipation, and sexual problems. Vaginal mesh repair is one of several surgical options. During the procedure, the surgeon uses a surgical mesh to help reinforce the vaginal wall and provide an additional supporting layer to organs like the bladder or urethra. Many women experience symptom improvement with the device, but many others experience vaginal mesh complications like pain, infection, bleeding, extrusion, and urinary problems.
Manufacturers Involved in Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits
So far, several major vaginal mesh manufacturers have come under fire in vaginal mesh lawsuits. Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has reportedly settled several vaginal mesh lawsuits over the discontinued Mentor ObTape. They are also involved in vaginal mesh lawsuits over Gynecare Prolift vaginal mesh products. Vaginal mesh lawyers claim J&J failed to adequately warn physicians and patients about the serious risks associated with these products, including erosion and infection.
C. R. Bard, manufacturer of Bard Avaulta surgical mesh, is involved in similar vaginal mesh lawsuits, with doctors, patients, and vaginal mesh lawyers inclined to believe that the mesh is defective. The design of this vaginal mesh allegedly inhibits the surrounding tissues from receiving nutrients and oxygen, which can slow healing and lead to infection.
Do You Need a Vaginal Mesh Lawyer?
If you’ve suffered from vaginal mesh complications, a vaginal mesh lawyer can help you determine if you have a legal claim to compensation for your medical expenses, pain, and suffering. Dedicated to upholding women’s rights, Chaffin Luhana LLP is happy to provide a free, confidential case evaluation at 1-888-480-1123.