FAQs: Transvaginal Mesh Injuries

Below are some frequently asked questions and answers. Or, go back to learn more about how a lawyer can help if you’ve suffered an injury from a transvaginal mesh device.

What is Transvaginal Mesh?

Transvaginal mesh is a synthetic mesh material that is designed to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or stress urinary incontinence (SUI). It is surgically implanted to support weakened pelvic floor muscles. It may also be referred to as vaginal mesh, pelvic mesh, or a pelvic sling.

What is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) occurs when the muscles and ligaments that hold the pelvic organs in place become stretched and/or weakened, allowing pelvic organs to slip out of place. POP is also known as pelvic floor disorder. It is commonly found in women who have borne several children, though they are not the only people to suffer in this way.

Some women who have undergone certain pelvic surgeries, including hysterectomies, have been known to develop POP. Some of these women do not display acute symptoms, while others experience extremely painful side effects, including debilitating pain.

What is Stress Urinary Incontinence?

Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) is the involuntary loss of urine during physical activity. Some SUI sufferers may lose control of their bladder from laughing, sneezing, coughing, or exercising. Like POP, SUI mostly affects women who have experienced childbirth or some other condition or trauma that has weakened their pelvic floor muscles.

About 50 percent of women who suffer from urinary incontinence report symptoms of stress incontinence, according to the US National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health.

What are Symptoms of TVM Failure?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports the most commonly reported vaginal mesh complications are:

  • Erosion of the mesh through vaginal tissue
  • Infection
  • Pain
  • Urinary problems
  • Recurrence of prolapse and/or incontinence

According to the agency, surgery to the remove the mesh does not always improve the complications. This is because as the device can degrade and portions of it can become embedded in the body’s tissues. This makes complete removal nearly impossible for many women who have suffered severe complications related to their TVM implants.

Who are the Product Manufacturers of TVM?

Though nearly everyone has removed their products from the market, there are several manufacturers that are still facing personal injury claims. These include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • American Medical Systems, Inc.
  • Boston Scientific
  • C.R. Bard, Inc.
  • Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon division.

What Damages Might I Recover Related to TVM Injury?

According to an alert issued by the FDA in July 2011, “Removal of [vaginal] mesh due to complications arising from mesh degradation may involve multiple surgeries and significantly impair the patient’s quality of life. Complete removal of mesh may not be possible and may not result in complete resolution of complications, including pain.”

Sadly, the pain and disability endured by many women who suffer TVM-related injuries is often much worse than the condition that necessitated their original surgery.

Many have had to undergo numerous corrective surgeries and have suffered from time missed from work, debilitating pain, and loss of consortium, or spousal relations.

Should I Sue my Doctor?

The vast majority of doctors who used TVM implants operated in good faith and believed the products had been thoroughly reviewed by the FDA and were safe.

That is why all current TVM lawsuits allege the devices were defectively manufactured, and that the companies marketing the products failed to warn the public, and the medical community (which includes your doctor), about the significant risks involved. Therefore it is the manufacturers who are the defendants in vaginal mesh claims, not the physicians.

What If My TVM Implant Hasn’t Been Recalled By the FDA?

You may still file a TVM lawsuit, even in the absence of a transvaginal mesh recall. In fact, no vaginal mesh recall has been implemented since the FDA issued warnings about the devices in 2008 and 2011. Though the FDA is now considering a reclassification of the devices.

All the primary manufacturers of the devices are currently defendants in the thousands of transvaginal mesh lawsuits that have been filed throughout the US. All of these civil complaints cite injuries that were allegedly caused by surgical mesh that was used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.

What Should I Look For in a TVM Lawyer?

It is important to seek a TVM with a proven track record of successfully advocating for the compensation rights of victims of defective medical products. A well-qualified and dedicated TVM attorney will be among those who have led the battle against the manufacturers of defective transvaginal mesh products, and he or she will sincerely understand the sensitive nature of TVM cases. Our firm can help you in your search for a qualified lawyer.

How Much Compensation Might I Receive?

That’s based on a number of factors that an attorney can explain to you during your initial, no-cost consultation. In general, compensatory damages are losses that are directly related to an injury, such as medical bills, pain and suffering, permanent disability, emotional distress, lost wages, a diminished quality of life, and loss of consortium.

Punitive damages are sometimes awarded in cases in which the defendant is found guilty of intentional misconduct and gross negligence.

However, the majority of plaintiff TVM claims have been settled through out-of-court negotiations. Your attorney will help you decide if a settlement is a good option, sparing you the stress of a trial, or if your claim should be fought for in court.