Transvaginal Mesh Side Effects

In the 1990s, surgical mesh, which is a flexible netting of fine wire that had long been used to repair abdominal hernias, quickly became the favored way to repair pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and urinary incontinence. The FDA approved surgical mesh to repair stress urinary incontinence (SUI) in 1996 and allowed the first transvaginal mesh specifically to repair POP in 2012. .

Transvaginal means “passing through or performed via the vagina.” The repair involved creating a sling of the mesh and implanting it into the vagina, and in some cases adding strength to the vaginal wall. It is a medical device, although at times it is defective.

FDA Warns Public of TVM Side Effects

As successful as these repairs seemed at first, before long, there were indications of serious and lasting problems. The FDA began receiving reports from 2008 to 2010 of complications with the surgeries and in the post-surgery period. Seven deaths from transvaginal mesh surgery were also reported.

As a consequence, in July 2011 the FDA posted a warning to all involved women, informing that transvaginal mesh may cause more problems than any other treatment for prolapse. Many women who had the transvaginal mesh procedure reported prolonged problems, including:

  • continued SUI and difficulty urinating
  • complications such as pain during normal activities including sex
  • erosion of the mesh into the bladder or bowel
  • infection or irritation in the area
  • pelvis or blood vessel injury, and
  • perforation of the bowel or blood vessels (in rare cases)
  • Erosion through vaginal epithelium (the connective ligaments that hold the organ in place);
  • Urinary problems – including painful urination and incontinence – or involuntary urination;
  • General lower body pain;
  • Recurrence of prolapse – pelvic organs falling out of place;
  • General decrease of quality of life due to vaginal scarring, discomfort, and pain, including acute dyspareunia (painful sexual intercourse).

Speak with a Transvaginal Mesh lawyer if you have experienced these symptoms and would like to seek compensation.

Consequences of TVM Side-Effects

In many instances, more than one surgery was required to repair the damage and, in some cases, it was reported that even the repairs did not return patients to their full quality of life. A main reason for the difficulty with the surgery is that after a period of time, tissues grow in and around the implanted mesh, and not every surgeon is skilled at removing them all without damaging other areas; hence, the multiple operations.

A further FDA report in 2011 noted deaths from the repair surgeries and that complications from mesh products were not rare. The following year an FDA report required a three-year study of transvaginal mesh by its manufacturers to ascertain any side effects of the product.

As a result of the FDA reports and the transvaginal mesh complaints and repairs, thousands of lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers. In 2012, Ethicon, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary in New Jersey, announced stoppage of most of its mesh products.

Side-Effects Lead to TVM Lawsuits

Treatment with transvaginal mesh may have helped thousands of women, but for many others, the result is sometimes painful and irreversible harm.

If you are a woman who has been treated with transvaginal mesh and you are experiencing any urinary, bowel, or other complications, you should consider exploring a lawsuit to get you compensation for the harm you have suffered.

Already, more than 10,000 such lawsuits have been filed against the mesh manufacturers. In what has been called a landmark case, a California woman has been awarded more than $5 million for complications she suffered after a mesh implant.

If you are experiencing painful complications as a result of your transvaginal mesh device, you should contact your physician as soon as possible. Your second call should be to a seasoned transvaginal mesh lawyer.