Drugs & Medical Devices Law
Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits
Women who have suffered from stress urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse might have a flexible mesh implant placed along the vaginal wall to help improve the strength of the wall. The vaginal wall is most often damaged by childbirth, but the damage can also be caused by a variety of other conditions.
In many cases, a woman with a condition that weakens the vaginal wall won't need any surgical interventions. In some cases, the woman might have to do muscle exercises to strengthen the area. When those don't work or when the effects of the vaginal wall weakness are life altering, a surgery might be done. During the surgery, the surgeon can either strengthen the area by using a woman's surrounding tissues or the surgeon can implant a transvaginal mesh device.
While the transvaginal mesh (TVM) was initially heralded as a suitable option to help women with a weakened pelvic wall, it has since come under scrutiny. Back in 2008, the United States Food and Drug Administration issued a warning against these devices. The FDA noted that complications from the transvaginal mesh implant weren't rare.
The effects of complications vary greatly. Most often, the transvaginal mesh begins to erode. This can lead to a recurrence of the symptoms caused by the vaginal wall weakening. These symptoms include urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, and painful intercourse. The incontinence can occur at any time, but most commonly occurs when the woman laughs, sneezes, coughs, or exercises. In some cases, the condition can cause women to have difficulty defecating, which might require pressure to be placed on the perineum during bowel movements.
When the transvaginal mesh erodes, shards of it can come off. Because the transvaginal mesh is intertwined with tissues because of normal tissue growth in the area, an eroded transvaginal mesh, especially one that has begun to break apart, can be difficult to remove. Additionally, the mesh shards can have sharp edges that destroy tissue they come into contact with. This means that nearby organs might be damaged. In severe cases, internal bleeding is possible. Internal bleeding can lead to death if it is severe enough or if it isn't caught and treated quickly.
Transvaginal mesh implants that have failed or eroded can do considerable damage to a woman's body. That damage can often lead to extreme pain, multiple or lengthy hospital stays, considerable medical bills, and long-term recovery. A woman's quality of life can be affected, and her family can suffer. All of those reasons are what drive some women who have been injured by transvaginal mesh implants to seek compensation from the manufacturer of the product.
Product liability cases involving defective medical devices can be difficult to pursue. Anyone who has been injured by transvaginal mesh should seek the assistance of a knowledgeable legal professional who can help them decide how to pursue claims. Choosing between a private lawsuit and joining a class action lawsuit is one of the first choices a woman injured by transvaginal mesh will have to make.