You went to the doctor for help and followed his or her advice. You thought the recommended surgery would treat your condition, and for a while maybe it helped. Now you have unsettling symptoms, and you’re wondering if you might be experiencing transvaginal mesh complications. When women sit down with us for a free, confidential consultation, here are the questions they and their loved ones ask most often.
What is Transvaginal Mesh?
Transvaginal mesh is a medical device physicians implant to strengthen a weakened vaginal wall, urethra or bladder. It’s a net-like substance similar to what doctors use to repair herneas or other prolapses.
Why Do Women Get Transvaginal Mesh Implants?
UCLA Health says Pelvic Organ Prolapse is one of the most common reasons women have surgery. Childbirth and aging both put stress on the pelvic floor. As the uterus or bladder moves out of its original position, it can cause an uncomfortable feeling of bulging or pressure in areas no woman wants to feel anything of the sort.
Giving birth and getting older can also cause stress urinary incontinence. Weakened, stretched, strained muscles aren’t strong enough to keep urine from leaking when the individual sneezes, laughs or moves suddenly.
Physicians address both stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse in a number of ways. Your doctor might have chosen to use transvaginal mesh to reinforce weakened muscles.
What Causes Transvaginal Mesh Complications?
Transvaginal mesh manufacturers produced a wide range of synthetic and biologic mesh and marketed pre-packaged products and kits. It was supposed to be a safe and easy solution, but for thousands of women, that wasn’t the case.
Sometimes mesh shrinks and becomes encased in scar tissue. In other cases, mesh erodes into surrounding areas. UCLA professor of urology and pelvic reconstruction Shlomo Raz also describes a “lupus-type” reaction where the body rejects the mesh and has an ongoing immunological response.
What Are the Symptoms of Transvaginal Mesh Complications?
Worldwide, between three and four million women have chosen vaginal mesh implants for stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Around five percent of those experience complications. Some of the symptoms they report are as follows:
- Organ perforation
- Urinary tract infection
- Other bladder symptoms like trouble urinating, frequent urinating or blood in urine
- Infection where the mesh is implanted
- Vaginal pain, abnormal bleeding or discharge, painful intercourse
- Scar tissue development
- Vaginal shrinkage that coincides with mesh shrinkage
- Nerve damage
- Chronic pain or swelling in the pelvis or abdomen
In 2011, the Food and Drug Administration released a report suggesting that transvaginal mesh may not be worth the risk. Their communication said the most frequent problems were infection, pain, urinary problems, scarring and a recurrence of the prolapse or incontinence that prompted surgery in the first place.
When Does Transvaginal Mesh Require Surgical Removal?
If you experience transvaginal mesh complications, your only option may be surgery to remove it. Usually, that’s a complicated procedure requiring experienced surgeons. During surgery, doctors remove as much of the mesh as they can and repair the surrounding area. Sometimes women need additional surgeries to repair the original issue.
Transvaginal mesh is meant to be permanent. If you’re experiencing symptoms, talk to your doctor about your best options.
Should I File a Claim For My Transvaginal Mesh Complication?
So far more than 100,000 women have filed lawsuits alleging their transvaginal mesh caused complications. One of the largest settlements was $830 million for 20,000 cases. Many are still pending.
If you’re experiencing transvaginal mesh complications, you deserve compensation for what you’re going through. Schedule your free, no-obligation and completely confidential consultation today.