We are now handling transvaginal mesh cases.
Thousands of women have been injured due to the surgical insertion of a transvaginal mesh.
A mesh is a plastic device inserted into the body to support a weak wall. In transvaginal mesh cases, a surgical mesh is inserted in the vagina to support a weakened area.
Prior to the development of transvaginal mesh, surgical mesh had been used with success in hernia surgery.
I. The Use of Transvaginal Mesh
In essence, mesh is used to hold-up and support organs in the pelvic region which have moved or sunk due to child-bearing and aging.
Transvaginal mesh is supposed to help the following problems:
- Pelvic Organ Prolapse (“POP”). Where the vaginal wall becomes weak, either the bladder or urethra may sink into the vagina. As a result a woman may not be able to empty her bladder completely, she may leak urine, and she may suffer from increased bladder infections. (The bladder condition is called cystecele, and the urethra condition is known as urethrocele.) There is another condition, rectocele where the lower intestine bulges into the vagina.
- Stress Urinary incontinence (“SUI”). The hallmark of stress urinary incontinence is leakage of urine while coughing, laughing, or sneezing. This condition may exist because of pelvic organ prolapse. SUI should not be confused with other urinary conditions, such as urge incontinence, overactive bladder, and overflow incontinence.
II. The Danger of Transvaginal Mesh
The main problem is that the mesh may fail to integrate with the vagina. This “erosion” can result in serious inflammation which breaks-down the surrounding tissue.
The use of mesh is unsafe for a number of reasons. First, a woman’s pelvic area has too much movement for the safe integration of the mesh. In comparison, mesh has been used with success in other parts of the body where there is not as much movement and twisting. Also, the vagina wall is very sensitive and does not adapt to receiving the mesh.
“Erosion” of the mesh will cause:
- tremendous pain and discomfort;
- scarring, including the movement of the mesh outside the vagina;
- severe infections;
- damage to the other organs, such as the bladder and intestine; and
- an inability to engage in sexual intercourse.
The only treatment is surgery to remove the mesh. But surgery may be unsuccessful because part or all of the mesh has integrated with the surrounding tissue. Therefore, surgical removal can cause further damage.
Furthermore, it appears that the mesh does not work. The FDA has stated that recurrence of POP and SUI is a complication of the surgery.
On July 13, 2011, the FDA issued an alert stating that complications are not rare from the use of transvaginal mesh.
III. The Manufacturers
These are the biggest manufacturers:
- C.R. Bard;
- Ethicon (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson);
- American Medical Systems; and
- Boston Scientific.
III. What You Need to Do
You should schedule an immediate consultation with an attorney so that work can begin. There is a great deal of medical work-up that must be done before a suit is filed.
The major manufacturers are having cases consolidated for joint discovery. For example, a judge in the New Jersey Superior Court is controlling the discovery of cases involving Ethicon mesh. Therefore, there will be a coordinated and orderly scheduling of discovery and trial.
Please feel free to contact me for a free consultation at either 800-581-1434 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark E. Seitelman, 1/17/12, www.seitelman.com.