Our injury lawyers have previously discussed recent FDA warnings against the use of transvaginal surgical mesh. This article expands on complications from surgical mesh, as well as previous FDA warnings.
Surgical mesh is an implantable medical device, much like an artificial hip or heart valve. They are commonly used to treat pelvic organ prolapse, a rare but serious complication of difficult childbirths. The condition occurs when the muscles which support the pelvic organs become stretched or weakened, and fall or slip out of position.
The condition can vary in severity. With milder forms of prolapse, physical therapy or medication can be used to treat and even correct the problem. But if these treatments fail, surgery may be required. That is where surgical meshes have entered the picture.
The number of surgeries using surgical meshes gradually increased. By 2003, about 200,000 prolapse surgeries were being performed in the U.S. each year, and almost all involved the implantation of surgical mesh.
But as the use of surgical meshes has increased, so to has the number of women who have suffered from severe complications, including:
- perforation of the bowel
- perforation of the bladder
- pain, especially during intercourse
- vaginal shrinkage
- erosion through the vaginal epithelium
- vaginal scarring
Some victims who suffer these complications must endure additional treatments, blood transfusions, and even additional surgeries. These surgeries can correct the complications in some cases, but not all. And once the mesh is installed, it usually cannot be removed – the victim is stuck with the mesh, whatever follows.
Dating back to October of 2008, the FDA issued a warning that surgical meshes could pose a potential danger. This was only after the agency received over a thousand reports of complications from these products. And the agency has still not recalled or banned the products, however, and they continue to be used.
Left without help from the government, women injured by surgical mesh have turned to the courts. Since 2008, many women ave filed civil actions against mesh manufacturers (such as C.R. Bard, the industry leader). For federal cases, there is now a federal multi-district litigation pending.
If you had surgery for pelvic prolapse, and had surgical mesh implanted, you may have believed that your problems were unique. This is simply not the case: you are far from alone. Talk to an experienced Chicago injury attorney at Passen & Powell about your complications – he or she can help you decide whether to take legal action to recover for your injuries and pain. For a free consultation with one of our top-rated attorneys, call us at (312) 527-4500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.