Vaginal Mesh Erosion
In the time since medical implants using transvaginal mesh implants for urogynecologic surgery were introduced in the 1990s, and touted as a permanent solution to pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence the danger of pelvic mesh erosion has come to the attention of the FDA and the public. Since 2008, the FDA has issued two warnings of the dangers of the mesh implants but has not forced a recall.
The implants are medical devices that are inserted through the vagina to create a sling or hammock to support pelvic organs that have prolapsed, or fallen into the vagina because of weakness of the pelvic floor muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The most serious and, unfortunately, the most frequent of the complications reported involve erosion of the synthetic mesh into the surrounding tissues and perforation of the organs in the pelvic cavity. Mesh erosion is also called mesh extrusion.
The mesh material used to create a supportive sling is usually fabricated from tough synthetic materials. The rough edges of these materials can cut into the soft tissues of the vagina, bladder, or rectum and cause a variety of serious problems, including severe pelvic pain, inability to have sexual intercourse, recurrence of urinary incontinence or urine retention, constipation or fecal incontinence, bleeding, organ perforation, fistulas, infection, scarring, neuromuscular problems, emotional and psychological problems, and in some cases, death. Mesh erosion into the vagina not only causes pain to the woman, but may also hurt the man when intercourse is attempted.
Treatment of Mesh Erosion
Unfortunately, when the mesh erodes into soft tissue, the tissue grows around it, making it extremely difficult and sometimes impossible to remove. Removal usually requires several surgical procedures, and in many cases some remnants still remain behind.
Besides attempting to remove the mesh, treatment will depend on the location of the erosion and the symptoms it is causing.
When erosion into the vagina causes dyspareunia, or painful sex, in addition to treating any infection with antibiotics, trimming the extruding mesh, using lubricants and/or estrogen creams, and sex therapy may provide some relief.
When the erosion has perforated the bladder, treatment will depend on the location and severity of the perforation. Some bladder perforations can be treated with catheterization, whereas others always require surgical repair.
When the mesh erodes into the vagina and rectum forming a fistula, it must be treated surgically in most women. Fecal diversion to a stoma is occasionally required in women who have a health condition that precludes reconstructive surgery.
Vaginal Mesh Erosion Lawsuits
Women whose physical and mental health, relationships, and other aspects of life have deteriorated because of a surgical mesh implant have recourse against the manufacturers who pushed the product onto the market with insufficient testing to determine if it was safe for use in the pelvic area. The McDonald Law Firm and Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison, P.C. are fighting on behalf of many women across the United States who have suffered pelvic mesh erosion or other life-altering complications of transvaginal mesh implants to get them the compensation they need and deserve. We believe the device manufacturers must be held accountable for their negligence in distributing these dangerous products and encouraging doctors to use a product that has never been shown to be safe for pelvic use.
If you are one of the thousands of victims of transvaginal mesh implantation complications, call us today at (877) 803-2897. Do it for yourself and for the other victims of untested medical devices who are suffering and who will suffer in the future from corporate negligence and greed.