Transvaginal mesh is a medical device used to treat stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse in women. It was originally seen as an improvement over conventional surgery to treat the conditions, because the method to place it is minimally invasive and requires small incision. Over time it was found that severe transvaginal mesh complications were not uncommon and they can be irreversible.
What is Transvaginal Mesh?
Transvaginal mesh is surgical mesh that is inserted in a woman’s body, transvaginally, to deal with SUI and POP. It’s occasionally known as a bladder sling. The mesh is used to support internal organs when the pelvic floor is weak as a consequence of obesity, childbirth or a different cause.
In transvaginal placement, the mesh is inserted through an incision in the vaginal wall. It can be placed abdominally instead. The transvaginal procedure was thought to be an improvement because it is less invasive.
Pelvic Floor Disorders
SUI is a condition where the muscles that support the bladder or urethra are feeble, causing women to experience urine leakage, even from very minor activity such as sneezing or laughing. In POP, the tissues that hold the pelvic organs in position are stretched or weak, allowing one of more organs, such as the bladder or small intestine, to protrude into the vagina.
Transvaginal Mesh Injuries
Transvaginal mesh complications can include:
- Erosion of the mesh into the vagina
- Vaginal scarring
- Vaginal shrinkage, due to scar tissue
- Pelvic pain
- Vaginal fistulas
- Organ perforation
- Severe pain during intercourse
- Neuromuscular problems
- Emotional problems
- Recurrence of POP or SUI
Treatment for transvaginal mesh complications includes surgery to remove the mesh, frequently multiple surgeries. Nevertheless, it’s not always possible to completely remove the mesh since it’s designed to be permanent and, over time it becomes incorporated with the body’s tissues. Transvaginal mesh injuries can be irreversible. The longer the mesh is in place, the more difficult it is to remove.
The FDA and Transvaginal Mesh
In 2008, the FDA reported that transvaginal mesh complications were uncommon. In 2011, it revised its stance, saying that complications weren’t uncommon. Later that year it convened and advisory panel to gather recommendations on transvaginal mesh for POP.
The FDA issued post market study orders to numerous manufacturers of transvaginal mesh for POP and SUI repair, in 2012. In January 2016, the FDA gave manufacturers of existing transvaginal mesh for POP 30 months submit a premarket approval (PMA) to address safety concerns.
If you have concerns about transvaginal mesh or believe you have been harmed, call us toll-free at 1-800-HURT-NOW or email us. We will help you find answers to your questions and we can help you find an attorney who represents victims injured by transvaginal mesh.