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The Uses and Dangers of Transvaginal Mesh

The use transvaginal mesh to correct pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence comes with many risks. The FDA has known about these risks for years but has refused to recall the devices. Thousands of women receive surgical mesh implants for difficult health problems, and many of them suffer the consequences.

Pelvic organ prolapse can occur when the muscles of the vagina weaken with age and stress. This causes the organs of the pelvis, including the bladder and uterus, to bulge into the vagina. Surgical mesh, made of porous synthetic or biologic material, is implanted into the vaginal wall at the base of the pelvis to repair organ prolapse and treat incontinence.

However, this mesh has serious potential risks. Namely, the rough edges of the mesh can cut through the vaginal tissue and damage nearby organs. This is referred to as transvaginal mesh erosion. In addition to urinary problems and sexual dysfunction, this can cause bleeding, serious pain and organ damage.

Another potential risk of these devices is that the mesh can shrink once implanted. The shrinking of the mesh material, called contraction, can cause serious pain and the inability to have sex.

Finally, there is no guarantee that mesh will prevent the prolapse it’s intended to help. In many cases it doesn’t.

The FDA has known about these issues for some time and only recently began requiring mesh manufacturers to provide three-year studies on their products’ effects. The FDA also admitted, contrary to previous statements, that complications with transvaginal mesh are “not rare”.

Nonetheless, patients may not understand the true risks. There are indications that mesh manufacturers tested the devices for other uses (like hernias) and never truly tested them in the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse.

The FDA strongly urges surgeons to discuss all options with patients, including the fact that transvaginal mesh could be more dangerous than other treatment options and might not work at all.

Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C.

If you have received a transvaginal mesh implant and are experiencing negative effects as a result, you could be entitled to compensation. The New York and New Jersey personal injury lawyers of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., are working with patients who have undergone this procedure and are now fighting the mesh manufacturers for justice. Contact our offices today at 1-800-LAW-2000 for a consultation.