Transvaginal mesh implants, also called pelvic mesh implants, have been at the center of a lawsuit firestorm, with approximately 70,000 lawsuits filed in a multi-district litigation (MDL) case in the Southern District of West Virginia federal court and as much as $100 million awarded in some lawsuits.
With all the focus on the legal aspects of the transvaginal mesh cases, many wonder precisely what these medical implants are used to treat.
Female genital prolapse, also known as pelvic organ prolapse, is one of the most common conditions that’s treated using transvaginal mesh implants.
What is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when a woman’s organs and vaginal wall tissues “collapse” and protrude into the vaginal canal.
This condition can arise as a result of several different situations and health conditions including childbirth, intense muscle strain or lifting, and even heredity. Women who’ve undergone a hysterectomy are sometimes more likely to experience this condition.
There exists several varieties of pelvic organ prolapse, including:
- Cystocele, which occurs when the bladder prolapses into the vagina.
- Enterocele, which occurs when the small intestine prolapses into the vagina.
- Rectocele, which occurs when the rectum prolapses into the vagina.
- Urethrocele, which occurs when the urethra prolapses into the vagina.
- Vaginal Vault Prolapse, which occurs when the top or “roof” of the vagina prolapses.
- Uterine Prolapse, which occurs when the uterus prolapses into the vagina.
Pelvic organ prolapse can result in many different complications, including chronic pain, pain during intercourse, urinary complications, bowel complications, organ damage, and beyond.
Transvaginal Mesh to Treat Pelvic Organ Prolapse
There are several treatments for pelvic organ prolapse; transvaginal mesh implants are just one treatment which is typically utilized for the most serious cases. Other measures that are typically attempted prior to surgery include dietary change, physical therapy, lifestyle changes and kegel exercises.
Transvaginal mesh is implanted in some of the more severe cases of this condition, when other measures are ineffective. The mesh is used in a manner that’s similar to other forms of hernia mesh. The mesh patch is applied in the area that’s herniated, retaining the organs in a more normal, anatomically correct position.
Unfortunately, many women have experienced complications from transvaginal mesh implants, ranging from chronic pain and repeated infections, to organ damage, internal bleeding, nerve damage, bowel perforations and even death in a few cases.
Which Transvaginal Mesh Manufacturers are Involved in Lawsuits?
There are currently 7 different transvaginal mesh manufacturers who are involved in litigation as part of the MDL proceedings in West Virginia federal court. These manufacturers are Coloplast, Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon, Boston Scientific Corp., American Medical Systems, Cook, Neomedic and C.R. Bard.
It’s alleged that these manufacturers were negligent, performing insufficient testing (including in live human subjects), distributing “deceptive” marketing materials and failing to properly inform physicians and patients alike about the real dangers and risks associated with their implants. Some implants have also been found to be poorly designed and some have been recalled due to defects such as broken metal components.
If you’ve suffered an injury or complication as a result of a transvaginal mesh implant, bladder sling implant, pelvic mesh or pelvic sling device, there is still time to take action. But it’s important to note that the law limits the amount of time you have to take action in a personal injury case.
The Meldofsky Law Firm is currently accepting new clients who have suffered physical injury, financial losses and emotional trauma as a result of complications from transvaginal mesh implants or a similar device. Contact the Meldofsky Law Firm by phone at 877-274-8672.