According to the FDA, mesh erosion is the most common mesh-related complication that transvaginal mesh implant patients suffer. For thousands of patients who receive a vaginal sling implant to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or stress urinary incontinence (SUI), the implant slowly erodes through the vaginal wall causing pain, infection, and bleeding. The FDA warns that this type of complication is not rare, and that a transvaginal mesh implant is a high-risk device that has not been proven to be anymore effective than traditional non-mesh procedures. Surgical mesh erosion, also called exposure, protrusion, and extrusion, is one of the most serious types of complications patients can develop, and may result in:
- Return of prolapse or incontinence
- Pain during sex
- Neuro-muscular problems
- Vaginal scarring
- Vaginal shrinkage
Understanding Mesh Erosion
Unlike biological mesh products, polypropylene vaginal mesh implants have been known to erode, causing serious pain and discomfort for the patients. Polypropylene surgical mesh was developed for use in hernia repairs, a considerably thicker tissue than the vaginal walls. Because industry manufacturers did not conduct thorough clinical trials testing the safety of polypropylene mesh used in the pelvic region, the effects of such devices were largely unclear. However, the FDA estimates that 10 percent of these devices may fail within a couple years of treatment, and other studies are indicating that failure rate of these devices may be as high as 17 percent. For many patients over time, the mesh will erode through the vaginal walls and become exposed, causing serious health consequences.
Treatment for Vaginal Mesh Erosion Patients
For small areas of mesh erosion, patients may be able to recover with the use of topical estrogen. But in cases involving large patches of mesh erosion, revision surgery is frequently necessary to extricate the harmful mesh from the bladder, urethral, or vaginal tissue. Patients who must undergo revision surgery are strongly urged to contact a doctor experienced in mesh removal surgery and consider taking legal action against the product manufacturer.
Your Rights to Compensation
Vaginal sling manufacturers began to widely adopt the use of polypropylene mesh for a large number of uses before conducting basic clinical studies to determine the safety and effectiveness of such devices. All of the vaginal slings on the market were approved under the FDA’s 510(k) clearance system, with little evidence supporting the marketing claims of the manufacturers. Patients who develop serious complications due to mesh erosion may be able to file a lawsuit against the product manufacturers, seeking damages incurred by their injury.
Legal Help for Transvaginal Mesh Complication Victims
The lawyers at Estey Bomerger are helping victims of transvaginal mesh devices file lawsuits against a number of manufacturers including C.R. Bard, Johnson & Johnson (Ethicon), American Medical Systems, and Boston Scientific. For a free consultation to help you evaluate your legal options and the damages you may be entitled to, please schedule an appointment today.