What is Vaginal Mesh?
Vaginal mesh, which is often called a “hammock” or a “sling,” is a device which is used after surgery to treat POP and stress urinary incontinence (SUI) in women. Many woman suffer these types of medical issues as a result of weakened pelvic muscles that stretch and weaken to the point where they can no longer completely support nearby organs. As the pelvic floor muscles lose their retaining power, the bladder, urethra, bowel, and even uterus can “drop” downward, bulging into the vagina. While there are several causes of this condition it normally occurs because of age, childbirth, hysterectomy, or menopause
While incontinence is not uncommon, normally when woman begin to experience symptoms like pressure, pain, SUI, constipation, and sexual problems, woman seek the advice of a doctor. In another example of corporations putting profits over people, several medical device manufacturers began selling vaginal mesh as a cure all for these types of issues and told doctors and the world that these devices were safe for use. Because of this sales job done by these medical device manufactures, vaginal mesh repair became very common as one of several surgical options.
The concept of the surgery is simple. The doctor uses a surgical mesh to help reinforce the vaginal wall and provide an additional supporting layer to organs like the bladder or urethra which should ease the pain and permit woman to go to the bathroom easier. However, it became apparent after several years after this product was used, many women began to experience complications like pain, infection, bleeding, extrusion, and urinary problems
The FDA’s Investigation into Transvaginal Mesh
In 2006, a type of vaginal mesh called the “bladder sling”, was removed from the market after studies found a high rate of vaginal extrusion where the sling started to rub against the top of the vaginal wall the sling ripped through the wall causing major complications.
Then in October 2008, the FDA warned healthcare professionals about serious complications associated with vaginal mesh. By that time, the FDA had received over 1,000 reports about complications associated with other types of vaginal mesh. Included in these complications were:
• Mesh erosion through vaginal wall or other body parts
• Urinary problems
• Recurrence of prolapse and/or incontinence
• Bladder, bowel or vessel perforation
• Vaginal scarring
• Pain during sexual intercourse
• Other problems that led to a significant decrease in patient quality of life due to discomfort and pain.
Now, after receiving over 3000 complaints from women who suffered serious injuries caused by polypropylene transvaginal device/mesh, the FDA issued a very detailed and comprehensive statement to warn doctors that they should consider no longer using mesh to treat their patients. The reason for the warning was that, in most instances, the risk of serious injury outweighed all benefits from the transvaginal mesh. In short, the FDA found that use of transvaginal mesh should only be used a matter of last resort.
Recent Research Indicates Serious Risks and Complications
In a recent article in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the journal found that patients would have been better off with traditional treatment rather than being implanted with vaginal mesh. There has also been a recent clinical study which has shown that more than 15 percent of women who had surgery which used vaginal mesh are experiencing dangerous and painful condition known as “erosion,” in which the skin splits and the mesh protrudes. The results of this mesh being exposed to your internal organs can be catastrophic. If you feel any pain or suffer any symptoms or just don’t feel right, you need to go to a doctor right away so the doctor can determine whether your problems are a result of vaginal mesh.
Four Transvaginal Device Manufacturers Implicated in this problem
The manufacturers of the mesh and the products are as follows:
Johnson & Johnson®
• Ethicon® TVT
• Gynecare® TVT
• Gynecare® Prosima
• Gynecare® Prolift
• Gynemesh® PS
• Advantage™ Sling System
• Obtryx® Curved Single
• Obtryx® Mesh Sling
• Prefyx Mid U™ Mesh Sling System
• Prefyx PPS™ System
• Avaulta Plus™ BioSynthetic Support
• Avaulta Solo™ Synthetic Support
• Faslata® Allograft
• Pelvicol® Tissue
• PelviSoft® Biomesh
• Pelvitex™ Polypropylene Mesh
American Medical Systems®
What to do about your Transvaginal Mesh?
The most important thing to do if you are suffering from these symptoms is to go see a doctor. The potential result from this mesh could be nothing more than an irritation, but it can be as severe as death. So you have to take care of your body.
There are also several lawyers who are filing lawsuits against these manufacturers who put profits over people. If you were implanted with defective mesh you do have rights and may be able to hold the mesh manufacturer responsible for your medical bills, time that you are out of work, time that you are away from your family and all of your other pain and suffering. It is time that we put a stop to these companies who put these dangerous products on the market and ruin our lives.
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