What Are the Dangers of Vaginal Mesh?

The numerous dangers associated with vaginal mesh, and the over 100,000 vaginal mesh lawsuits, ultimately resulted in the Food and Drug Administration, in January 2019, halting the use of vaginal mesh.

Beginning a few years after the FDA initially approved vaginal mesh in 2002, patients and doctors began reporting multiply types and cases of complications after vaginal mesh surgery.

Vaginal Mesh Surgery

Doctors used vaginal mesh surgery to treat pelvic organ prolapse, which is relatively common in a minority of women. Pelvic organ prolapse occurs then the muscles and tissues surrounding the vagina weaken, allowing the pelvic organs to droop.

During vaginal mesh surgery implanted a polyurethane plastic mesh or sling to replace the weakened muscles and tissues and to keep the pelvic organs from sagging.

Mesh Failure

A statistically significant number of patients began to experience problems in the vagina and pelvic region as soon as a month after surgery. Investigators eventually linked the issues directly to the vaginal mesh.

The plastic mesh material could perforate the walls of the vagina, uterus, or other organs.

Symptoms

Patients began to experience some of the same symptoms that vagina mesh surgery supposedly corrected. Patients had a recurrence of the prolapse, including a return of incontinence.

Many began to have severe pain in the groin region, sometimes including bleeding or discharge and urinary tract infections.

Patients began noticing pain when engaging in intercourse. The husbands of some patients found scratches on their penis after sex.

The quality of life deteriorated to a point where many women had emotional issues, including depression.

Conditions

Investigators found that the plastic in the mesh would perforate the walls of the pelvic organs, causing critical infections and internal problems.

The dyspareunia or pain during intercourse was caused by vaginal scarring. The plastic mesh penetrated the vaginal walls, causing scar tissue build up and pain during sex. The plastic from the mesh sometimes scratched their partner’s penis during intercourse.

Neuro-muscular problems, including nerve damage, developed in some patients.

Some patients died due to extreme complications.

Irreversibility

Unfortunately, removing vaginal mesh is extremely difficult. Patients can only hope to manage their symptoms in many cases. Once the damage is done, it cannot be corrected.

Alternatives

Non-Surgical

There are several non-surgical alternatives to vaginal mesh to treat pelvic organ prolapse.

Kegel exercises can strengthen the muscles in the pelvic region. The exercises are simple and can be performed anywhere. Simply pull in your pelvic floor, holding for three seconds, then relaxing.

Some doctors prescribe a MonaLisa Touch Laser. This is a CO2 laser applied to the vaginal walls. The laser firms up the walls, and improves muscle tone and elasticity, reducing or eliminating pain during intercourse.

Vaginal cones are medical devices that look very similar to a tampon. The cone keeps the pelvic floor muscles from sagging, shoring up the vaginal walls.

Estrogen cream inserts may lessen incontinence in women and also help reduce pain during sex.

Surgical

Alternative surgical treatments include inserting a vaginal ring pessary prosthetic to keep the vaginal walls in place. The ring must be replaced every four months.

Obliterative surgery narrows the walls of the vagina, providing more support for sagging pelvic organs pressing against the vaginal wall.

Reconstructive surgery repairs the pelvic floor returning the pelvic organs to their original positions.

You May be Eligible for Compensation

If you live in Michigan, and you have suffered an injury due to vaginal mesh problems, call Eileen Kroll, a registered nurse and personal injury trial attorney, at Cochran, Kroll & Associates P.C., at 1-866-MICH-LAW (1-866-642-4529) for a free evaluation of your case and further assistance as a matter of urgency. We never charge a fee unless we win your case.

Hannah Johnson has her Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs with a specialization in civic engagement. Her career has focused on labor-related research, including unions, workers’ compensation, and contract law. She is now broadening her career to include research and policy analysis in East Asia, specifically in countries like South Korea and Japan where the aging population is creating a new frontier in economic trends and public policy innovation.

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