Transvaginal mesh implants were supposed to provide relief to women suffering from pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.
These are conditions that often plague women after they have undergone a hysterectomy, menopause or child birth. SUI is a leakage of urine during certain moments of physical activity, while POP is when the pelvic muscles weaken to the point that the bladder, rectum and uterus drop into the vagina.
As awful as these conditions are, our Boston transvaginal mesh injury lawyers have heard patients describe the one-time remedy as even worse.
Transvaginal mesh, also known as bladder slings, have been shown to result in major, long-lasting complications for patients. It’s believed the number of transvaginal surgery patients is somewhere in the neighborhood of 550,000 to 600,000.
A number of doctors with patients who have undergone the transvaginal mesh surgery have reported that their patients have suffered pain so severe that they have contemplated taking their own lives. Sadly, in a few cases, they have done so.
The implants, ineffective for their intended purpose, have also caused a long list of complications on their own. Those complications, urinary problems and infection. In some cases, blood vessels, bowels and the bladder were perforated during the actual insertion. The erosion of the materials, which we now know in many cases were never suitable for human implantation in the first place, has led to severe vaginal scarring and further injuries. This has led to excruciating pain for many patients.
Some of the descriptions given by sufferers:
- A feeling as if one is sitting on razor blades;
- An intense burning and tearing sensation anytime one attempts to engage in sexual activities;
- A sharp scratching feeling as the mesh protrudes through the vaginal walls;
- An intense pain so severe it feels like a migraine that stretches from the knees to the navel;
- Dagger-like, stabbing pain anytime one attempts to urinate.
Even powerful pain medications often do little to alleviate these symptoms long-term. Some women report being unable to sit, drive and in some cases even work.
Some mesh patients report being told for years that despite their pain, nothing was wrong. This only served to further deepen their depression.
While there is revision surgery available to have the mesh removed, it’s rare that eroded mesh can be removed completely. In addition to surgery, patients may require IV therapy, blood transfusions and drainage of hematomas or abscesses.
Endo Health, one of the primary makers of the mesh products used on patients, recently settled a small portion of their lawsuits for about $54.5 million, following an $11.1 million verdict in favor of a South Dakota woman. The plaintiff had alleged the product was defective and the company failed to warn, leaving her to cope with permanent scarring and ongoing bouts of extreme pain.
While the jury did not find the product to have been defective, they did find that the defendant failed to offer an adequate warning about the potential dangers of the product and also made fraudulent representations regarding the product to both the doctor and the patient.