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Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits: Frequently Asked Questions

Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran

The rate of claims related to vaginal mesh lawsuits continues to grow. Women who had vaginal mesh surgery to correct pelvic organ prolapse can suffer numerous complications post-surgery.

Although not all women experience problems, a large percentage of them do.

Here are some of the frequently asked questions concerning vaginal mesh:

What Is Vaginal Mesh?

Vaginal mesh, also called a transvaginal mesh implant, resembles a sling. The sling supports internal pelvic organs of women who may have muscle or tissue that have weakened or been injured for some reason. The weakened muscles can no longer hold up the rectum, bladder, or uterus inside the body, causing these organs to sag or droop.

This condition is called pelvic organ prolapse or POP.

What Materials Are Used to Make Vaginal Mesh?

Most vaginal mesh material consists of polymeric polypropylene plastic. Manufacturers have made biologic mesh from pig or cow skin or intestines.

What Are Some of the Complications Possible after Vaginal Mesh Surgery?

Studies have linked vaginal mesh implants to many severe conditions, including vaginal scarring, uterus perforation, and mesh erosion. Mesh erosion causes the polypropylene edges to cut the lining of neighboring organs, including the vagina.

What Symptoms Do You Experience if You Have Vaginal Mesh Erosion or Another Complication?

Patients may experience one or more symptoms that indicate problems with the mesh implant, such as:

  • Vaginal discharge
  • Dyspareunia or pain during intercourse due to vaginal scarring
  • A burning sensation in the genital area
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Incontinence
  • Internal bleeding
  • Kidney infections

How Soon Do the Symptoms Appear?

Symptoms may appear as soon as one month after surgery. Sometimes it may take several months or longer.

What Is Vaginal Scarring?

Vaginal Scarring is a thickening of the vaginal walls. The vagina wall thickens due to scar tissue forming where the mesh has perforated the vaginal wall.

What Is the FDA’s Stance on Vaginal Mesh?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first issued a Safety Communication informing manufacturers and hospitals about the high number of reported problems with mesh in 2011.

The FDA also sent a 522 Order to manufacturers, directing them to conduct in-depth studies on transvaginal mesh devices sold. This 522 Order caused most manufacturers to stop producing the mesh.

After further study, in 2016, the FDA reclassified transvaginal mesh as a Class III Product.

Class III products are products that present the highest potential risk to patients using them. This forces manufacturers to go through exceptionally stringent FDA reviews before marketing a Class III product.

In early 2019, the FDA directed hospitals and doctors to stop using vaginal mesh.

Can Additional Surgery Repair the Damage?

It is almost impossible to remove transvaginal mesh once it has been implanted. Corrective surgery for conditions caused by transvaginal mesh is possible. Many patients must live with a lifetime of pain, including permanent disabilities and emotional problems such as depression.

A small percentage of transvaginal mesh patients have died as a result of complications.

Who Made Transvaginal Mesh?

Five companies in the United States marketed transvaginal mesh: Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon division, Boston Scientific, American Medical Systems, C.R. Bard, and Proxy Biomedical.

What Claims have been Paid Out to Patients Suffering Complications?

Patients have received jury awards in the millions of dollars due to mesh failure.

Companies have set aside large sums of money to settle claims. For example, Johnson & Johnson set aside $120 million in 2016 to settle the thousands of lawsuits filed prior to that date.

How Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can help

If you live in Michigan or a nearby state and suffer complications due to transvaginal surgery, call Eileen Kroll, a registered nurse and personal injury trial attorney, at Cochran, Kroll & Associates P.C., at 866-MICH-LAW for a free evaluation of your case and further assistance. Eileen’s unique nursing background brings a wealth of knowledge and experience when she represents victims in a vaginal mesh lawsuit. As a member of the Negligence Section of the Michigan State Bar and the Michigan Association for Justice, she will fight tirelessly for your rights.

Our law firm never charges a fee unless we win your case.

Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.

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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