Women often experience pelvic organ prolapse (POP) after childbirth. They might also face the same because of obesity and menopause. The condition weakens the pelvic floor muscles that typically hold the urinary bladder, uterus, and other pelvic organs in the correct place. With time and bodily changes, as these muscles tend to weaken, the pelvic organs might start to shift from their correct place.

Even though it isn’t life-threatening, POP can lead to painful sexual intercourse, fecal incontinence, extreme urinary incontinence, and several other life-changing problems. Based on the severity of the issue, doctors suggest transvaginal mesh surgery to remedy the issue at hand.

The mesh is best described as a surgical material that gets implanted at the time of the procedure and is designed to reinforce the vaginal walls and provide support for the urethra and bladder. The term transvaginal indicates a surgical approach, and doctors might suggest this to patients as it is minimally invasive and reduces the requirement for external incisions.

However, there are chances of severe complications after the surgery, and there have been several lawsuits filed by women against transvaginal mesh manufacturers over the years. In this article, we will discuss the signs of complications, the probable treatment, and the legal solution to opt for.

Complications Linked to the Transvaginal Mesh

If you have followed the recent transvaginal mesh lawsuit update, you will know that the lawsuits have been combined into seven MDLs that include Neomedic, C.R. Bard, Inc., Cook Medical, Inc., American Medical Systems, Inc., Coloplast Corp, Ethicon and Boston Scientific Corp. Each of the manufacturers has been held accountable for some complications that women across the globe have faced.

A few of the common complications include:

  • Vaginal scarring
  • Infections
  • Re-emergence of POP when the mesh failed
  • Perforation of the organs located close by
  • Urinary issues, like extreme incontinence

In most cases, the most challenging and common complications take place when the transvaginal mesh starts to erode and gradually drops away from the surgical implant site. It can cause the mesh to protrude from the vaginal opening and result in other issues with the nearby organs.

Vaginal Mesh Complications: The Common Symptoms

Women who suffer from vaginal mesh complications will come across a few symptoms that start to surface within the first few weeks or months after the implant. The symptoms include:

  • Abnormal vaginal pain and discharge that can hint at an infection
  • Vaginal bleeding, which is not because of the menstrual cycle
  • Persistent pelvic pain
  • Discomfort at the time of urination and various other urinary issues

Any of these complications can worsen if left untreated. Therefore, it is necessary to seek medical counsel and start the necessary treatment to remedy the issue.

The Probable Treatment

Once you check with your doctor, they will let you know about the probable line of treatment for the transvaginal mesh complications. Ideally, patients are prescribed antibiotics to treat all these symptoms, which include oral medications. Women need to take antibiotics that are delivered through intravenous infusions in cases of severe infection. Other common treatments are mesh removal and tissue repair.

The process of mesh removal can be challenging, as healthy tissues get woven through the failing mesh. Hence, it is necessary to extract the same carefully to avert any kind of damage.

The Legal Recourse

To date, thousands of lawsuits on transvaginal mesh complications have been filed since the initial warning issued by the FDA back in 2008. Most of the lawsuits have been resolved, with the manufacturers paying an enormous amount to the plaintiffs. There have been 20,000 cases that got settled for $830 million, along with many multi-state settlements that haven’t been brought before the federal court.

Today, there is space to file new lawsuits regarding vaginal mesh complications faced by women. Some lawyers are pursuing these cases with mixed outcomes. According to the latest Drugwatch report in January 2024, almost 95% of the lawsuits were resolved through jury verdicts or settlements. However, the lawyers are still taking on cases for any probable trial or settlement.

The manufacturers have paid over $8 billion in settlements. In February 2023, Ethicon paid $9.9 million as a settlement amount to Kentucky State to resolve all the claims about the company not being able to alert women about the risks of transvaginal mesh devices.

Therefore, any woman who has faced any of the complications mentioned above can file a lawsuit. TruLaw states that it’s best done by working closely with a lawyer who is aware of the legal processes and will ensure that the victim gets the justice and compensation they deserve. The victims must share the required evidence and follow the guidelines of the lawyer to ensure that the verdict is in their favor.

Finally, several women across the globe have suffered from transvaginal mesh complications and have voiced their stories through their lawsuits. Many others might not be aware of the dangers of the mesh device. The lawsuit updates not only help to raise awareness about this issue but also encourage women to walk the legal path after suffering complications to seek the justice they deserve.