Judging by the growing number of lawsuits being filed against medical device manufacturers, the implantation of vaginal mesh has proven to be a detrimental, life-changing event for most women who thought the procedure would restore their lives.
Now, a study, published in September 2012, suggests that the removal of vaginal mesh devices, which were supposed to help correct pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI), can cause additional harm to women who have allegedly suffered injuries from the devices.
Vaginal Mesh Devices Can Cause Scar Tissue and Urethra Injury
Researchers from the Mayo Clinic and Spectrum Health Medical Group in Michigan published their findings on September 25, 2012, in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
The researchers found the synthetic mesh devices using polypropylene, a type of plastic, cause fibrosis, or scar tissue, which has become one of the main reasons the devices need to be removed. This is an unusual finding, since there are not many instances where the plastic material has been acknowledged to cause scarring. Additionally, metal anchors are used to secure the mesh inside the body, which are very often left in place by surgeons when the mesh is explanted. Removal of the metal anchors is considered too risky by some doctors.
In two cases used as examples in the study, surgeries for vaginal mesh and scar tissue removal resulted in damage to the urethra which was cut during the procedure. One woman undergoing the removal of a Johnson & Johnson Prolift mesh device had her urethra damaged and needed additional surgery and use of a catheter to assist with urination. The other patient had an American Medical Systems Apogee and Perigee device removed because it had eroded into her vagina, and she was left with pain and incontinence.
According to the researchers, “4.4% to 14.5% of patients have significant morbidity after mesh kit procedures, including mesh erosion, infection, pain, incontinence and recurrence of prolapse. The significant inflammation from host incorporation, relatively blind placement, and the proximity of urinary structures to supporting anchors predisposes the urethra to injury during mesh placement and removal.”
The Rottenstein Law Group Advocates for Women Injured by Vaginal Mesh
If you or someone you know has had surgery for pelvic organ prolapse or another type of pelvic surgery that involved the implantation of surgical mesh and is experiencing symptoms consistent with malfunction, seek medical attention immediately. The next step is to contact an experienced attorney to see whether you or the person you know has grounds to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer.
The Rottenstein Law Group has over 25 years of collective experience advocating for victims of dangerous drugs and defective medical devices, as well as other products liability claims. RLG is offering free, confidential legal consultations, and all you need to do is fill out this contact form or call this number, 1-800-624-9567, and one of our attorneys will call you as soon as possible.
For more information download RLG’s free transvaginal mesh brochure.