Transvaginal mesh, sometimes called a bladder sling, is a form of surgical mesh used during pelvic procedures performed through the vagina. It is designed to repair weakened vaginal tissue by stitching the vaginal wall muscles together. Transvaginal mesh has primarily been utilized to treat conditions called pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI).
Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the tissue that holds the pelvic organs in place become weak or stretched and can no longer support the organs. Stress urinary incontinence is an involuntary leakage of urine and is also caused by weak pelvic floor muscles.
Thousands of women in the US have undergone transvaginal mesh surgery to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. However, between 2005 and 2010, there were approximately 4,000 reports of problems associated with the use of the surgical mesh.
The Food and Drug Administration first issued a safety warning about the mesh in 2008. Following a continued surge of reported complaints, the FDA issued an updated safety communication in 2011 warning doctors, healthcare professionals, and patients that the placement of surgical mesh through the vagina (transvaginal mesh) to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence may present a greater risk for the patient than other non-mesh options.
There are several manufacturers of transvaginal mesh:
Transvaginal mesh implants have been linked to serious complications. According to the Food and Drug Administration, reported complications from using the mesh include:
The FDA also fielded reports of recurrent prolapse, neuro-muscular problems, vaginal scarring and emotional problems. Many women who experience problems need additional intervention, including corrective surgeries and hospitalization.
If you or a loved one has been hurt by transvaginal mesh, contact Metzger Wickersham law firm for a free and confidential consultation.