Two new studies suggest that removal of transvaginal mesh (TVM), a device implanted to help support a woman’s pelvic floor, may not necessarily improve transvaginal mesh injuries and side effects such as incontinence and pain related to the device may continue even after it is taken out.
Removal May Not Reverse Transvaginal Mesh Injuries
The first study followed 123 women who underwent surgery to remove a suburethral tape or transvaginal mesh device. Most of the women, including 67 percent of those who were fitted with a transvaginal mesh implant, became pain-free after the procedure. On average, patients’ pain ratings were lower two to three years after the removal surgery than prior to the procedure.
The second study, conducted by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, surveyed 214 women three years after they underwent removal surgeries due to a range of symptoms. According to researchers, many women continued to report complications post-surgery. Although two-thirds of the participants reported mild or no symptoms, the rest had moderate to severe pain. Half of the patients reported pain during sex, and 28 percent claimed that they suffered from urine leakage at least once a day.
The findings were reported at an annual meeting of the American Urological Association on May 19, 2014, and come at a time of growing safety concerns over transvaginal mesh implants. In April 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it will be requiring stricter oversight of the mesh products as they are used to treat pelvic organ prolapse. While the FDA had initially stated that transvaginal mesh injuries are “rare,” the agency now classifies the devices as “high-risk.”
Transvaginal Mesh Overview
In pelvic organ prolapse, the walls supporting the rectum, uterus, and bladder stretch and weaken. The organs may drop from their normal position into the vagina, which can cause problems with defecation and urination, discomfort during sexual intercourse, and pelvic pain. Some women with the condition eventually undergo surgery to reposition and secure the organs.
Although transvaginal mesh was introduced in the 1990s as a safe and effective method of treating pelvic organ prolapse, the FDA began to receive reports of transvaginal mesh injuries and complications linked to the implants. In some cases, the mesh eroded and, as a result, women allegedly suffered from pain, bleeding, infections, and a worsening of pain during sex or while urinating.
It is not always clear that a woman’s symptoms are directly caused by her transvaginal mesh device or that removing the device will help relieve the pain and discomfort she may be feeling. While most physicians may advise patients who are not experiencing adverse symptoms to avoid removal surgeries, the decision is not as clear-cut for those who are suffering from pain and other complications.
Have You Sustained Transvaginal Mesh Injuries?
If you or someone you love suffered from transvaginal mesh injuries following implantation, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Attorney Group to learn more about your legal rights and to receive a case evaluation at no out-of-pocket cost to you. We can connect you with an affiliated attorney who understands the legal ramifications of transvaginal mesh injuries and who can help you seek the compensation to which you may be entitled.