Vaginal mesh implants were introduced in the late 1990s to address common issues like stress urinary incontinence and pelvic floor prolapse following childbirth. Despite their initial promise, these flexible plastic scaffolds have caused severe complications, ranging from nerve damage to chronic pain.
The adverse effects of transvaginal mesh have prompted numerous victims to file lawsuits against the manufacturers. These legal actions have resulted in substantial financial compensation for those who have experienced complications and injuries due to these mesh implants.
Let’s delve into the details behind the transvaginal mesh lawsuit.
History of the Transvaginal Mesh Implant Devices
Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the supportive tissue between organs weakens, often following childbirth or due to other factors. Gynecologists began using surgical mesh in the 1970s to address this issue.
Initially developed for abdominal hernias and later adapted for treating stress urinary incontinence (SUI) in the early 1990s, transvaginal mesh was introduced to prevent and manage complications like urine leakage associated with SUI after pregnancy.
As a purported solution to the challenges posed by SUI, transvaginal mesh gained popularity, and hundreds of thousands of women opted for or were recommended this surgical approach.
An estimated 250,000 women annually choose to undergo transvaginal mesh surgery. Taking advantage of the high demand, manufacturers marketed and sold the product without obtaining FDA clearance, contributing to widespread usage despite potential risks.
When Did the Problems with Transvaginal Mesh Implants Arise?
Transvaginal mesh, designed to reinforce weakened vaginal walls in individuals with conditions like Pelvic Organ Prolapse, is typically composed of polyester or polypropylene. This medical device is inserted into the female pelvic organs through minimally invasive surgery to address issues related to the vaginal wall and pelvic floor.
Despite the initial widespread adoption of mesh products in such procedures globally, patients soon encountered severe complications.
These complications ranged from nerve damage, chronic pain, and scarring to mesh erosion within the body, leading to vaginal shrinkage, and instances of organ perforation. Tragically, the use of these implants has even been associated with several deaths.
In response to the escalating issues, the FDA reclassified vaginal meshes in 2016, mandating approval before marketing. This led all manufacturers to cease marketing these surgical meshes.
Subsequently, on April 16, 2019, the FDA directed two manufacturers of the three available vaginal meshes in the U.S. to halt sales and distribution immediately. Meanwhile, numerous lawsuits were filed nationwide on behalf of women who had undergone vaginal mesh surgeries and experienced subsequent health problems.
Complications Related to the Surgical Mesh(Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuit)
Vaginal mesh injuries can have a profound impact on patients, causing physical pain, emotional trauma, and substantial financial burdens arising from medical expenses and potential loss of income.
Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuit As per TorHoerman Law, the FDA has received numerous reports detailing complications arising from the use of surgical mesh. Some of the most frequently reported issues include:
The mesh has the potential to puncture nearby organs, particularly the bladder or bowel, leading to severe health complications that necessitate immediate medical attention.
Following mesh implantation, some women experience recurring infections, either due to the body rejecting the mesh or bacteria introduced during surgery.
The mesh can induce the formation of scar tissue in the vaginal area, resulting in discomfort and pain during intercourse.
Vaginal Bleeding or Discharge
This may be caused by infections, the mesh eroding into the vaginal wall, or other complications.
The presence of the mesh can make sexual activity painful for some women, impacting their relationships and emotional well-being.
The Road to Justice
Numerous women have initiated legal actions, pursuing compensation from manufacturers of transvaginal surgical mesh products. Those affected by complications arising from vaginal mesh are seeking redress for various damages, including medical expenses, prospective treatment costs, emotional distress, pain and suffering, among others.
C.R. Bard, a global medical technology developer, recalled its vaginal mesh product in 2012, shortly before facing a $3.6 million verdict in a lawsuit brought by a patient who reported severe health complications due to the implant.
In 2013, Johnson & Johnson lost the first mesh lawsuit while American Medical Systems became the first company to agree to a huge settlement.
Fast forward to 2019, Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon agreed to pay transvaginal mesh settlement amounts, totaling up to $117 million. They settled with 41 states and the District of Columbia over allegations of deceptive marketing of transvaginal surgical mesh products.
As complications and injuries related to vaginal mesh became increasingly apparent, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated all transvaginal mesh lawsuits into separate litigations, each dedicated to major mesh manufacturers.
As of January 2023, ongoing lawsuits against transvaginal mesh manufacturers persist, with many women still seeking compensation for the harm they have endured.
In the past year alone, 27 vaginal mesh product liability lawsuits have been filed against Boston Scientific Corp. in federal courts across the nation. Though all but 10 of these cases remain open and pending, most of the 10 that are no longer pending were settled.
Women who have suffered harm due to such implants are undeniably eligible for compensation. The extent of injuries can vary from severe to moderate. Nevertheless, the psychological distress and potential financial burden associated with a vaginal mesh injury lawsuit justify the pursuit of legal action and the continued fight for justice.