Thomas Dennis / 07-06-2018 / Consumer Safety

How To Protect Yourself From Transvaginal Mesh Complications


What is Transvaginal Mesh/Netting?

The transvaginal mesh or netting is usually made of a plastic called polypropylene while other types of mesh can use other materials, even animal tissue.

The term “transvaginal,” however, came from the surgical procedure rather than the materials used in the process. The surgery is meant to help support the pelvic muscles after a hysterectomy, menopause, or childbirth.

It has been shown, according to Drug Watch, that the slings made from synthetic material are much more likely to lead to complications over the slings made from other tissues.

How is transvaginal mesh harmful? What are the dangers involved with transvaginal mesh operations?

In the surgery, doctors insert the mesh through the vagina, which is meant to be quicker, easier, and less invasive. However, the manufacturer recommended materials and procedure has led to problems such as infection, erosion of tissue, or even organ perforation.

The infections are most common and can be debilitating. They are caused because of the rough edges of the mesh cutting into the skin around it. The synthetic material used is petroleum-based, which is considered a breeding ground for bacteria.

More than 100,000 lawsuits have been filed due to transvaginal mesh complications. The largest settlement thus far, according to Drug Watch, was for $830 million across 20,000 cases.

Transvaginal mesh is a net-like implant used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence in women. This surgical process is used to repair weakened or damaged tissue from urinary stress.

While this surgical procedure can be helpful, it also has to potential to come with serious complications. The mesh that is used can have hard, piercing edges that can puncture the bladder, uterus, or bowl.

Recent media coverage shed some light on some of the techniques that companies used to obtain transvaginal mesh.  For example, there is evidence to suggest that Boston Scientific used counterfeit Chinese plastic in their transvaginal mesh.

In 2004, Chevron Phillips, the plastic maker used by Boston Scientific for their transvaginal mesh, told them they would no longer supply the Marlex polypropylene plastic for the implants.  At that time, Chevron Phillips warned Boston Scientific executives that the Marlex plastic should not be used for “permanent implantation in the human body”.

Rather than stopping the production of implants, Boston Scientific sourced counterfeit Marlex plastic from a supplier in China called Emai. When Boston Scientific tested the plastics, they found several inconsistencies in it but continued to use the plastics anyway for implants.

As a result of their conduct, Boston Scientific faces lawsuits under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) over its alleged use of the counterfeit plastic.

What happens if something goes wrong with your transvaginal mesh implant?

The infections from transvaginal mesh can lead to incontinence, extreme pain during intercourse, UTI, back pain, or even inability to walk. Some of these infections spread through the whole body and can lead to death.

Beyond the infections, if the hard edges of the mesh cut too far through the tissue, they can lead to puncture in the bladder, uterus, or bowels. If the sling punctures a nearby organ this is likely to lead to severe pain or even organ failure.

If you or a loved one is affected by complications from a vaginal sling, it is important to first see a doctor to address the issue. Once the complications have been taken care of, it is crucial that you consult with an attorney.

Defective product cases are complex for a variety of reasons, including the number of healthcare professionals involved in the patient’s care, the difficulty of obtaining witnesses and experts, the technicalities of the issues involved, and the seriousness of the consequences, sometimes resulting in wrongful death or a severe impact on quality of life.

For these reasons, it is important to choose a law firm that has extensive experience handling defective product lawsuits in Florida. Wooten Kimbrough has handled a variety of medical malpractice claims, and we can determine if your case as a potential claim.

Status of other cases involving transvaginal mesh

While hundreds of thousands of cases against manufacturers and doctors have been settled, there are still tens of thousands pending.

Some women or their families have settled for more than $5 million. All manufacturers have faced litigation at some point, but Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit has had the highest number of cases at over 13,000.

Overall, pain and suffering after a transvaginal mesh surgery do not have the be the end. It is possible to meet with a lawyer and explore your options. Make sure to take care of your health and then consult experienced lawyers that are always looking out for you.

That’s why our team of attorney’s at Wooten Kimbrough are passionate about helping those affected by complications with transvaginal surgery in the Orlando area and across the state of Florida. We want to help keep our friends and neighbors safe. Our team is experienced with medical malpractice cases with more than 100+ years of combined experience.

If our team can help you or a loved one with your defective product case, don’t hesitate to contact us at any time. Our attorneys are available all day.

Disclaimer: All verdicts and settlements listed here are gross amounts before deductions for attorney fees and costs. Past results do not guarantee similar results in the future. Most cases result in a lower recovery. It should not be assumed that your case will have as beneficial a result. Before choosing a lawyer, ask for written information about the lawyer's legal qualifications and experience.