Surgical Pelvic Mesh

Surgical pelvic mesh was the subject of a July 2011 communication from the FDA that pointed out the many serious risks and complications attending the use of this product. The Safety Communication noted that the transvaginal placement of surgical mesh for pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or stress urinary incontinence was associated with serious complications, including:

  • infection
  • organ perforation
  • erosion of the pelvic mesh implant
  • mesh contraction, with accompanying vaginal shortening
  • mesh protruding from the vaginal tissue
  • pain, and pain during sex
  • bleeding
  • urinary problems, including urinary tract infections

The FDA stated that the risks of using the surgical pelvic mesh may be greater than the benefits.

What Is Surgical Pelvic Mesh Used For?

In a woman with pelvic organ prolapse, the internal tissues that support the uterus, bladder and bowel "prolapse" or drop down from where they should be—down into the vagina. Various surgical techniques have been used to treat pelvic organ prolapse, but the surgical pelvic mesh techniques for POP and stress urinary incontinence are relatively new. Even so, pelvic mesh was used in over 100,000 surgeries for POP in 2010 alone in the U.S.

Many surgeons and OB/Gyns decline to use any version of transvaginal placement of surgical mesh for pelvic organ prolapse, because they feel that these uses of pelvic mesh have too much risk of complication, and that more traditional surgeries for POP and stress urinary incontinence are just as effective, with a greater margin of safety.

Complications Associated with Surgical Pelvic Mesh

Among the complications linked to the use of pelvic mesh, perhaps the most troubling is erosion of the mesh. The erosion, which is also known as extrusion or exposure, causes the pelvic mesh to go through the wall of the vagina. The mesh may even erode into the bladder, which causes problems like:

  • a fistula (an opening where there shouldn't be an opening)
  • blood in the urine
  • chronic urinary tract infection
  • pain

If the pelvic mesh implant erodes into the rectum or the bowel, it can cause:

  • draining of feces into the vagina
  • bleeding with bowel movements
  • pain
  • infection

Multiple surgeries may be necessary to attempt to fix problems arising from pelvic mesh implants. If you or a loved one has experienced complications from surgical pelvic mesh, our transvaginal mesh attorneys may be able to help you seek and recover financial compensation for your injuries. To schedule a free review of your case, contact us today.

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