A transvaginal mesh patch is a surgically implanted device that stretches across the vaginal wall (also known as the pelvic floor) to add extra support to tissues damaged during an injury, childbirth and/or surgery.
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While a healthy pelvic floor bolsters the pelvic region by supporting some organs and keeping others in place, once injured or dramatically stretched, damaged vaginal walls can add pressure to the bladder and cause abdominal organs to slip out of place.
By adding strength to damaged vaginal walls, transvaginal mesh patches can be effective treatments for:
- Pelvic organ prolapse (POP), a condition in which the bladder, uterus, vagina, urethra, bowels and/or rectum slides out of place due to weak pelvic floor tissues
- Stress urinary incontinence (SUI), a lack of control over urination that can cause individuals to urinate when laughing, sneezing, coughing or otherwise adding pressure to the abdominal region.
However, despite being an effective treatment for some patients, hundreds of women have developed a range of serious health problems after using a transvaginal mesh patch.
To date, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received over 1,000 patient reports regarding potentially fatal complications associated with the use of transvaginal mesh patches.
Side Effects of the Transvaginal Mesh Patch
Some of the complications women have experienced after using the transvaginal mesh patch include:
- erosion through the vaginal epithelium (the outer lining of the vagina that doesn't contain veins or arteries)
- infection from transvaginal mesh
- internal bleeding
- pain (including pain during sex)
- perforation of the bowels, bladder and/or blood vessels (primarily during insertion of the device)
- resurgence of POP and/or SUI
- vaginal scarring
Any of these health problems will demand immediate medical treatment to prevent further complications and, in the most severe cases, death. Commonly, side effects of the transvaginal mesh patch are treated with:
- blood transfusions
- drainage of abscesses
- further surgery (to remove the mesh patch)
- intravenous hydration
FDA Alerts Regarding the Transvaginal Mesh Patch
On Oct. 20, 2008, the FDA responded to the severity of the mesh patch's complications by issuing a nationwide alert, warning both medical professionals and patients about the above-listed health problems.
To minimize risk, the FDA recommends that doctors:
- Fully inform patients about the risks and symptoms of patch complications
- Closely monitor patients for possible side effects following implantation of the patch
- Immediately remove the patch, should a patient begin developing patch-related health problems.
Similarly, it's vital that patients take the time to learn about the types and symptoms of patch-related complications. Should transvaginal mesh patch users begin to notice health problems between visits to their doctor, they should seek emergency medical care to prevent further complications.
Have you or a loved one been injured after using a transvaginal mesh patch? If so, you may be eligible to recover compensation for your physical, emotional and financial losses. Contact us today to schedule a private, no-cost consultation with an experienced transvaginal mesh attorney who can evaluate your claim, get your case started and fight to ensure you get the compensation you need and deserve.
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