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Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) Complications from Transvaginal Mesh


Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) Complications from Transvaginal MeshThe United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning in 2011 that the surgical placement of transvaginal mesh devices for the healing of Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) poses a greater risk to users than other surgical options.   The warning indicated that most POP cases can be cured with less invasive procedures, such as stitches, and that there is no evidence that the vaginal mesh device offers an improved quality of life.  In spite of the fact that the warning indicated that surgical mesh is a permanent procedure, and can make any future procedures more complicated, doctors continued to use the procedure. The FDA approved the use of mesh for transvaginal surgeries in 1996 after a mesh was developed by Boston Scientific.  By 2010, four types of vaginal mesh devices entered the market; the most widespread in a non-absorbable polyester, while others include absorbable polyester, synthetic mesh, and animal tissue mesh.  In that year alone, the FDA reports that at least 100,000 POP repairs using mesh were conducted, with about 75% of those being transvaginal. However new lawsuits against the makers of transvaginal mesh are reporting that not only does the device pose significant health risks, but in fact can cause the POP to reoccur in patients.

What is Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP)?

POP is a condition where some pelvic organ prolapses (plunges) from its natural position and falls against the walls of the vagina.  These organs can include the:
  • Bladder
  • Urethra
  • Uterus
  • Vagina
  • Small bowel
  • Rectum
The resulting collapse is generally due to the weakening or stretching of the pelvic muscles, usually through child birth , surgery (such as a hystorectomy) or menopause .  Woman who have had multiple vaginal births are at a heightened risk for POP.  While the health risks related to POP can be minor, it can be harmful if exacerbated by pressure.  Pressure can be induced by obesity, coughing, frequent constipation or even tumors.

Vaginal Mesh Causes Relapse of Pelvic Organ Collapse

Although POP has been known to heal itself without the use of mesh, many users have experienced relapses.  Specifically, patients have seen complications arising from mesh exposure, insufficiency of full thickness dissection, unacceptable mesh placement, and even mesh attrition.  If you have experienced any of these complications it is best to contact a vaginal mesh attorney immediately.

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