When the transvaginal mesh devices were introduced as treatment for pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI), it was regarded by many as the latest innovation in this medical field. Now, thousands of women have been exposed to grave danger just because they have been convinced to use these mesh devices to treat ailments that were not considered life-threatening. These women right now face endless pain and agony as a result of severe complications instead of improving their quality of life.
The following are the common complications associated with the use of vaginal mesh devices:
Mesh erosion may be the most serious among the many possible adverse effects aside from being the most common. Terrible pain in the affected areas, fistula formation, blood in the urine and stool, abscess formation in the vagina, recurrent urinary tract infections, possible infections in multiple parts of the body, and urinary incontinence may be experienced by a patient when the mesh erodes into the bladder and rectum. A surgery to remove the mesh, in most cases, may be required without a guarantee that all the mesh will be removed.
Mesh erosion may occur just two weeks after an operation or in the case of erosion into the colon or rectum, it may manifest after a number of years. In a number of instances, it is only during sexual intercourse, when the woman or her partner feels great pain during penetration, that mesh erosion may be detected.
Chronic Pain (Including Dyspareunia)
Chronic pain and discomfort, in part due to the erosion of the mesh, may become a daily component of a patient’s misery. This pain can be very devastating that it will affect her ability to perform even the most mundane tasks. Doctors attribute this pain to the disruption or the entrapment of the nerve fibers, which may have been stimulated by the mesh.
Almost all parts of the pelvic area, particularly the groin and buttocks, may be experience this pain. Experiencing pain during sexual contact has also been reported by a majority of women. It has been revealed by one study that over 90 percent of patients were relieved of pain upon the removal of the mesh.
An infection after a vaginal mesh repair was one of the most common complications reported by numerous patients. Due to these infections, a woman may encounter a general discomfort that may affect her day to day activities, in addition to the severe pain. She may find it very difficult to stand or to sit and without medications, walking may become impossible.
When these infections worsen, a patient may be at risk of suffering septic shock which can be life-threatening if not immediately attended to. When the infection spreads into the blood causing serious symptoms to appear throughout the body, septic shock may then occur.
Recurrence of POP or SUI
After a procedure involving the transvaginal mesh repair of an organ that has prolapsed, it may not be uncommon to see patients develop incontinence and other urinary problems. The need for frequent urination, urinary tract infections, difficulty in urinating, and leakage when pressure is exerted on the abdominal area are the indications of this complication. Having to deal with other forms of pelvic floor disorders after undergoing surgery to treat a related condition can be very frustrating to a woman.
While these four complications may have been reported as the most common, patients may also experience other equally dangerous adverse effects. Other severe complications may be manifested in the form of mesh shrinkage, organ perforation, neuro-muscular damage, heavy bleeding, constipation, and even emotional problems.
All these complications can be very dangerous that thousands of women have sustained serious injuries leading to pain and suffering, permanent disability, and even substantial deformity. As a result of these injuries, thousands of women have been compelled to take legal steps such as filing of vaginal mesh lawsuits against mesh manufacturers. Hearings of these claims have been scheduled in courts with the upcoming bellwether trials in West Virginia foreseen to have significant implications on the pending vaginal mesh lawsuits.