In 2010 alone, over 300,000 transvaginal mesh surgeries were performed in the US. Since its introduction in the late 1990s, transvaginal mesh (TVM for short) has been widely used as a fast, easy fix for Pelvic Organ Prolapse, a condition that effects over a quarter of all women in their lifetime.
Traditional Pelvic Organ Prolapse and Stress Urinary Incontinence procedures involved a somewhat invasive surgery. Doctors tightened and reformed muscle tissue within the vaginal wall that had grown loose from childbirth, menopause, hysterectomies, or simple aging. While the surgery was fairly successful at treating these issues, TVM was hailed as a simpler, far less invasive surgery that allowed for faster healing time and less complications.
Complications Arise from TVM Surgeries
Only a few years after transvaginal mesh implants became widely used, women began reporting some minor and serious complications. Transvaginal mesh is typically made from synthetic materials like polyester and is intended to act as a “sling” for the pelvic organs, providing support through the vaginal wall. In some cases, women reported a return of their initial complaints, indicating the TVM devices weren’t all that effective at treating POP and SUI. Other women reported far more serious side effects.
Due to the nature of implantation, transvaginal mesh products began perforating adjacent muscles and organs at an alarming rate. Women all over the US complained of extreme pain, infection, bleeding, sexual pain, incontinence, and in the most serious cases, hemorrhage and organ failure. Doctors quickly began scrambling to perfect TVM revision surgeries and some elected to simply remove the devices all together.
TVM Revision Surgery and Removal Options
Unfortunately, most surgeons who perform TVM surgeries and corrections do not have specialized training regarding the procedures as the FDA recommends. As many as 30% of all TVM implant patients report having to go under the knife for additional surgeries intended to correct issues stemming from the initial procedure.
- Some women report having as many as 8 additional surgeries in order to have all of their TVM device removed
- TVM revision surgery and TVM removal patients typically incur long healing times of several weeks to months
- Even skilled surgeons have difficulty finding and removing all pieces of implanted transvaginal mesh as the pieces causing issues are usually quite small
- Many women who undergo TVM revision surgery still experience enough adverse symptoms they eventually choose to have a complete removal or their transvaginal mesh device
Most doctors who choose to implant TVM devices prefer to correct complications through revision surgery. Some women choose to have their TVM completely removed, however, and instead elect to have traditional treatment surgery in the wake of complications. Traditional surgery involves no foreign substances implanted in the body but rather surgical sculpting and tightening of the vaginal and pelvic muscles.
Costs Associated With TVM Revision Surgery
Each transvaginal mesh revision procedure can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Many women also must take extensive time off work in order to recover from such procedures as well as stay on medications for years to ward off infection. Some women report needing to see a therapist to treat emotional issues that arise from complications surrounding TVM procedures.
If you need TVM revision surgery or have already undergone additional procedures or TVM removal, you may be owed damages to help pay for your medical bills as well as pain and suffering. There have been many large-scale recalls of TVM products by manufacturers and the FDA is well aware of the increasing public concern over the safety of these products. Hiring an experienced TVM claim attorney may help you determine the best way to get the money you’re owed from your insurance company as well as the TVM manufacturer.
BD&J Law Firm has dealt with hundreds of transvaginal mesh device claims and knows the importance of protecting client rights. Many women come to us overwhelmed by an insurance settlement offer and unwilling to fight against large medical conglomerates but we believe patient safety is an issue worth pursuing. If you believe you’ve suffered negative side effects due to a transvaginal mesh procedure or if you’ve undergone TVM excision or revision surgeries, give us a call today to set up a free consultation.