Vaginal mesh is a surgical tool, made much like a net, that was once commonly used to treat various medical conditions, such as pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). The surgical mesh is used to support the urethra and bladder neck when the vaginal walls weaken or loosen and drop out of the vagina. The result of the weakened vaginal walls left untreated can lead to urine leakage, bowel movement problems and infection.
The mesh may be shaped, inserted and positioned differently depending on the vaginal space. The vaginal mesh itself is often made of a kind of plastic called polypropylene. This kind of plastic has been used in a wide variety such as for men to help with hernias. Many medical device manufacturers believed that vaginal mesh was a successful surgical tool to treat POP and SUI.
However, in 2019, the FDA ordered the sales of vaginal mesh to cease after finding that there was a higher risk of harm than any benefits that the surgical tool might have once provided. Yet, the vaginal mesh restriction placed on manufacturers by the FDA didn’t include anything about the continued use of vaginal mesh already sold or other surgeries that might include the mesh. Many manufacturers, despite FDA restrictions, have failed to recall any sold surgical mesh used for POP or SUI.
As a result, many people suffer medical complications because of the once commonly used surgical tool and its continued use. The following goes into detail about how patients have suffered from vaginal mesh complications:
The complications of vaginal mesh
It was believed that, by using the vaginal mesh, the vaginal walls would strengthen by growing through the mesh’s holes. As such, an incision was made in the vaginal wall, allowing the insertion of the surgical mesh and holding up the prolapsed walls. However, people who undergo a vaginal mesh implant have a chance to suffer from serious complications.
Some patients have reported discomfort from the mesh, leading to bleeding, infection and severe pain. In some cases, the vaginal mesh has eroded, a process where the mesh surfaces through the tissue and can become visible or enter the urethra, bladder or rectum. As a result, victims of vaginal mesh complications have to undergo multiple surgeries and can result in continued pain.
Because of these complications and the continued use of vaginal mesh, many victims have taken legal action against manufacturers for knowing the risks they put on people despite FDA restrictions.