Vaginal mesh is a type of medical device used to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). These are both common conditions that women often experience after giving birth.
An NCBI study states that 40% of such patients with POP show symptoms of urinary incontinence. Another 37% of patients have an overactive urinary bladder, and almost 50% have fecal incontinence. Vaginal mesh is often used for such conditions, but their implications are controversial.
Unfortunately, vaginal mesh devices have been associated with several health complications that have resulted in thousands of lawsuits against the manufacturers. In this article, we’ll explore the basics of vaginal mesh lawsuits and how you can go about it.
The Basics of Vaginal Mesh
Vaginal mesh is typically made of synthetic materials such as polypropylene. It comes in various shapes and forms, including sheets, slings, or hammocks, designed to reinforce and support the pelvic structures.
The implantation of vaginal mesh involves a surgical procedure. Surgeons may insert the mesh through the vagina or through an abdominal incision. This decision can depend on the specific condition being treated and the type of mesh used. The mesh is intended to provide additional support to the weakened pelvic tissues.
The use of vaginal mesh has been associated with various complications and risks. These can include mesh erosion through the vaginal wall, infection, pain during intercourse, urinary problems, and recurrence of pelvic organ prolapse or incontinence.
The Lancet conducted a study to understand the prevalence of such symptoms after using the vaginal mesh. The study concluded that of the 74 people participating, 15 women reported complications associated with the vaginal mesh surgery. The rise of these health concerns resulted in numerous lawsuits filed against manufacturers.
The Rise of Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits
Vaginal mesh lawsuits have been on the rise due to concerns and complications associated with the use of vaginal mesh. The mesh is implanted to provide additional support to weakened or damaged tissue.
However, over the years, reports of serious complications and adverse effects related to vaginal mesh implants have led to numerous lawsuits. The increasing complications have prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue warnings and reevaluate the safety of these devices.
According to TruLaw, the FDA has raised concerns over these products. The website states that many women who received these implants were never made aware of the potential risks. Hence, lawsuits have been filed against many manufacturers.
As a result of these concerns, thousands of women have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers of vaginal mesh products. These lawsuits often allege that the manufacturers failed to adequately warn about the risks associated with their products.
Manufacturers, in response, have faced significant legal challenges and have been required to pay substantial settlements in some cases. The litigation surrounding vaginal mesh is complex and involves multiple parties, including the manufacturers, healthcare professionals, and the affected patients.
Key Legal Issues
Vaginal mesh products have been at the center of controversy since their introduction. The FDA has issued several warnings about the safety of these devices.
Some of the common issues associated with vaginal mesh include:
- Mesh erosion: The mesh can erode through the vaginal wall or other organs, causing pain, infection, and other complications.
- Pain and discomfort: Many women have reported persistent pain and discomfort after undergoing vaginal mesh procedures.
- Infection: Infections can occur as a result of the mesh implantation, leading to further health problems.
- Urinary problems: Difficulty urinating or other urinary issues have been reported by some women with vaginal mesh implants.
- Organ perforation: In some cases, the mesh can perforate nearby organs, causing severe complications.
- Mesh contraction: The mesh may shrink or contract over time, leading to additional pain and complications.
The problem is that these symptoms may sometimes not be visible until it’s late. On the other hand, the symptoms can even start showing up after a very long time. According to a study published in the Springer Journal, mesh products have negative effects even ten years after being fitted. 1 in every 30 women may need to get such mesh removed. This often causes emotional distress as one of the aftereffects.
Compensation and Damages
When individuals file lawsuits related to vaginal mesh complications, they typically seek compensation for damages. The compensation sought can vary based on several factors, including the severity of injuries, medical expenses, emotional distress, loss of consortium, etc.
Here are some types of compensation and damages that may be sought in vaginal mesh lawsuits:
- Medical expenses: Compensation may cover the costs of medical treatments, surgeries, hospital stays, medications, and other healthcare expenses. You will have to show medical bills to receive this compensation.
- Pain and suffering: Damages may be awarded for the physical and emotional pain and suffering experienced due to the complications from the vaginal mesh.
- Lost wages: If the complications result in the inability to work, individuals may seek compensation for lost wages and future earning capacity.
- Diminished quality of life: Individuals may claim damages for the impact on their overall quality of life. This can include the loss of enjoyment of activities and the ability to engage in normal daily functions.
- Emotional distress: Compensation may be sought for emotional distress, anxiety, depression, and other psychological effects resulting from the complications.
Many manufacturers have already agreed to settle several lawsuits. According to Forbes, some plaintiff lawyers are of the opinion that settlements can reach $11 billion. Seven multidistrict litigations may pay consumers $550 million.
To conclude, we hope this article has helped shed some light on the complex legal issues surrounding vaginal mesh lawsuits. As we’ve seen, many questions need answering before you can make an informed decision about whether or not to pursue compensation for your injuries.
We strongly encourage anyone who has suffered from complications caused by a pelvic implant to speak with an attorney. The lawyer can help you with the right guidance and even represent you throughout the legal proceedings. This can ensure that your case is strong and you get the right compensation.