A surgery to correct pelvic organ prolapse (POP) using transvaginal mesh sold by Bard Healthcare allegedly led to serious injury and pain for one Illinois woman, who is now suing the manufacturer for damages totaling nearly $10 million.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff was fitted with the Pelvitex polypropylene vaginal mesh system in 2005. Like many vaginal mesh recipients, the plaintiff suffered from a condition that occurs when weakened ligaments and muscles cause some pelvic organs, such as the uterus and bladder, to drop and protrude through the vagina. POP is usually attributed to childbirth, menopause, and hysterectomy.
Transvaginal surgical mesh, which is manufactured by a number of health care companies, was designed to hold pelvic organs in their proper position and is often implemented as an alternative to conventional surgeries, which use the surgical removal of excess tissue, staples, and stitches to correct POP.
Unfortunately, for about ten percent of vaginal mesh recipients, studies indicate the medical device fails and may become a worse problem than the condition it was supposed to fix. This is because vaginal mesh may contract once it’s in place, causing muscular tightening, squeezing sensations, vaginal shortening, and intense pain.
Sometimes the flexible plastic mesh cuts through vaginal walls, perforating tissue and organs or both, and causing infection. Because the mesh may be assimilated by surrounding muscles and tissue, multiple revision surgeries may be needed to undo the damage.
Women who find themselves in this position often deal with constant and intense physical and emotional pain, their lives disrupted by a simple device that was never adequately tested by the manufacturer.
The Illinois plaintiff has joined hundreds of other women who are suing manufacturers of the devices, including Bard, American Medical Systems, Boston Scientific Corp., and Ethicon for injuries allegedly caused by transvaginal surgical mesh products.