Lori Eggenberg thought the surgery she was having to correct urinary incontinence was the newest, most advanced, minimally invasive procedure available. Her doctor used transvaginal mesh to lift up her bladder. It turned out to be her worst nightmare. Lori’s bladder sling, as the mesh is sometimes called, embedded in the tissue causing severe pain.
Travaginal mesh is a type of surgical mesh that in recent years has been used to treat common pelvic floor disorders such as pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. The mesh is inserted through the vagina to hold up organs that have dropped due to age, childbirth or obesity.
In 2008, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that it had received 1,000 reports of complications associated with the mesh, including erosion, infection, pain, incontinence, and vaginal scarring leaving women disabled and in pain. Three years later, the FDA released a second warning that as many as 10 percent of transvaginal mesh procedures fail and that adverse events were not uncommon. The agency reported that many women have required multiple surgeries to remove the mesh, and some women have died from complications.
Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against the makers of transvaginal mesh, claiming patients were not adequately warned by the manufacturers that the devices could cause them serious injuries and lifelong consequences. The first lawsuit earlier this year resulted in an $11 million award for the plaintiff.