A recently published study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the use of transvaginal mesh products carry risks associated with mesh erosion. The study examined long-term effectiveness and healthcare outcomes associated with the use of transvaginal mesh in abdominal sacrocolpopexy surgeries which are designed to repair damage caused by pelvic organ prolapse.
In such surgeries, mesh is typically used to hold pelvic organs in place. The study followed patient outcomes over seven years following the abdominal sacrocolpopexy to determine the risks associated with the procedure. Researchers found that at the seven-year mark, the risk of mesh erosion was 10.5 percent. Moreover, the data showed that over the seven-year span nearly one third of the women who did the surgery saw their symptoms return or had their pelvic organs slip out of place again. About 17 percent needed additional pelvic surgery within seven years.
The study concluded that abdominal sacrocolpopexy often fails to relieve symptoms of prolapse. The authors of the study say the high risk of mesh erosion means that doctors should balance the effectiveness of the surgery with the serious long-term risk of mesh and suture erosion.
Though the study did not cite problems with one particular type or brand of transvaginal mesh, various companies have been accused of failing to adequately warn patients about the risks associated with their products. The most common complications associated with the use of transvaginal mesh include intense pelvic pain, pain during intercourse and even organ perforation in extreme cases.
These problems are serious enough that back in 2011 the FDA issued a warning for patients about the risks of complications that are associated with use of transvaginal mesh. In its warning the FDA said that such serious complications are not rare and that it was not clear whether use of transvaginal mesh was any more effective than other non-mesh repairs for pelvic organ prolapse.
Despite all the warnings, experts say nearly 225,000 such surgeries are performed in the U.S. every year, putting hundreds of thousands of patients at risk for serious problems down the road. If you or someone you know have been injured by a defective product and you would like to discuss your case with an attorney, please contact the Georgia product liability litigation attorneys at Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison & Norwood, P.C. today to schedule a free consultation.
Source: “Common pelvic surgery fails nearly one in three women,” by Liz Szabo, published at USAToday.com.