Certain biological events can wreak havoc on a woman’s body. Going through childbirth, having a hysterectomy done, or simply working a job that requires heavy lifting can damage a woman’s internal organs. As she grows older, she may experience organ prolapses that cause her bladder, rectum, or uterus to fall into her vagina. Because it is impossible to live with a prolapse, she must undergo corrective surgery to strengthen her pelvic walls and move her organs back into their proper places. This surgery includes having transvaginal mesh implanted into her lower abdomen through her vagina.
This surgery is actually fairly common and helps millions of women each year. Even so, it is not without its share of controversy or risks. In fact, thousands of women each year report that their mesh slings fail or cause injuries and infections that must be dealt with through extensive medication regimens or more surgery. Some women experience their meshes growing into their pelvic wall and causing bleeding and tearing. Others report their slings failing to hold up their organs and prolapses recurring after a few months or years.
With that, doctors now warn patients of these less favorable possibilities. They also may advise patients on how to avoid such ill side effects, such as avoiding heavy lifting and getting plenty of rest after their surgery. They also tell women what kinds of symptoms to look for to determine whether or not they may be developing an infection. While many women do well with their mesh slings, others report having serious side effects and complications. They may need to have their slings removed or undergo more corrective surgery in some cases. If they have been harmed and feel that they need to pursue legal recourse, these women can join one of the several class action lawsuits in progress right now before the federal court system.
What Is Transvaginal Mesh?
Simply put, transvaginal mesh is a sling-like implant that doctors use to help correct organ prolapses in the female body. After a woman gives birth or has a hysterectomy, among other biological events, she may experience a painful prolapse of her rectum, uterus, or bladder into her vagina. Prolapses make everyday life difficult, if not impossible. Often the only way to correct this damage is by implanting a mesh into the the woman’s abdomen to force her organs back into place.
It is made out of polypropylene, a material that is safe and sterile for such medical use. This material is also sturdy enough to support the weight of the woman’s organs and durable enough to last for years without having to be replaced. As sturdy and durable as it is, however, it can grow into a woman’s bladder, uterus, or rectum and cause the muscles of these organs to grow over the mesh material. If this happens, the surgeon may have to remove the affected organ, a surgical procedure that tends to be more invasive, painful, and requires a more extensive recovery period.
However, doctors tend to favor this mesh sling implant because it can be installed without having to make a large incision in a woman’s abdomen. In fact, a doctor can implant it easily by going through the vaginal canal, thus giving it this implant its name of being transvaginal. This surgery does not require the extensive recovery period or subject a person to the amount of pain that comes with a large incision and invasive procedures. Many women can resume their normal routines in a few weeks’ time without any complications. Nonetheless, complications now compromise the validity of using transvaginal meshes for corrective prolapse surgery.