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Transvaginal mesh used to treat pelvic organ prolapse can be harmful

Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition that affects women, which often involves symptoms that can be life altering. It occurs when the pelvic organs sag within the body, and can become more serious as time progresses.  Pelvic organ prolapse often affects women after they have given birth, but can also affect those who have gone through menopause or had a hysterectomy.

Prolapse occurs when the muscles in the pelvis weaken, often caused by childbirth and aging. When a pelvic organ droops, the woman can experience a number of symptoms, including:

  • Lower back pain
  • Constipation
  • Incontinence 

To combat these symptoms, some medical device manufacturers began selling mesh for surgical implantation. For a period of time, transvaginal mesh was considered one of the best options for women suffering from prolapse, and ABC News reports that transvaginal mesh was used in surgeries for "hundreds of thousands of women."

University of Texas study bolsters FDA transvaginal mesh warning

In 2008, the  FDA reported that it had received in excess of 1,000 reports of surgical mesh complications from nine different manufacturers. The reports indicated women were suffering from a number of symptoms following transvaginal mesh implantation, including:

  • Pain
  • Infections
  • Urinary problems
  • Continuing problems with prolapse or incontinence

In many cases, women required additional surgeries to repair the damage caused by the surgical mesh. Consequently, the FDA recommended that doctors inform patients of the potential side effects and complications caused by transvaginal mesh.

Recently, a study conducted by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center focused on determining whether the warnings issued by the FDA regarding transvaginal mesh were accurate.

Researchers reviewed the cases of 58 women who had transvaginal mesh surgery from 2006 through 2011 - only 14 of whom received successful treatment. Many of the women required additional surgeries and suffered serious complications. Of the women treated, 22 percent reported continuing pelvic pain following the treatment.

The University of Texas researchers concluded that the FDA was accurate in its assessment that patients ought to be warned of the seriousness of the complications associated with transvaginal mesh. In addition, the study concluded that the complications were not only "life altering," but also "might not always be surgically correctable."

If you have suffered complications due to transvaginal mesh, you may be entitled to compensation for the harm caused. Consulting with a skilled, Texas personal injury attorney will ensure your rights are protected.

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