Q: What Is Transvaginal Mesh?
A: Transvaginal mesh (“TVM”) is a synthetic polypropylene material that is surgically implanted either abdominally or vaginally into women for pelvic organ prolapse (“POP”) or stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Physicians, the FDA and various research groups have discovered that TVM implants often cause a series of medical complications, such as mesh erosion and pain during sexual intercourse.
Q: What Were The FDA Notices?
A: In October 2008, the FDA issued a public health warning related to TVM implants. The notification described the complications as “rare,” and was not specific to any manufacturer or brand. On July 13, 2011, the FDA issued an update to the October 2008 warning, stating that TVM related complications were of “continuing serious concern.” Importantly, the update reclassified the complications as “not rare” and indicated that “transvaginally placed mesh in POP repair does not conclusively improve clinical outcomes over traditional non-mesh repair.”
Q: What Are Some Of The Symptoms Of Defective Transvaginal Mesh?
A: Symptoms of defective TVM that may indicate a need for further medical care and possible revision and/or corrective surgery include: severe pain sitting or walking, painful sexual intercourse, incontinence and loss of sexual sensation. The symptoms could indicate that you have: mesh erosion, bleeding, infection, shrinkage, inflammation and damage to nerve endings.
Q: What Does It Mean To Have Defective Transvaginal Mesh?
A: Treatment for problems associated with defective TVM includes revision surgery to remove the mesh and/or corrective surgery to trim or resize the mesh. Often patients require multiple surgeries because the mesh becomes imbedded in the vaginal tissues, and revision/corrective surgery is described as difficult. Revision and/or corrective surgery continually results in more scar tissue and aggravates the symptoms. TVM consumers report that often it is difficult to find surgeons willing to do the revision and/or corrective surgery.
Q: How Do I Know What Kind of Transvaginal Mesh That I Have?
A: There are multiple ways to determine what kind of TVM that you have. First, contact the physician who performed your TVM surgery. He should be able to tell you the brand and model of your device. For privacy reasons, the physician may ask that you inquire in person.