After last year’s U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announcement concerning vaginal mesh implants, reports say that the number of vaginal mesh lawsuits increased significantly. As a result, a joint status conference for the cases involved in four vaginal mesh multidistrict litigations was held. |
Vaginal mesh implants, which are also called transvaginal mesh implants, are popular medical devices that have been around since the nineties. They are made from either absorbable biological materials, or absorbable synthetic materials. These implants are used for treating stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Over the years, the popularity of these devices has inspired a number of companies to manufacture their own vaginal mesh device.
Vaginal mesh implants have long been linked to complications despite their widespread use. Such complications, among others, may include device protrusion, pain, bleeding, infection, painful sexual intercourse, and difficulties in urinating. Based on several medical case reports, two of the most common vaginal mesh complications include vaginal mesh erosion, which may lead to permanent damage, and device deformation, which may lead to vaginal shortening, and severe pain.
Aside from the above complications, women who have filed vaginal mesh lawsuits also claim to have suffered from blood vessel damage, vaginal discomfort, relapse of their pelvic prolapse or urinary incontinence, scarring, and organ perforations. Many of the individuals who claim to have suffered from the alleged complications had to undergo corrective surgery in order to relieve their pain and minimize discomfort. In the worst-case scenario, afflicted patients may need to undergo multiple corrective procedures, which put them at risk of further complications.
In 2011, the U.S. FDA announced that the surgical implantation of vaginal mesh devices may not be more effective at repairing pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence than non-mesh alternatives, such as traditional surgery. Moreover, the agency claims that the manufacturing companies understated the occurrence rate of complications associated with vaginal mesh implants. Upon reviewing more than a hundred research studies on these devices, the agency discovered that approximately 10 percent of the women involved in the studies had developed complications. This has sparked numerous lawsuits against several companies that are responsible for the production of these implants.
Four vaginal mesh multidistrict litigations are currently underway in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. Defendants in the cases that are pending in these litigations include C.R. Bard, American Medical Systems, Inc., Boston Scientific Corp., and Coloplast. Following the FDA’s 2011 announcement, a joint status conference for the thousands of lawsuits involving vaginal meshes that are pending in the above mentioned litigations was held on April 18, 2013. Personal injury law firm websites, such as the New York based Rottenstein Law Group’s rotlaw.com, contain extra information regarding the joint status conference and vaginal mesh multidistrict litigations.
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