Vaginal Mesh/Bladder Sling

Medical Surgical Mesh

Cook Medical surgical mesh is a product used to help alleviate Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) that afflicts at least one of two women in their lifetime. It occurs when the tissue that holds the pelvic organs in place degenerates and causes one or several organs to enter into the vagina and sometimes go past the vaginal opening. The mesh was created to act as a “Sling” and help support a woman’s organs when their own lining tissue was weak. It was also used to help reinforce the vaginal wall and treat incontinence.

However, the mesh did not undergo rigorous testing like most FDA approved products; instead it was fast-tracked through the controversial 501(k) application process that quickly admits products that are similar to existing ones. On July 13, 2011 the FDA released a safety communication announcing that there had been several thousand reports of POP/mesh complications. The mesh had been eroding and causing pain, infections, bleeding, urinary problems, and risk of organ perforation.

Vaginal Mesh Injuries

Although the mesh was supposed to be implanted to support a failing organic tissue lining, it often eroded itself. The FDA states that some of the common symptoms of a defective vaginal mesh are

  • Mesh erosion through the vagina
  • Urinary complications
  • Pain (particularly during intercourse)
  • Organ perforation
  • Infection
  • Bleeding

Multiple failing meshes require multiple surgeries to replace them, requiring the patient to experience greater mental and physical stresses on their body.

Cook Medical Surgical Vaginal Mesh

Unlike most synthetic meshes, Cook Medical’s version is made from pig intestines. Studies have been shown that Cook mesh is more likely to get infected, as well as having inferior tensile strength. Very recently a judge decided to include Cook in a multidistrict litigation, allowing its victims to consolidate their claims, even though Cook argued that the 15 (out of 42) surviving cases were not enough to combine.

Current Surgical Mesh Cases

Last year, a victim of a degraded vaginal mesh was awarded $5.5 million after she underwent nine revision surgeries. Another victim this February was awarded $11.11 million after she had eighteen revision surgeries. The jury found the offending company, Johnson & Johnson, had made fraudulent misrepresentations and failed to adequately warn doctors and patients of the risks.

About one year ago, a judge approved a multidistrict litigation (MDL) to use with the many outstanding vaginal mesh cases. This centralizes all the similar cases that make proceedings much easier for the federal court-- as one judge is currently responsible for 18,000 vaginal mesh cases. The cases will begin to be heard starting the middle of this summer.

Discussing Your Case

If you have experienced transvaginal mesh side effects or complications with the Cook's mesh product, you may be entitled to compensation. Talk to us online or call us at 800-553-8082.

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