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Vaginal Sling

Our lawyers are reviewing vaginal sling lawsuits. One of the first defendants was Mentor ObTape but now there are many, many more covering almost every type of vaginal sling. Why? Because they just don't work and these vaginal mesh manufacturers knew or should have known this and would have if they were not putting profits over people's safety.

Vaginal Sling

The genesis of the vaginal sling lawsuits began when the ObTape sling was approved for the U.S. market in 2003. This vaginal sling was intended to help fight stress urinary incontinence, an affliction that 13 million women are suffering from in this country (a higher number than almost anyone would expect). The sling is an implanted device that is designed to replace eroded or weakened muscles in the urethra.

Unfortunately, while the vaginal mesh slings certainly worked for some patients, the Mentor ObTape Vaginal Sling was removed from the market in 2006 because its design made it far more susceptible to complications than other treatment modalities used to treat urinary incontinence. These complications from the Mentor ObTape Vaginal Sling often required patients to undergo surgery and, regrettably, often severe and permanent injuries.

In October 2006, a Journal of Urology article underscored the frequency and the scope of injuries caused by the Mentor ObTape Vaginal Sling. The study looked at 67 women who had been implanted with the Mentor ObTape Vaginal Sling. More than 13% developed vaginal extrusions. Others had chronic vaginal discharge, and one patient developed an abscess that led to complications.

The most important part of the Journal of Urology study was the control group which had a 56 patient cohort who used another type of vaginal sling. None of the patients in the control group experienced the complications seen with the Mentor ObTape Vaginal Sling. Other studies have reached similar conclusions with various studies reporting vaginal erosion after Obtape insertion ranges from 1.9% to 20%. Most of these Obtape studies reported incident rates closer to the higher range.

The problem with the Mentor ObTape Vaginal Sling was that it was apparently defectively designed. Vaginal slings have historically been made with a mesh design which allows the sling to breathe and get nutrients to the body’s tissue. This Mentor ObTape Vaginal Sling tried a new innovative design. Trying something new is commendable, but you cannot put a product on the market without adequate testing. The ObTape Vaginal Sling pushed into and through the vaginal wall causing tearing, cutting, and sometimes permanent erosion of the vaginal tissues. When ObTape causes erosion of the vagina, complete excision of the exposed mesh is often recommended to avoid severe soft tissue infections that may occur for years after surgery.

Other Manufacturers Did Not Learn the ObTape Lesson

This should have been a big clue for the other vaginal mesh makers. Instead, they saw the iceberg, hit the throttle and proceeded north in spite of all of the evidence that the same problems with the Mentor ObTape sling were going to be the same type problems their product were going to have. Of course, no one can speak to the motives of everyone involved in making these products. But it is hard not to see how profitable vaginal slings were impacting the judgment of whether these products were safe.

Why Women Have Been Slow to Come Forward

There are 13 million women with this problem, yet many – up to 50% in some studies – do not receive any treatment for this condition. But I also think many women do not realize that there are ObTape lawsuits pending around the country and there is a great possibility these women will receive the compensation they deserve for their injuries.

If you or someone you love has suffered injuries and would like to learn more about the Mentor ObTape Sling lawsuits that are pending around the country, call Laura Zois at 800-553-8082 or click here for a free, confidential case evaluation by a Mentor ObTape Sling lawyer.

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