Elizabeth Carrollton writes about defective medical devices and dangerous drugs for Drugwatch.com.
One of the main reasons pelvic organ prolapse (POP) occurs is due to childbirth. The stress of birth can, in some cases, shift the organs in the pelvis from their normal positions. The most common organs affected during childbirth are the bladder and the uterus itself. When this occurs, the symptoms can be mild or severe, depending on the type and extent of the prolapse.
The most common symptom is a feeling of fullness or pressure in the lower abdomen. Frequent urination and incontinence are common with a prolapsed bladder. As the prolapse worsens, the feeling of pressure can change to pain, and the condition can be very uncomfortable and debilitating.
There are several treatments for pelvic organ prolapse, and recently, the use of an implant called transvaginal mesh has become very common. During this procedure, a light mesh material is inserted through the vagina to help secure the prolapsed organs. While in theory this seems like a great solution for pelvic organ prolapse, in reality there have been numerous complications associated with this procedure.
These complications have been reported with increasing frequency to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Between the years of 2008 and 2010, more than 2,800 complaints about the transvaginal mesh procedure were logged. The FDA has made these complaints public in order to help patients realize the risk they are facing if they elect to go ahead with this procedure.
The most common side effect following transvaginal mesh surgery is the erosion of the mesh into other organs. This erosion can cause bleeding and other side effects. Another common complication is the actual wearing through of the vaginal walls, as the mesh presses against them. This is a very serious complication that can result in internal bleeding and serious infections. Because of such severe complications, mesh users have started to file a transvaginal mesh lawsuit against the mesh manufacturers.
Other side effects noted by the FDA include pain and neuromuscular problems following the procedure. Unfortunately, many doctors are not aware of the complications that their patients are facing with this procedure. It appears that few are properly trained in the insertion of the transvaginal mesh, and this in part explains the high rate of complications associated with the procedure.
The FDA is continuing to monitor the problems associated with transvaginal mesh surgery. The agency has ordered dozens of mesh manufacturers to conduct safety studies on their products.
If your doctor has recommended transvaginal mesh, it is vital to understand the potential risks you may face. While all surgical procedures carry risks, the number of complaints associated with mesh are cause for real concern.
Ask your doctor if there are alternatives to this procedure. For minor cases, simple muscle exercises can be used to help shift the prolapsed organs back into place and strengthen the vaginal walls. Serious cases can be fixed with a surgical procedure that does not include the insertion of the mesh.
If you feel that you are not receiving enough treatment options, don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion from another surgeon or specialist. You deserve to know the true complications associated with transvaginal mesh, and you deserve to have a surgeon who has been properly trained in the procedure before going ahead with surgery.