Bladder Sling Problems
Bladder Sling Injuries and Problems
Bladder Sling Injuries Lead to Lawsuits
Several types of surgical mesh products have been manufactured and designed to reinforce muscles and provide support for internal organs. Pelvic mesh, transvaginal mesh and bladder slings are commonly used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Surgical mesh products have recently come under intense scrutiny from the United States Food and Drug Administration, known as the FDA, due to reports of serious complications resulting from their use.
Pelvic floor muscles provide support for pelvic organs including the bladder, intestines and uterus. Weakened or damaged muscles can cause urinary incontinence, the involuntary loss of urine and pelvic organ prolapse, a condition in which internal organs descend through the vaginal opening. Stress urinary incontinence is typically caused by the urethra dropping downward toward the vaginal opening. The popular treatment for severe urinary incontinence is a surgical technique referred to as a bladder sling procedure. Bladder slings are commonly composed of non-woven polypropylene or biological material harvested from animals or human donors.
There are several types of bladder slings used to treat stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, including tension-free transvaginal tape and transobturator slings. Transobturator vaginal slings were designed to support the vaginal walls and reinforce the muscles that control the flow of urine. It has recently been discovered that non-woven mesh bladder slings prevent the transmission of necessary nutrients and oxygen into the pelvic region, resulting in organ damage and pelvic infections.
Serious medical complications have resulted from the use of bladder slings and transvaginal mesh devices, including mesh erosion into the vagina, uterus, bladder and intestines. The FDA issued Public Health notifications in October 2008 and February 2009 regarding reported complications associated with the use of mesh products for the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.
Medical consequences resulting from the use of bladder slings have precipitated multiple legal actions filed in federal and state jurisdictions across the United States. The majority of the lawsuits have been filed against C.R. Bard, Boston Scientific Corporation and Mentor Corp., the leading manufacturers of bladder slings. Mesh erosion and shrinkage are alleged to have resulted in permanent pelvic organ and bladder damage. Mesh perforations into the vagina, uterus, bladder and bowel have led to the need for additional invasive procedures to repair organ damage and remove defective mesh devices. Intestinal fistulas, recurrence of prolapsed organs and the development of permanent urinary retention have been alleged against the manufacturers. Lawsuits have alleged fraud and deceit on the part of the manufacturers for failure to adequately warn patients and medical professionals of the potential risks and complications associated with these devices. Despite known risks, the companies continued to market and promote bladder sling devices as safe and effective for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence.
Anyone who has suffered an injury caused by bladder sling placement should seek legal advice from a competent attorney experienced in defective medical device litigation. Financial compensation may be available for actual and punitive damages, current and future medical expenses, loss of income and potential loss of future earnings. A law firm with a primary focus on personal injury, medical malpractice and medical product liability cases is best equipped to perform a thorough medical and legal analysis and aggressively pursue settlement options.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.