To date, more than 30,000 transvaginal mesh (TVM) lawsuits have been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia as part of ongoing Multidistrict Litigation (MDL). An MDL has been formed for each of six TVM manufacturers, including C.R. Bard, Inc., American Medical Systems, Inc., Boston Scientific Corp., Ethicon, Inc. (Johnson & Johnson), Coloplast Corp., and Cook Medical Inc. Several thousand additional cases are pending in consolidated state court litigations against these manufacturers and other TVM manufacturers around the country.
The TVM discovery process has revealed an increasing amount of complications and severe injuries associated with Trans-Obturator Tape (TOT) mesh slings compared to retropubically placed slings. Prior to the development of TOT slings, mesh slings placed to repair stress urinary incontinence were implanted retropubically by placing the mesh through a vaginal incision and pulling the mesh behind the pubic bone to two stab incisions made in the lower abdomen. In an effort to minimize the potential for bladder and bowel injuries associated with the retropubic approach, the transobturator approach was developed.
The transobturator approach involves the passage of mesh through the obturator foramen on the sides of the groin. The mesh is then pulled to two stab incisions made on each side of the patient’s groin. Although intended to minimize injuries during implantation, the transobturator approach introduces increased risks for vascular and nerve injury by the passing the mesh and tools used to implant the mesh through the nerve-rich obturator foramen. In addition to these increased injuries, which occur at the time of placement, increased risks of nerve injury and irritation after placement have also been associated with TOT slings as compared to slings implanted using the retropubic approach.
Lawyers in our firm’s Mass Torts Section continue to be heavily involved in the TVM litigation and discovery process. These lawyers and their support staff continue to investigate claims where women have experienced organ perforation, bleeding, urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, pelvic and vaginal pain, infection, discomfort during intercourse, and the need for corrective surgery following the transvaginal placement of mesh for pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence repair. If you or a loved one has suffered such an injury, contact Leigh O’Dell or Chad Cook, lawyers in our firm’s Mass Torts Section, at 1-800-898-2034 or by email at Leigh.Odell@beasleyallen.com or Chad.Cook@beasleyallen.com.
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