Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic organ prolapse is a common pelvic floor disorder that affects many women. In fact, over one third of women will experience pelvic organ prolapse or similar conditions over their lifetime.

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that keep pelvic organs in place. These organs include the bladder, uterus, vagina, small bowel, and rectum. Sometimes, the pelvic floor muscles become weaker, especially after childbirth. As women age, pelvic floor disorders becomes more common. If a pelvic floor disorder develops, one or more of the pelvic organs may stop working correctly. Along with pelvic organ prolapse, urinary and anal incontinence (involuntary excretion of urine or bowel contents) are conditions associated with the weakening of pelvic floor muscles.

The term “prolapse” means to fall out of place. In pelvic organ prolapse, the pelvic organs descend or droop into or outside of the vaginal canal or anus. The following conditions fall under the term “pelvic organ prolapse:”

  • Cystocele – a prolapse of the bladder into the vagina; the most form of pelvic organ prolapse
  • Urethrocele – a prolapse of the urethra (a tube that carries urine from the bladder)
  • Uterine prolapse – a prolapse of the uterus into the vaginal canal
  • Vaginal vault prolapse – a prolapse of the upper portion of the vagina into the vaginal canal
  • Enterocele – a prolapse of the small bowel into the lower pelvic cavity
  • Rectocele – prolapse of the rectum

Causes of Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Anything that puts pressure on the pelvis or abdomen can lead to pelvic organ prolapse. Pregnancy, labor, and childbirth are the most common causes of the disorder. Other causes include obesity, chronic coughing, constipation, pelvic organ cancers, and hysterectomy (removal of the uterus). Genetics may also play a role in pelvic organ prolapse.

Symptoms of Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Many women report the following symptoms with pelvic organ prolapse:

  • A feeling of pressure in the abdomen
  • Backache
  • Painful intercourse
  • A feeling of something falling out of the vagina
  • Urinary problems such as leaking or a constant urge to urinate
  • Constipation
  • Spotting or bleeding from the vagina.

Symptoms will depend on which organ is prolapsing. For example, if the bladder has prolapsed, the constant urge to urinate may occur.

Treatment of Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic organ prolapse can be treated in a few ways. First, exercises designed to increase the strength of pelvic muscles may help (i.e. Kegel exercises). Second, surgical treatment can repair the affected tissue or organ. The affected tissue or organ may even be completely removed (i.e. hysterectomy). Finally, a doctor may suggest inserting a mechanical treatment, such as a transvaginal mesh device, to provide support for the drooping organs.

Transvaginal Mesh Devices

Transvaginal mesh is a net-like implant used to treat pelvic organ prolapse. Typically, surgeons will insert the implant through the vagina. It is a quicker, easier, and less invasive process than implanting the device through the abdomen. When in place, the transvaginal mesh will strengthen the pelvic muscles and hold the pelvic organs in place. While these devices were designed to help women suffering from pelvic organ prolapse, not all of them are safe.

Thousands of women who had transvaginal mesh implants have experienced severe side effects including pain, nerve damage, infection, bleeding, painful intercourse, recurrence of organ prolapse, incontinence, vaginal shrinkage, emotional problems, and neuro-muscular problems.

Complications also include mesh erosion and organ perforation. Mesh erosion occurs when the device passes through the vaginal wall. After the mesh passes through the vaginal wall, it can harm other organs. Organ perforation occurs when the sharp edges of the mesh cut into nearby organs, such as the bladder.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did not require transvaginal mesh manufacturers to conduct studies on the devices before they were released into the market. In October 2008, the FDA finally began issuing warnings about these devices and, as of March 2013, they have issued study orders to 34 transvaginal mesh manufacturers to determine if the devices are safe.

There have been few transvaginal mesh recalls, but one manufacturer, J&J took several of its implants off them market voluntarily.

Transvaginal Mesh Devices

Transvaginal mesh is a net-like implant used to treat pelvic organ prolapse. Typically, surgeons will insert the implant through the vagina. It is a quicker, easier, and less invasive process than implanting the device through the abdomen. When in place, the transvaginal mesh will strengthen the pelvic muscles and hold the pelvic organs in place. While these devices were designed to help women suffering from pelvic organ prolapse, not all of them are safe.

Thousands of women who had transvaginal mesh implants have experienced severe side effects including pain, nerve damage, infection, bleeding, painful intercourse, recurrence of organ prolapse, incontinence, vaginal shrinkage, emotional problems, and neuro-muscular problems.

Complications also include mesh erosion and organ perforation. Mesh erosion occurs when the device passes through the vaginal wall. After the mesh passes through the vaginal wall, it can harm other organs. Organ perforation occurs when the sharp edges of the mesh cut into nearby organs, such as the bladder.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did not require transvaginal mesh manufacturers to conduct studies on the devices before they were released into the market. In October 2008, the FDA finally began issuing warnings about these devices and, as of March 2013, they have issued study orders to 34 transvaginal mesh manufacturers to determine if the devices are safe.

There have been few transvaginal mesh recalls, but one manufacturer, J&J took several of its implants off them market voluntarily.

Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits

To date, tens of thousands of women and their families have filed lawsuits against transvaginal mesh manufacturers. In June of 2013, one manufacturer settled an undisclosed number of lawsuits for $54 million. One transvaginal mesh plaintiff won a jury verdict of $11.11 million after she was forced to have 18 revision surgeries.
As of April 2015, Boston Scientific, another transvaginal mesh manufacturer, has settled nearly 3,000 cases for $119 million.

If you have experienced pain and suffering from a transvaginal mesh implant, don’t wait to call an attorney. These cases are being settled today, and the statute of limitations on filing your claim is running out.

Transvaginal Mesh Lawyer

Legal claims filed against large pharmaceutical corporations such, as Johnson & Johnson and C.R. Bard are complex matters that require extensive resources. A pharmaceutical lawyer will shoulder these expenses throughout litigation and help level the playing field for the injury victim. Don’t be afraid to fight for your rights if you have been seriously injured as a result of a transvaginal mesh surgery. If a pharmaceutical corporation is found responsible for your personal injuries, they will also be responsible for providing you the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.

It is unacceptable when a corporation places profits ahead of people, especially when known risks are hidden at the expense of the public health. Contact a St. Louis vaginal mesh lawyer as soon as possible to review your legal options. Unfortunately, time limits do apply in transvaginal mesh cases, and the clock may be running out on your time to seek compensation. A vaginal mesh lawyer and case intake specialist are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to evaluate your potential case for FREE. Call us at your earliest convenience toll-free at 855-552-2337, or locally at 314-409-7060. All consultations are absolutely free, and there will never be a fee unless win your case.