Written by attorney Robert Bamberger Greiwe

I Think I may Have a Transvaginal Mesh (TVM) Case, but I am not Sure. What Should I do?

TVM issues and cases can be very complex.

Surgical mesh has been used since the 1950s to repair abdominal hernias.

In the 1970s, gynecologists began using surgical mesh products indicated for hernia repair for abdominal repair of pelvic organ prolapse (POP). These repairs involved the insertion of surgical mesh into the abdominal region. In the 1990s, surgical mesh began being inserted through the vagina to help women who suffered from stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.

The difference in the location of the mesh—abdominally inserted versus vaginally inserted—has proved to be a crucial factor in determining the success of the mesh implant. Transvaginal mesh (TVM) was not required to go through any additional testing procedures to be approved by the FDA. The FDA allows certain medical devices to be approved solely based on the fact that the new device is “substantially equivalent" to older, previously tested and approved, device.

Because surgical mesh worked with little issue when implanted through and into the abdomen, and TVM was “substantially equivalent" to the mesh used for those procedures, the FDA approved TVM without making manufactures run through all the testing procedures. However, problems with TVM have surfaced.

First, if you are experiencing pain or discomfort that you believe is being caused by transvaginal mesh, you should call a doctor. Problems caused by TWM include but are not limited to:

  • Erosion of the mesh causing pain, inflammation and infection
  • Vaginal scarring and shrinkage
  • Dyspareunia- pain during intercourse.
  • Recurrence of Prolapse

Second, if you suffer from any of the above or have been told by a doctor there may be problems with your TVM, and you wish to pursue legal action, you should contact someone immediately.

Statute of limitations (the time by which you must bring/file a lawsuit) issues are very complex with TVM cases. Many women do not learn that defective TVM is what has caused their pain and discomfort until many years after the initial implant. In cases like these, many states apply what is called the “discovery rule" to determine that start point of the statute of limitations. Therefore, the limitations period begins to run (start) when a woman first becomes aware or learns that her defective TVM is or may be the cause of her pain and discomfort.

Learn more about TVM cases here.

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