Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI)
Recent years have witnessed an alarming increase in the number of women suffering from serious transvaginal mesh complications. Thousands of patients who underwent procedures they presumed to be perfectly safe in order to treat stress urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse soon began to suffer severe, often debilitating side effects.
Over 30,000 women have filed suit against the manufacturers of these mesh devices for failure to publicize known risk, failure to conduct sufficient testing and for negligent marketing practices.
At The Sanders Firm, our product liability lawyers are committed to seeking justice for victims of vaginal mesh products and work tirelessly to secure fair compensation for those whose problems with stress urinary incontinence have been exacerbated by mesh implants.
Stress urinary incontinence (SUI)
The troubling condition known as stress urinary incontinence (SUI) involves involuntary urine leakage typically occurring during periods of increased physical activity or when a sufferer coughs, sneezes or laughs. It is estimated that roughly a third of all women are afflicted with SUI, which is marked by weakened pelvic floor muscles and sphincter.
While SUI may result from vaginal childbirth, other causes include:
- Bladder infections
- Cigarette smoking
- Use of certain medications
- Chronic coughs
While the severity of SUI differs among individual sufferers, for many women, it causes severe discomfort, embarrassment and reduction in their quality of life. Involuntary leakage events can occur anytime, anyplace, including while at work, at social functions or even during sex, causing uncertainty and anxiety for those contending with the condition. Not surprisingly, countless women have sought solutions from medical professionals who frequently conduct ultrasounds, pelvic exams and other types of testing in order to formally diagnose the condition.
Typical treatment methods for SUI
A wide range of treatment options exist for patients suffering from SUI, from relatively simple techniques to more invasive surgical procedures.
Typical SUI treatments have included:
- Pessary device that is inserted in the vagina to provide extra support for the urethra
- Pelvic floor (Kegel) exercises
- Dietary adjustments and exercise routines to help obese patients alleviate abdominal pressure
- Prescription drugs
- Disposable urethral inserts
- Transvaginal mesh implantation
It is the last intervention in the list that has spurred a wave of litigation and produced severe side effects in a large number of patients. Implantation of vaginal mesh is intended to repair weakened tissue, provide support to the urethra and strengthen the vaginal walls to prevent involuntary urine leakage. For SUI patients, the mesh devices are implanted in creases near the groin or in the lower abdominal area.
While this type of procedure was touted by countless doctors and device manufacturers as a safe, effective means of addressing this most delicate of problems, problems with transvaginal mesh surgery soon became apparent.
The transvaginal mesh lawyers of The Sanders Firm possess decades of experience fighting on behalf of those who have suffered harm due to negligently designed, manufactured and marketed medical devices, and we stand prepared to fight for the rights of innocent victims.
Growing concern about transvaginal mesh treatments for SUI
Reports of serious complications stemming from the use of transvaginal mesh as a treatment for stress urinary incontinence did not take long to surface for many implant recipients, and adverse event reports began to mount. The sheer number of reported problems grew so substantially that in 2011, the FDA issued a safety notice stating that serious complications and side effects arising from transvaginal mesh implants were not rare and that alternative treatments for SUI were often preferable.
It was soon revealed that many of the devices had not been subjected to traditional clinical safety trials in advance of being brought to market, simply because they bore significant similarities to existing products. Unfortunately, this lack of testing may have disguised the potential of products to cause side effects that include:
- Bleeding events
- Organ perforation
- Internal mesh erosion
- Dangerous infections
- Chronic pain
- Bowel and bladder damage
- Painful intercourse
- Recurrence and exacerbation of existing stress urinary incontinence
Not only did thousands of women experience new, devastating transvaginal mesh side effects after their surgeries, many of them experienced significant worsening of the stress urinary incontinence that the procedure was initially intended to address. As a result, patients have been forced to undergo ongoing medical treatment and in many cases, risky revision surgery. Such operations are frequently painful and can result in additional damage to the organs, systemic infections and lasting harm.
The Sanders Firm has access to an extensive network of medical experts, consultants and case investigators who work together to discover the facts underlying injuries caused by medical devices and the manufacturer negligence responsible for them.
Our resources can give you the edge you need to successfully confront the corporate giants whose acts and omissions produced the harm you have sustained, including manufacturers such as:
- Johnson & Johnson
- Boston Scientific
- C.R. Bard
- American Medical Systems
- Cook Medical
Current status of transvaginal mesh litigation
To consolidate similar federal transvaginal mesh claims and create fact-finding efficiencies, multiple multidistrict litigations (MDLs) have been established, with seven of them falling under the purview of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, and another under the jurisdiction of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia.
Many more vaginal mesh lawsuits continue to be filed in both federal and state courts nationwide. Settlements and trial verdicts are expected to continue in these matters in the coming months and years, with several plaintiffs already securing multi-million dollar awards.
What The Sanders Firm can do to help
Despite our reputation for being aggressive advocates for personal injury and defective medical device victims, we at The Sanders Firm also know the critical importance of compassion and personal service. We know the trauma and mistrust that arise during the aftermath of a transvaginal mesh injury, and pledge to provide helpful, honest guidance to each of our clients throughout their legal journey.
Our team will bring all of its resources and experience to bear as we fight to help you secure the financial recovery you will need to heal, including:
- Medical expenses, current and future
- Costs of revision surgery
- Lost wages
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Physical pain
- Reduction in earning capacity and future contribution
We are here to protect your legal rights
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of transvaginal mesh implantation intended to treat stress urinary incontinence, please know that there is hope. The Sanders Firm invites you to call 1-800-FAIR-PLAY to schedule a confidential, no-obligation consultation.
Because we are paid nothing unless and until we secure a financial settlement or verdict on your behalf, there is no risk to you in arranging for a candid assessment of the merits of your case and analysis of your legal options. Contact us today to find out your eligibility for seeking damages in a personal injury lawsuit.
- Mayo Clinic, Urinary incontinence surgery: when other treatments aren't enough, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/urinary-incontinence/in-depth/urinary-incontinence-surgery/art-20046858
- Cleveland Clinic, Surgery - Vaginal Sling Procedure for Stress Urinary Incontinence, my.clevelandclinic.org/services/vaginal_sling_procedure/hic_vaginal_sling_procedure_for_stress_urinary_incontinence.aspx
- FDA, FDA Safety Communication: UPDATE on Serious Complications Associated with Transvaginal Placement of Surgical Mesh for Pelvic Organ Prolapse, www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/ucm262435.htm