Bladder Slings - Complications, Recalls, Lawsuits
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Bladder Sling

Bladder slings are designed to help control stress urinary incontinence, but if you’ve been hurt by one of these devices instead, it’s important to know your rights. The attorneys at The Sanders Firm handle a wide variety of personal injury litigation in New York City and Long Island. If you or a loved one has been injured due to negligence, our experienced team of trial lawyers will be on your side to assist you with your bladder sling lawsuit.

Many women try to control their stress urinary incontinence by limiting their fluid intake, wearing protective undergarments, and regularly doing kegel exercises. Doctors commonly prescribe medication such as Detrol, Ditropan XL, Oxytrol, and Vesicare to help women control overactive bladders or bladder spasms.

Still, when symptoms of stress urinary incontinence become extreme, many women opt for bladder slings, in an attempt to control their condition. Unfortunately, bladder sling complications have proved to be alarmingly common, leaving women in much more pain than they were experiencing prior to the procedure.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to bladder sling complications, you don’t have to face these difficult times alone. The New York product liability lawyers at The Sanders Firm are here to ensure you obtain the settlement or award you deserve to compensate for medical bills, lost wages, pain & suffering, and more.

About bladder slings

Bladder slings can be created from donated biological tissue, tissue from the abdominal wall, or man-made mesh material. A bladder sling is shaped like a hammock, working to provide extra support to the sagging bladder.

Three different types of bladder slings are widely used today, including:

  • Conventional slings: physicians use stitches to attach the bladder sling to pelvic or abdominal tissue to reach proper tension.
  • Tension-free slings: the bladder sling is held in place with tissue, without the need for stitches. Scar formation eventually keeps the mesh intact.
  • Adjustable slings: the patient is awake while the sling is placed into the body. Local anesthetic is used to make adjustments to the bladder sling months or years later.

Bladder slings are not the only devices used to treat stress urinary incontinence. Some patients experience complications too extreme to be treated with a bladder sling. These patients require the use of transvaginal mesh devices, made from biological material or mesh, in a wide-variety of shapes and sizes.

If you’ve experienced bladder sling complications due to medical malpractice or a defective device, we’re here to help. At The Sanders Firm, we believe that personalized service and unwavering support is the cornerstone to outstanding legal representation.

Bladder sling risks

There are a number of less invasive techniques for inserting bladder slings, but all surgeries carry risks.

Bladder sling complications after the surgery may include:

  • Problems urinating
  • Internal bleeding
  • New symptoms of urgency or urge incontinence
  • Infection at incision site
  • Injury to an internal organ

Serious bladder sling side effects, such as protrusion of the mesh or sling, can also occur. Patients experiencing these issues may need to undergo revision or replacement surgery.

The Sanders Firm is one of the most respected personal injury firms in New York, and we work hard to recover fair compensation for those who have been harmed by pelvic mesh or bladder sling problems. Our reputation rests on a combined 46 years of experience recovering substantial settlements and jury verdicts on behalf of personal injury victims.

Bladder sling recalls

According to the FDA, transvaginal mesh complications are “not rare.” In July 2011, the FDA issued a warning on vaginal mesh products, based on medical studies and nearly 4,000 reports of patient complications, relaying the risks associated with transvaginal mesh POP repair. While vaginal mesh repair was previously believed to be the most effective treatment for POP, the warning suggested otherwise.

In early 2012, the FDA sent a letter to several manufacturers of vaginal mesh products requiring them to run additional tests to ensure their products were safe for patients and to see if they do pose a high risk of injury.

A number of bladder sling recalls have been issued from leading manufacturers, including Boston Scientific, C.R. Bard, and Johnson & Johnson.

Boston Scientific recalled its ProteGen Sling in January 1999, after 500 lawsuits were filed against the company, initiating an FDA investigation.

The company also recalled its Pinnacle Pelvic Floor Repair kit in August 2011, because “the device may exhibit low tensile strength between the needle and suture and lead to needle detachment during mesh leg placement.”

While C.R. Bard has not issued a recall for its Avaulta support systems, the company announced it would stop selling the product in July 2012.

Similarly, in June 2012 Johnson & Johnson announced it would stop selling its Gynecare TVT Secur System, Gynecare Prosima Pelvic Floor Repair System, Gynecare Prolift Pelvic Floor Repair System; and Gynecare Prolift+M Pelvic Floor Repair System devices.

Bladder sling lawsuits

More than 50,000 lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers of pelvic mesh products. Most lawsuits have been consolidated under eight different Multidistrict Litigations (MDLs) in the Southern District of West Virginia, under the direction of U.S. District Judge Joseph L. Goodwin.

A case list released by the U.S. JPML on February 19, shows Judge Goodwin is currently overseeing 152 Cook Medical mesh lawsuits, 6,172 Bard Avaulta mesh lawsuits, 7,617 Boston Scientific mesh lawsuits, 1,155 Coloplast mesh lawsuits, 13,000 Ethicon lawsuits and 13,292 American Medical Systems (AMS) mesh lawsuits.

In February, he was also assigned to manage the Neomedic pelvic mesh lawsuits.

Discuss your case with a product liability lawyer

The Sanders Firm is here to help patients suffering from bladder sling complications get the compensation they deserve for the pain and suffering they experience ─ in addition to costly medical bills and other expenses. We have more than 45 years of successful experience in the pharmaceutical and medical device litigation field, ensuring we have what it takes to successfully take on your product liability lawsuit.

Call 1.800. FAIR.PLAY (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) to discuss your case with a dedicated member of our team.


  1. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Urinary Incontinence - Vaginal Sling Procedures, https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007376.htm

  2. Mayo Clinic, Urinary Incontinence, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/urinary-incontinence/in-depth/urinary-incontinence-surgery/art-20046858

  3. WebMD, Urethral Sling for Stress Incontinence in Women, https://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/urethral-sling-for-stress-incontinence-in-women

  4. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA Safety Communication: UPDATE on Serious Complications Associated with Transvaginal Placement of Surgical Mesh for Pelvic Organ Prolapse, https://www.fda.gov/medicaldevices/safety/alertsandnotices/ucm262435.htm

  5. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Class 2 Device Recall Pinnacle Pelvic Floor Repair KitAnterior/Apical, and Pinnacle Pelvic Floor Repair KitPosterior, https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfres/res.cfm?id=100416

  6. United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, Case List, https://www.jpml.uscourts.gov/sites/jpml/files/Pending_MDL_Dockets_By_District-February-19-2014.pdf