A Look at Pelvic Organ Prolapse Injuries

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jun 19, 2018

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There are several different types of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) injuries which can be treated with transvaginal mesh products. Here’s a quick look at these injuries and information about the difficulty that many women experience through treatment.

Types of POP Injuries

There are basically five different types of POP injuries – cystocele, enterocele, rectocele, vaginal vault prolapse and uterine prolapse. Here’s a quick summary of each:

  • Cystocele. A cystocele, often called a “dropped bladder,” is the most common type of POP which occurs when a woman’s bladder falls into the vagina. When the connective tissue in the front wall of the vagina – also called the roof – fails, it may become detached from the pelvis. This is what causes the bladder to drop (or prolapse) into the vagina.

  • Enterocele. An enterocele occurs when the small intestines push the back of the vagina toward the opening – usually in conjunction with another form of prolapse that can be repaired during the same procedure.

  • Rectocele. A rectocele occurs when the rectum falls into the vagina. It can cause the vagina to fail and result in severe pain during bowel movements as the rectum bulges into, or out of, the vagina itself.

  • Vaginal Vault Prolapse. Vaginal vault prolapse (VVP) affects women who have had a hysterectomy and no longer have a uterus and the support system it provided to the vagina. VVP occurs when the upper portion of the vagina pushes down into the lower portion of the vagina.

  • Uterine Prolapse. Unlike VVP, uterine prolapse affects women who still have a uterus. It occurs when the support structures which hold the uterus in place are compromised and causes it to drop down into the vagina.

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Treating POP Injuries Can Be Difficult

Regardless of the type of POP injury suffered, treatment can be difficult. Doctors may recommend a variety of treatments from simple pelvic exercises to surgery, the latter of which can be risky – especially when transvaginal mesh products such as the Bard Avaulta, Bard Pelvisoft, Bard Pelvicol and others made by companies like Gynecare, Tyco Covidien, Mentor OB, Ethicon, AMS and Boston Scientific are used.

In fact, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has received thousands of complaints concerning surgical mesh products manufactured by many of these companies. Hundreds of those complaints have resulted in transvaginal mesh injury lawsuits which allege that manufacturers failed to do adequate testing on their products before releasing them into the marketplace.

If you’ve been injured due to a transvaginal mesh product, contact an experienced surgical mesh injury lawyer to discuss your situation, find out more about pending litigation and determine whether taking further steps may be right for you.

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