Vaginal Mesh Claims | HOMS Assist

Vaginal mesh surgeries can often lead to complications. If you have suffered any complications, it is important to obtain medical and legal advice as you might be entitled to make a vaginal mesh claim.

At a glance

Vaginal mesh procedures to treat incontinence were suspended in the UK recently. The surgery, which was often considered a quick fix, has negatively impacted the lives of 3% of the women who underwent the procedure. Complications post vaginal mesh surgery can ensue. If you have suffered such complications it is important to obtain medical and legal advice.


Vaginal Mesh Complications

There are two main types of mesh used in vaginal mesh surgery, these being transobturator and transvaginal tape. Mesh is a term used to describe different types of manufactured biological or synthetic implantable devices in a medical context.

Vaginal mesh has been effective for many patients, however, it has had debilitating complications for some.

In July 2018, as part of an independent safety review in the UK, vaginal mesh procedures to treat incontinence were suspended. The surgery, which was often considered a quick fix, has negatively impacted the lives of 3% of the women who underwent the procedure.

Vaginal mesh complications include:-

  • Unusual bleeding or discharge
  • Pelvic/lower abdomen pain or swelling
  • Chronic infections
  • Recurring urinary tract infections
  • Pain during intercourse
  • New or worsening bladder/bowel symptoms
  • Pain in the vagina

Can a vaginal mesh be removed?

The expertise required for mesh removal exists currently in the Irish health service. Mesh removals are carried out, in specific circumstances, in our public health system. When considering mesh removal, there needs to be a thorough assessment of the complications being experienced and the likelihood of mesh removal addressing those complications. There also needs to be an individualised balance struck between the risk of further complications associated with the mesh remaining, compared with the risk of complications from any removal procedure, and also, the possibility of complications remaining with the mesh removed. A vaginal mesh is intended to be a permanent implant and removing the mesh without due cause is unnecessary, potentially dangerous and not recommended.


Vaginal Mesh Approval for General Indemnity Cover and Product Liability Cover

The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly brought forward a proposal on 19th January 2022 before the Cabinet for the provision of general indemnity cover and product liability for cover for claims relating to transvaginal mesh products to the Irish Blood Transfusion Service and the Mental Health Commission. The Cabinet approved the proposal.


What can go wrong with a vaginal mesh surgery?

The most common consequences include mesh extrusion, mesh erosion and mesh exposure.

Mesh extrusion means that the mesh protrudes through the skin and tissues of the vaginal wall and becomes exposed. This results in vaginal bleeding, discharge and severe pain can occur. Many patients also suffer with pain during intercourse.

Mesh erosion means that the mesh erodes into the vaginal tissue or surrounding organs causing injuries such as vaginal or bladder perforation. This can be excruciatingly painful for a patient and may also cause recurrent infections including urinary tract infections.

Mesh extrusion and mesh erosion often warrant further surgery. Such surgery usually involves the removal of part or all of the mesh, which can be a very difficult procedure. Further surgery may also be necessary to treat erosion or vaginal mesh adhesions.

Chronic pain is very often linked to vaginal mesh surgery and even with mesh removal surgery chronic pain can be common.

The above complications may not occur for some time and can even take years to become apparent after the initial vaginal mesh surgery.

Such complications, set out above, can be the result of surgery even where there has been no negligence.


Types of Vaginal Mesh Negligence

Sometimes the vaginal mesh should never have been inserted in the first place and the patient may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

For example, a patient only had relatively minor symptoms of a prolapse of stress incontinence that were not overly troublesome. Furthermore, if tests were not performed before the surgery to determine the extent of the prolapse and/or incontinence, or if conservative management such as a pessary or supervised pelvic floor exercises were not offered beforehand the patient may be entitled to make a personal injury claim. 

The vaginal mesh surgery itself may have been performed in a substandard manner.

For example, the mesh may have been inserted in the wrong place. It is common that the incorrect positioning of the mesh is not identified until complications arise and scan is performed. 

Furthermore, it is common that vaginal mesh patients were not warned of the risks associated with the vaginal mesh procedure. Patients should at least be advised of vaginal mesh erosion, extrusion, pain during intercourse, chronic pain and the potential need for mesh removal surgery. It is not unheard of that a vaginal mesh be inserted during another gynaecological surgery without prior consent.


Vaginal Mesh Approval for General Indemnity Cover and Product Liability Cover

The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly brought forward a proposal on 19th January 2022 before the Cabinet for the provision of general indemnity cover and product liability for cover for claims relating to transvaginal mesh products to the Irish Blood Transfusion Service and the Mental Health Commission. The Cabinet approved the proposal.

The inclusion of these claims in the State’s general indemnity scheme will eliminate the requirement for private insurance to be in place. It has also now been proposed to delegate the product liability claims for mesh products to the State Claims Agency to ensure hospitals are not exposed to uninsured liability.

Thousands of women around the world have suffered complications after having a vaginal mesh device implanted and the use of such products in Ireland was paused in 2018.


If you have suffered complications after a vaginal mesh surgery, it is important to get legal advice from specialist solicitors who understand the unique nature of medical negligence claims.

We have over 50 years of expert legal experience advising such patients.

Looking for help with a vaginal mesh claim?.

Call us today on 1800 207 207 or contact us online.

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