Symptoms of mesh bladder sling problems include pain in the pelvis or groin, vaginal bleeding, blood in the stool, incontinence and painful sexual intercourse, according to Drugwatch. Bladder slings and transvaginal meshes are medical devices meant to solve urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, problems that commonly affect older women.
Though the implants relieved these problems for most women, many who received them experienced a recurrence of symptoms or developed serious complications such as perforations and infections. Contraction, shrinkage or erosion of the mesh are blamed for failure of the device, says Drugwatch.
Contraction of the device pulls and exerts pressure on the tissues and organs that are attached to it. Half of patients who received the implant reportedly experienced shrinkage, which means shrinkage of the device itself or shrinkage of the adjacent tissue due to inflammation or formation of excess fibrous tissue. Erosion and displacement of the device occurs when the body rejects the implant, which can lead to perforations of blood vessels, the bowel or the bladder. Implanting a device of the wrong mesh size also contributes to tissue rejection, as healthy tissue cannot properly integrate into the implant, explains ClassAction.org.
As of 2015, about 70,000 women who suffered serious complications from the implants filed class action lawsuits against the mesh and bladder sling manufacturers, notes Drugwatch.