The first New Jersey transvaginal mesh lawsuits are scheduled to go to trial by November 2012. More than 350 lawsuits have been filed against mesh manufacturer Ethicon Gynecare alleging that the company distributed defective products and failed to warn consumers about the risks of serious side effects.
Transvaginal mesh is used in the repair of stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, a condition in which pelvic organs bulge into the interior of the vagina. If the mesh fails, patients often experience serious and debilitating complications including pain, infection, urinary problems and organ perforation.
In 2008 the Food and Drug Administration warned that transvaginal mesh surgery has a higher risk of complications compared with other forms of surgical vaginal repair. In September 2011, the FDA recommended placing transvaginal mesh products in the highest-risk category for medical devices and ordered mesh manufacturers to conduct more testing.