Bladder Sling Procedures and Complications
Many women have undergone a bladder sling procedure in the hope that it will relieve urinary problems they have been experiencing and improve their quality of life. Unfortunately, a significant percentage of these women have encountered complications as a result of the procedure.
A bladder sling is a surgical device used to treat Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI). A bladder sling is a piece of surgical mesh used to lift and support the urethra or neck of the bladder. The surgery is typically performed using two small incisions in the woman’s abdomen and then the sling is inserted through the woman’s vagina. There are a number of bladder slings that have been cleared by the FDA to treat SUI.
Following a bladder sling procedure, the woman will temporarily be unable to urinate independently so she must empty her bladder by inserting a small tube or catheter. Patients recovering from a bladder sling surgery are not permitted to lift any heavy objects, including children, for several weeks following the procedure. Additionally, patients cannot go in water (such as bathtubs, swimming pools, or hot tubs) or have sexual intercourse for several weeks until their stitches dissolve. Following this recovery period, a successful procedure can dramatically improve a woman’s quality of life. However, many women experience complications related to the procedure.
Most of the complications from bladder sling surgery arise from problems with the mesh. The mesh may erode into other areas in the woman’s vagina. The mesh may erode to the point where it perforates or punctures a pelvic organ such as the bladder or uterus. A patient’s body may reject the sling because of inflammation of the surrounding tissues.
A number of bladder sling devices have been withdrawn from the market including the Boston Scientific ProteGen sling, Mentor OB Tape, and the Ethicon Gynecare TVT and Prolift slings. Unfortunately, other bladder sling products that remain on the market continue to cause postoperative problems. If you or a loved one has suffered a complication following a bladder sling procedure, contact the Law Office of Richard Langerman today for a free consultation.