Bladder Slings: Risks, Complications & Lawsuits
A bladder sling is a special type of transvaginal mesh that is used to treat women who suffer from stress urinary incontinence.
The device is made from strips of surgical mesh, and is inserted through a minimally invasive procedure. Bladder slings, along with other transvaginal mesh, was approved for treatment of POP and SUI in 2002.
How Do Bladder Slings Treat Stress Urinary Incontinence?
Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) is a condition that occurs primarily in woman, and is marked by involuntary leakage of urine caused by physical activity. SUI occurs more in women due to the length of the urethra, which averages 8 inches shorter than the male urethra. Pregnancy and childbirth can also contribute to SUI complications.
The bladder sling’s function is to create a “hammock-like” structure around the bladder neck and urethra. This supports both organs and keeps them sealed during activities that previously would trigger incontinence. Patients who receive bladder slings cannot lift heavy objects for 1-3 months after the procedure. Additionally, to minimize the risk of infection, patients are asked to refrain from sexual intercourse and using the bathtub for a period of time.
Type of Bladder Slings
The FDA has approved many different types of transvaginal mesh and bladder slings. Three of the most common slings and procedures are listed below:
|Tension-Free Vaginal Tape Sling (TVT)||An outpatient procedure that uses a synthetic mesh tape placed under the urethra. It is stitched together using the patient’s own tissue. This procedure carries the highest risk of bladder or bowl injury.|
|Transobturator Tape Sling (TOT)||A slightly different procedure that was approved by the FDA in 2002. Less risk of damage to organs during the procedure.|
|Mini Sling||Approved in 2006, the Mini Sling is installed using one small incision in the vaginal area. It is believed to carry the least risk of the three procedures.|
Bladder Sling Complications
Although bladder slings have improved the quality of life for many women, hundreds of others have suffered serious complications both during the procedure and after the sling has been installed. Risks during surgery include possible infection, internal bleeding or damage to pelvic organs near the surgical area. In addition to these procedural risks, there have been many reports of serious complications after patients leave the hospital.
Risk of Erosion & Organ Perforation
Erosion is one of the most serious concerns associated with transvaginal mesh and bladder slings. It occurs when the device migrates from its intended location and begins to damage other organs in the pelvic region. Injury to these surrounding organs such as the bladder, rectum or vagina can cause severe pain as well as other serious complications. When erosion occurs, patients almost always will require surgery to locate and remove the device. This can be expensive, painful, and require time away from work.
Bladder Sling Lawsuits
Several lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers of transvaginal mesh and bladder slings due to the adverse effects they have caused many patients. One bladder sling in particular, ObTape, has faced heavy scrutiny as many women have reported serious vaginal extrusions, as well as erosion and urinary tract infections. ObTape was manufactured by Mentor Corporation and used in procedures from 2003 to 2006. Since 2008, hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against the company, which is now owned by Johnson & Johnson.
Bladder Sling Multi-District Litigation
It is estimated that about 35,000 women received ObTape bladder slings in the three years the device was on the market. However, only a small fraction of these women have come forward claiming complications with the device. The lawsuits filed by these patients has been consolidated into a single multi-district litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. The judge presiding over the MDL, the Honorable Clay D. Land, is allowing the pre-trial proceedings of similar cases to also be consolidated. Nearly 400 cases are still pending in federal court.
How Can I File a Bladder Sling Lawsuit?
If you or a family member has suffered complications from a bladder sling, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for your pain and suffering. Our expert legal team has been handling defective medical device cases for decades. We have the skill, knowledge and resources required to take on the large pharmaceutical companies and their high-powered lawyers.
We do not charge any fees to file your bladder sling lawsuit. In fact, the entire lawsuit will cost you nothing at all. We will cover all cases costs and litigation expenses during the lawsuit. You will only be responsible for payment after we secure your settlement. If we cannot win your case, you owe us nothing. It’s that simple!
Start Your Bladder Sling Claim
Our transvaginal mesh lawyers will help you file your lawsuit. To get started, you can:
- Submit the Free Case Review Box on this page, or
- Call (866) 280-3417 any time of day to tell us about your case.
We will listen to your story and answer your questions. If you have claim, we will start immediately.
WARNING: There are strict time deadlines for filing transvaginal mesh lawsuit claims.