Stress Urinary Incontinence - Consumer Justice Foundation

Stress Urinary Incontinence

Written by Faith Anderson on September 29, 2011
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Stress Urinary Incontinence

Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) describes any involuntary leakage of urine that occurs during physical activity, including sneezing, coughing, laughing or exercising. The ability to hold urine and control urination depends on the proper function of the lower urinary tract, the nervous system, and the kidneys. There are two muscles involved in the control of urine flow: the sphincter, which is a circular muscle surrounding the urethra, and the detrusor, which is the muscle of the bladder wall. In individuals with stress urinary incontinence, the sphincter muscle and the pelvic muscles, which support the bladder and urethra, become weakened. This prevents the sphincter from controlling urine flow when there is increased pressure from the abdomen, such as when you laugh, cough, or lift something heavy. Because stress urinary incontinence can be a significantly distressful condition, many women opt for surgery to correct the problem, which often involves implanting a medical device called surgical mesh. Unfortunately, new information suggests this method of treatment may result in serious side effects for women, including surgical mesh infection and mesh erosion, both of which may require removal of the defective mesh. If you received a surgical mesh implant and have since suffered from a severe side effect, contact a surgical mesh attorney for help.

Stress Urinary Incontinence Symptoms

Stress urinary incontinence often occurs as a result of weakened pelvic muscles that support the bladder and urethra. This weakness may be caused by injury to the urethral area, certain medications, or surgery of the pelvic area. SUI is commonly seen in women who have had multiple pregnancies and vaginal childbirths, and in women suffering from pelvic organ prolapse. The main symptom of SUI is the involuntary loss of urine, which may occur when coughing, sneezing, exercising, standing, engaging in sexual intercourse, or engaging in other physical activity.

Stress Urinary Incontinence Treatment

Treatment for stress urinary incontinence depends on how severe the symptoms are and how much they interfere with your everyday life. The four main categories of SUI treatment are medication, behavioral changes, pelvic floor muscle training, and surgery. One of the most common types of surgical treatment for SUI involves transvaginal placement of surgical mesh devices like Bard Avaulta mesh. During this minimally invasive procedure, surgical mesh is permanently implanted to support the urethra or bladder neck for the repair of SUI. Although surgical mesh is a popular method of SUI repair, the FDA has indicated that these medical devices may be associated with severe side effects, which is why carefully considering all SUI treatment options before making a decision is imperative.

Side Effects of Surgical Mesh for SUI Repair

Surgical mesh is a medical device that is generally used to repair weakened or damaged tissue. It is made from porous absorbable or non-absorbable synthetic material or absorbable biologic material. Regardless of the benefits of using surgical mesh to correct SUI, recent FDA warnings have suggested that this treatment method may no longer be considered safe. In July 2011, the FDA issued an updated safety announcement concerning the serious complications associated with surgical mesh devices like Bard Avaulta mesh. According to the FDA warning, the side effects potentially linked to surgical mesh are not rare. In addition, the agency suggests that it is not clear that SUI repair with mesh is more effective than traditional non-mesh repair and may actually expose patients to greater risk. According to the FDA, common complications of surgical mesh include surgical mesh infection, erosion of the mesh through the vaginal epithelium, urinary problems, pain, and recurrence of incontinence and/or POP. Unfortunately, some women who receive a surgical mesh implant may suffer from side effects so severe that they may require additional surgery to remove the infected or eroded mesh, which can be extremely dangerous.

Legal Help for Surgical Mesh Side Effects

Stress urinary incontinence is the most common type of urinary incontinence in women. Unfortunately, one of the most popular methods of surgical treatment for SUI, surgical mesh, may no longer be considered safe for some women. If you or a loved one has suffered from a surgical mesh side effect, contact a surgical mesh attorney to discuss the benefits of filing a surgical mesh lawsuit against the product manufacturing company. The main goal of surgical mesh lawsuits is to help injured victims seek financial compensation for their injuries, the medical expenses linked to injury treatment, and the pain and suffering endured by victims and their families. You are not at fault for any injuries caused by a dangerous consumer product. Manufacturing companies are expected to produce and distribute safe products, especially medical devices, and should be held accountable for any side effects sustained by consumers of their products. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. By hiring a qualified surgical mesh lawyer to represent your case, you can protect your rights and collect the compensation you deserve.

Posted Under: Medical Products, Transvaginal Mesh
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