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Causes of Bowel Perforation


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Causes of Bowel PerforationVaginal mesh is one of the many potential causes of bowel perforation. This life-threatening medical condition can occur during surgical implantation of vaginal mesh — usually because surgeons must blindly pass a large needle through tissue near the bowel. Bowel perforations can also be caused by vaginal mesh erosion, in which the mesh slowly cuts into the bowel over time.

Do I have a Vaginal Mesh Lawsuit? If you or your loved one was injured by a bowel perforation caused by vaginal mesh, contact our law firm immediately for a free case consultation. If you file a lawsuit, you could receive compensation for your injury, medical expenses, and more.

$5.5 Million in Vaginal Mesh Lawsuit for Bowel Perforation

Did vaginal mesh cause your bowel perforation? You may be entitled to millions of dollars in damages from the manufacturer — the first lawsuit was awarded $5.5 million. The plaintiff, Christine Scott, was implanted with C.R. Bard’s Avaulta vaginal mesh to treat minor stress urinary incontinence. Unfortunately, the mesh eroded into her colon and caused a bowel perforation. When the jury reached its verdict, Mrs. Scott had already required eight corrective surgeries, and she still suffers from permanent complications.

Causes of Bowel Perforation

Traumatic injuries are the most common causes of bowel perforations — usually during a medical procedure or after a serious accident. However, a bowel perforation can also be caused by chronic inflammation in the bowel or severe constipation.

The causes of bowel perforation include:

  • Surgical error (during colonoscopy, vaginal mesh implantation, etc.)
  • Vaginal mesh erosion into the bowel
  • Crohn’s disease (chronic inflammation of the bowel)
  • Intestinal blockage (severe constipation)
  • Appendicitis (inflammation of the appendix)
  • Swallowing corrosive or sharp materials
  • Swallowing two magnets that attach inside the intestines
  • Traumatic injuries to the stomach (stabbing, seat belt in a serious car accident, etc.)
  • Diverticulitis (small pouches in the lining of the intestines become inflamed)
  • Gastrointestinal cancer
  • Gastric ulcer
  • And more

Can Vaginal Mesh Cause a Bowel Perforation?

Yes. Vaginal mesh can cause a bowel perforation during the implantation procedure or gradually, as the mesh slowly erodes into the bowel over time.

Vaginal mesh is a narrow strip of synthetic or biological material that acts like a “sling” or a “hammock” to help support abdominal organs (including the bowel, bladder, uterus, etc.). During the implantation procedure, a surgeon makes small transvaginal incisions in the vagina and/or abdomen and uses specially-designed needles to thread the mesh under abdominal organs. Vaginal mesh treats stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, which are caused by weakened muscles in the pelvis that allow organs to sag downward (prolapse) into the vagina or rectum.

Unfortunately, some types of vaginal mesh require the surgeon to blindly pass a large needle through an area located above the pubic bone. This area is called the retropubic space. It contains many blood vessels and is very close to the bowel and bladder. If the surgeon makes a tiny error during this blind procedure, it can cause permanent incontinence, severe bleeding, or a life-threatening bowel perforation.

Vaginal mesh erosion can also cause a bowel perforation. This complication occurs when the edges of the mesh grow into tissues and slice into the bowel. Erosion usually causes severe pain that grows worse over time.

FDA Warning for Vaginal Mesh and Bowel Perforation

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that vaginal mesh is one of the potential causes of bowel perforation. In 2011, they published this Safety Communication with the following warning for doctors:

“Watch for complications associated with the tools used in transvaginal placement, especially bowel, bladder and blood vessel perforations.”

The FDA also warned: “Serious complications associated with surgical mesh … are not rare. … Furthermore, it is not clear that transvaginal POP repair with mesh is more effective than traditional non-mesh repair … and it may expose patients to greater risk.”

Unfortunately, this FDA warning only came after thousands of women were seriously injured by vaginal mesh. If you were not aware of the risk, you are not alone.

Symptoms of a Bowel Perforation

Symptoms of a bowel perforation include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal swelling (distention)
  • Blood in stools
  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Diarrhea
  • High fever
  • Body chills
  • Nausea, vomiting

If vaginal mesh causes a bowel perforation, life-threatening complications can occur — including sepsis, in which bacteria from the intestines infects tissue inside the abdomen. Septic shock occurs when the entire body’s immune system reacts and causes a massive inflammatory response, which can dramatically lower blood-pressure, leading to multiple organ system failure and death.

Do I Have a Vaginal Mesh Lawsuit?

The Product Liability & Defective Medical Device Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in vaginal mesh lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new lawsuits in all 50 states.

Free Vaginal Mesh Lawsuit Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one was injured by a bowel perforation caused by vaginal mesh, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.

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