Transvaginal Mesh – Tension-free Vaginal Tape (TVT) FAQ
What is Transvaginal Mesh?
Another type of mesh used for implants is “transvaginal mesh.” Transvaginal mesh is inserted within the vagina of female patients. It is used to treat incontinence (inability to control urination).
What is Tension-free Vaginal Tape Transvaginal Mesh?
Ethicon also makes a brand of transvaginal mesh called “Tension-free Vaginal Tape” (TVT). Unfortunately, TVT can cause:
- movement of the mesh (erosion)
- severe pain
Did Transvaginal Mesh Implant Patient’s Sue?
Yes. Patients who used TVT are suing Ethicon for the harm it caused them. There are 164 TVT lawsuits against Ethicon in Pennsylvania state court in Philadelphia. Additionally, there are 31,630 TVT lawsuits against Ethicon in federal court in the Southern District of West Virginia.
How Are the Transvaginal Implant Suits Progressing?
The TVT lawsuits are going well for the implant patients, and poorly for Ethicon. The plaintiffs just won a “bellwether” case. A bellwether is a test case the parties litigate before other cases to gauge whether to settle and for how much money. In the TVT bellwether, the two plaintiffs were Sharon Carlino and her husband Charles Carlino. They sued Ethicon because Sharon received a TVT implant which caused her to suffer a lifetime of pain and multiple revision surgeries.
In this trial top current and former Ethicon employees admitted two things:
- Before it first started selling TVT, Ethicon knew the product caused movement of the implant, scarring, pain, and that the patient would require revision surgery.
- Ethicon intentionally didn’t tell patients or doctors about those risks.
The jury didn’t show much pity for Ethicon. They awarded:
- Sharon Carlino
- $3.25 million in compensatory damages (to pay for Sharon’s medical bills and pain and suffering)
- $10 million in punitive damages (to punish Ethicon for knowing about the risks of TVT but intentionally not telling doctors or patients)
- $239,119 for delay (not paying Sharon sooner)
- Charles Carlino
- $250,000 for loss of consortium (the negative way in which Sharon’s injuries affected their marriage and life together)
Are there similarities between TVT and Physiomesh?
There are many similarities between TVT and Physiomesh:
- Both types of mesh cause similar injuries
- Both types of mesh are made of polypropylene
- Both mesh implants were made by Ethicon
TVT and Physiomesh are extremely similar products, and they are manufactured by the exact same company. Ethicon hid its knowledge of the risks associated with TVT from patients and doctors, and plaintiff attorneys are now investigating what Ethicon knew about its Physiomesh product as well.