Schmidt & Clark, LLP | A National Law Firm

Problems with Bladder Sling


Problems with Bladder SlingHundreds of thousands of women have been implanted with a bladder sling to treat stress urinary incontinence. Some of the most serious problems with bladder slings include chronic pain, infection, organ perforation, erosion of the sling into the vagina, and the need for additional surgery. In some cases, even multiple surgeries will not correct these problems. Many lawsuits have been filed by women who allege that they were not adequately warned about these problems.

Do I have a Bladder Sling Lawsuit? If you or your loved one was injured by a bladder sling, 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.

What are bladder slings?

Bladder slings are hammock-like mesh implants that go under the bladder, support the urethra, and prevent stress urinary continence when a woman coughs, laughs, or sneezes. There are dozens of types of bladder slings approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Some of the most popular include:

  • Tension-free vaginal tape (TVT) bladder sling: This was developed in the 1990s by Boston Scientific and Ethicon. The Boston Scientific version was recalled in 1999. Ethicon withdrew the Gynecare TVT in 2012.
  • Transobturator tape (TOT) bladder sling: This was developed in 2002 and reduces the risk of organ perforations because a physician does not need to blindly pass a large needle through the retropubic space when implanting the bladder sling — one of the most serious problems with bladder slings.
  • Mini-Sling: This was developed in 2006. It is less invasive than TVT or TOT because it has only transvaginal incisions and no abdominal incisions. The surgeon implants a small, U-shaped sling under the mid-urethra.

What are the problems with bladder slings?

When bladder slings were invented in the 1990s, they were hailed as a modern treatment for an age-old problem — minor incontinence in women, which is a common complication of multiple pregnancies, menopause, and aging. Unfortunately, the first bladder slings were only tested in small studies involving animals before they were implanted in tens of thousands of women.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first bladder sling, Boston Scientific’s ProteGen, based on a 90-day study of the implant in rodents. After the ProteGen was recalled in 1999, the FDA continued to approve new bladder slings that were “substantially equivalent” to the ProteGen — without requiring more rigorous safety studies. Many women have suffered the same problems with bladder slings that are nearly identical to a recalled product.

In fact, the FDA did not require additional safety studies until mid-2012, after they had received thousands of reports of problems. Four months later, Johnson & Johnson / Ethicon withdrew their TVT line of bladder slings, which were “equivalent” to the ProteGen. More than 10,000 lawsuits are currently pending against several manufacturers in state and federal court. Not surprisingly, many women allege that the manufacturers should have known about the potential safety hazards.

Complications and Problems With Bladder Slings

Bladder sling problems and complications include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Chronic pain
  • Erosion into the vagina
  • Dyspareunia (pain during sexual intercourse)
  • Infection
  • Bowel perforation
  • Organ damage
  • Bleeding
  • Vaginal disfigurement, scarring, shrinkage
  • Recurrent incontinence
  • Need for additional surgery
  • And more

Do I Have a Bladder Sling 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 bladder sling lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new lawsuits in all 50 states.

Free Bladder Sling Lawsuit Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one was injured by a bladder sling, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.

Attention Lawyers:  Schmidt & Clark, LLP considers a referral from another lawyer to be one of the greatest compliments. Our law firm has built a reputation for success and accepts a number of case referrals on a regular basis. We do not publish prior verdicts or settlements on our website. If you would like to refer us a case or for us to send you a profile of prior award judgments or average referral fees, please fill out the form below.