Pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence may be treated with surgery to repair weak muscles. During this surgery, mesh is sometimes implanted to provide support. The doctors at UroGyn Specialists of Florida want you to be aware that mesh may cause complications in some women. They’re available to check your previous surgical site and take the steps necessary to resolve any problems. If you have pain or questions, please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at one of our locations in Orlando, Lake Mary, and Kissimmee, Florida.
What is transvaginal mesh?
Surgical mesh is commonly used to add strength and support when physicians repair weak or damaged tissues in the body. Some types of mesh gradually break down and are eliminated by the body as new tissue grows. However, the surgical mesh used for urogynecologic procedures is intended to be a permanent implant to provide long-term support at the site being repaired.
How is transvaginal mesh used?
Surgical mesh is used to repair pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence:
Pelvic organ prolapse:
Years after childbirth, after a hysterectomy, or following menopause, muscles and ligaments supporting pelvic organs may weaken. As a result, the organs slip out of place and create a bulge in the vagina.
During surgical repair, mesh is implanted to reinforce the weakened vaginal wall. This may be called transvaginal mesh or transabdominal mesh, depending on whether the mesh was inserted through the vagina or the abdomen.
Stress urinary incontinence:
Stress urinary incontinence occurs when urine leaks due to pressure placed on the bladder during normal physical movement or activity, such as coughing or running. One way to treat stress incontinence is to implant surgical mesh to support the urethra or bladder. This is called a mesh sling or midurethral sling.
What complications might arise after transvaginal mesh implant?
While mesh has been used safely for decades, in 2008 complications caused by the product were brought to the attention of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Mesh placed through the vagina (transvaginal mesh) to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence had the potential to cause severe problems. These complications are more likely to happen when the mesh is used to treat pelvic organ prolapse than stress incontinence.
Transvaginal mesh may cause:
- Mesh erosion
- Urinary problems
- Pain during sex
- Organ perforation
In 2016, the FDA implemented stronger requirements for manufacturers producing mesh. Your doctor at UroGyn Specialists of Florida will give you up-to-date information if you’re considering surgery to repair pelvic organ prolapse.
What should you do if you have a transvaginal mesh implant?
If you had surgical repair using a transvaginal mesh implant and you have pain or other symptoms, please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with UroGyn Specialists of Florida. Our doctors will give you a thorough examination, evaluate the extent of mesh complications, and protect your health with a treatment plan to solve the problem.