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Mesh for Prolapse | Potential Complications

From the Pelvic Floor Articles List

What complications can occur with synthetic mesh?What complications can occur with synthetic mesh?


There has been a great deal of controversy surrounding the use of synthetic surgical mesh to correct pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence. The FDA issued a statement in the summer of 2011 indicating continuing concerns about the complication rate of synthetic mesh used for prolapse and stress incontinence repairs. In its statement, the FDA warned specifically about mesh inserted through the vagina, which seems to cause more complications than mesh inserted abdominally. The FDA statement revealed that complications are more common than previously believed.

Potential synthetic mesh-related complications include erosion—which means the mesh begins to emerge into the vagina, causing pelvic discomfort and pain during intercourse—or contraction (shortening) of the mesh material, which causes similar pain due to vaginal shortening and tightening.

Removal of mesh that has eroded into organs can be difficult and require multiple surgeries, which is why many doctors are now rejecting the use of synthetic mesh. Though many surgeons and patients report a high success rate with prolapse and stress incontinence repairs using synthetic mesh, the greatest factor in success seems to be the surgeon’s expertise in placing the mesh.

Alternatives to synthetic mesh include traditional surgeries, which depend on strategic stitching, or using bio-mesh such as human or porcine tissue to support pelvic structures instead. The risks of bio-mesh include rejection or absorption, but many surgeons prefer these risks to those of erosion or contraction.

Do not be afraid to seek a second opinion and the feedback of women who have had pelvic prolapse repairs done traditionally, with bio-mesh, or with synthetic mesh before making your decision. If you need mesh removed, look for a surgeon with a great deal of experience with this potentially difficult process.



This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

08-21-2011 - 09:47 PM


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