3 Important Things to Know About Vaginal Mesh

The effects of pregnancy, menopause, or a hysterectomy can lead to a collapse of organ support tissue in your lower abdomen, a condition called pelvic organ prolapse (POP), usually causing a bulging in the vagina as it’s pressed outward from the weight of organs pressing from behind.  

A treatment for pelvic organ prolapse uses surgical mesh to repair and support tissue. Vaginal mesh repairs have come under fire due to failure of the procedure leading to pain and other complications. If you’re suffering from pelvic organ prolapse, or from stress urinary incontinence (SUI), another condition that’s treated with surgical mesh, here are three important things you should know about vaginal mesh.

The complications of vaginal mesh

In 2011, the Food and Drug Administration reported that they’d been alerted to complications related to vaginal mesh. These complications included:

These incidents became numerous enough that the FDA changed the classification for use of vaginal mesh. When implanted transvaginally to treat POP, this is now considered a high-risk procedure that may require follow-up surgery if complications develop.

The FDA classification didn’t change for treatment of SUI, which uses a smaller amount of vaginal mesh specifically to support the bladder and relieve incontinence problems. While mesh can cause complications when treating urinary incontinence, they’re generally less severe and usually don’t need surgery for repair.

Vaginal mesh is still in use

The FDA classification change didn’t ban vaginal mesh. The treatment is still performed, as it’s often the best solution for some women. Complications can develop from any surgical procedure, and these are usually reduced by choosing a surgeon who specializes in the procedure. Vaginal mesh is a specialized urogynecologic procedure, whether it’s done for pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence.

Choosing a practice with expertise in the procedure is the best way to reduce the chance of complications. The surgeons here at Southeast Urogyn have over 2,000 vaginal mesh procedures to their credit. They also specialize in placing mesh using minimally invasive surgical techniques to improve the success of the procedure and minimize your recovery time.

If you have vaginal mesh or are considering getting it

There’s no cause for concern if you’ve already had vaginal mesh implanted and it’s not causing any adverse symptoms. The FDA has not recalled vaginal mesh. It continues to perform well for women who have not experienced complications.

If you have pelvic organ prolapse and are considering your options, keep in mind that the FDA classification doesn’t advise against vaginal mesh surgery, but rather underlines the importance of understanding both the risks and benefits of the procedure as well as seeking out an experienced and specialized surgeon for the best chances of success.

You can contact Southeast Urogyn if you have any concerns about vaginal mesh, whether you already have it or you’re considering it. Call our office in Jackson, Mississippi, to arrange your consultation with one of our expert urogynecologists today. There’s no need to worry about vaginal mesh once you’re well-informed.

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