Surgical mesh is thought to provide added support to weak or damaged tissue in surgery to treat some types of urinary incontinence and vaginal prolapse. The body uses the mesh as a framework and grows into and around it.
But some women who've had mesh implants have experienced complications that cause pain and discomfort. The most common complication is the tissue covering the mesh wears away (erosion), causing the mesh to poke through the vaginal skin. Mesh can also cause infections or contract, causing the tissue around it to tighten, which increases strictures.
What are the risk factors?
Women who’ve had mesh implanted through the vagina (transvaginal mesh) to treat vaginal prolapse have higher rates of complications. In 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the sale of transvaginal mesh for repair of pelvic prolapse. But the FDA doesn't restrict the use of mesh for prolapse surgery performed through the abdomen or mesh sling surgery for urinary incontinence. That’s because the rate and severity of complications are much lower.
What are the symptoms?
Mesh that shifts position, wears away, or comes through the wall of the vagina can lead to:
- Bladder control problems
- Pain with intercourse
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Recurring urinary tract infections
At the Desai Sethi Urology Institute, we offer advanced treatments to relieve pain and other symptoms caused by complications of surgical mesh. Our surgeons use the least invasive approaches to remove the areas of the mesh that are causing problems. We create a customized surgical plan to give you the best possible results.
Once your doctor understands your symptoms, they will use imaging tests to see where the mesh is placed and locate the area that's causing problems. Your doctor may use ultrasound, CT, MRI, or another test that uses a thin, flexible tube and a camera to look inside your bladder (cystoscopy), rectum (proctoscopy), or colon (colonoscopy).
In less severe cases, mesh complications can be treated with hormone cream and time to allow tissues to heal. Your doctor will let you know if this is an appropriate option for you before you consider surgical treatment.
Mesh complications can be treated by removing the mesh implant and covering the affected area with your natural tissue. Surgeons use the least invasive approach to remove the portion of mesh that’s causing symptoms and restore pelvic health. Your surgeon will discuss all your options and develop a plan to give you the best results.
Why Choose UHealth?
Pelvic health expertise at the Desai Sethi Urology Institute. We offer comprehensive care and services focused on women’s health and well-being. As an academic medical center, we use the latest research and leading-edge approaches to help you feel better and get back your life as quickly as possible.
Care designed for women. Our doctors specialize in women’s health. You get individual attention and treatment that’s customized to your needs, with personal attention from trained, compassionate experts who understand women’s needs.
A team approach. Your doctor works with a team of specialists to give you complete care. You can be confident you’re working with a highly trained team that’s focused on women’s health.
Leaders in minimally invasive surgery. We have some of the world’s most experienced surgeons for minimally invasive surgical procedures. Our surgeons are trained in surgeries that result in minimal scarring and a quicker recovery.
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