Women's Pelvic Health and Reconstructive Surgery

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Mesh Complications

Synthetic mesh or biological grafts are sometimes used to treat pelvic organ prolapse or urinary incontinence. These mesh materials were developed to help decrease the recurrence of pelvic organ prolapse after surgery or to provide a durable fix for urinary continence. Patients considering surgical mesh repair should understand and consider the condition being treated, recommended treatments, types of mesh, mesh placement, and the surgery plan.

The physicians and staff at University Women's Care are a team of caring professionals. Our providers have the expertise to treat even the most complex urogynecologic problems. We provide practiced, thoughtful care and work with patients to find the most appropriate diagnosis and treatment to meet each woman's unique personal needs.

About Surgical Mesh

Surgical mesh may be:

  • Synthetic material, either permanent or able to be absorbed by the body
  • Biological graft, from the patient or from a donor
  • Implanted vaginally or abdominally
  • Used for pelvic organ prolapse or urinary incontinence

Any foreign material implanted into the body can potentially cause problems. Despite the possible advantage of being a durable repair for prolapse or incontinence, some patients have reported problems with surgical mesh. Although rare, these complications can be serious. All surgery poses risk. Discuss the benefits and risks of surgical mesh repair with your physician before choosing to undergo surgery. 

Reported complications associated with surgical mesh have included:

  • Contraction of mesh
  • Erosion or exposure of mesh in the vagina
  • Infection
  • Painful intercourse
  • Pelvic pain
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Vaginal discharge

Anyone considering mesh placement should discuss all questions and any concerns with her physician. Most of the concern has been focused on permanent mesh implants placed through the vagina to correct pelvic organ prolapse. Learn more about transvaginal mesh complications and the Food and Drug Administration's information about these complications below.

Treating Mesh Complications

Treating mesh complications focuses on alleviating the problem and often involves a plan with multiple treatment methods that may include:

  • Oral medications for nerve pain or muscle spasms
  • Topical medications for vaginal skin pain or vaginal skin health
  • Pelvic floor physical therapy to correct pelvic floor muscle dysfunction
  • Trigger point injections (TPI) to lessen pain or inflammation in muscles or scar tissue 
  • Surgery

Surgery for Mesh Complications

Often, surgery is needed to correct issues of mesh exposure. Surgery for pain likely related to mesh is also a treatment option for many patients. Our treatment plans are always individualized to a patient's specific complaints or problems. Our physicians work closely with each patient to answer questions, provide information, and determine the best treatment plan to meet the patient's individual health needs.

If you think you may be experiencing a complication from a mesh product, our team is here to provide education about the problem and a comprehensive treatment plan in an understanding and supportive environment.

Request an Appointment

Our providers have the expertise to treat even the most complex urogynecologic problems with practiced, thoughtful care for the needs of our patients. The pelvic health program at UMMC sees patients by physician-referral and self-referral.

Healthcare Professionals

To refer a patient to the University Women's Care pelvic health program: