Transvaginal Mesh Complications

A recent study regarding vaginal meshes published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed troubling results with these procedures. Women who had a transvaginal mesh inserted rather than traditional colporrhaphy suffered higher rates of serious complications including*:

  • bladder perforation
  • pelvic hemorrhage
  • an increased number of adverse events after the surgery, such as urinary incontinence and pain during intercourse

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an urgent safety communication, advising patients and their healthcare providers to consider alternatives to transvaginal mesh. The FDA met to discuss a potential ban on the mesh, after receiving more than 3,875 injury reports associated with the mesh, three of which involved fatalities, from 2005 to 2010.

The FDA warns that the most frequent complications included:

  • erosion through vaginal epithelium
  • infection
  • pain
  • urinary problems
  • recurrence of prolapse and/or incontinence

The FDA also saw reports of bowel, bladder, and blood vessel perforation during insertion. In some cases, vaginal scarring and mesh erosion led to a significant decrease in patient quality of life due to discomfort and pain.

These problems can result in additional complications, such as the need for a second, “revision surgery,” IV therapy, blood transfusions, and the treatment of hematomas or abscesses.