Why is Mesh Removal So Difficult?

Mesh Removal in women who undergo treatment for pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or stress urinary incontinence (SUI) with transvaginal mesh, removal of the device may be extremely difficult if not impossible once it is implanted. This means that women who experience severe vaginal mesh complications may not ever be able to fully recover from their injuries. The dangers of surgical mesh are well documented and fully recognized by the medical community, and the manufacturers of these products must be held accountable for the pain and suffering they cause.

What’s the Problem with Vaginal Mesh?

Over the past several years, the medical field has made huge leaps forward in the use of new materials and surgical techniques that offer a wide range of treatment options never before available. Advanced procedures utilizing both synthetic and biological materials have allowed for better treatment of a number of common women’s health issues, including pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). One such material, transvaginal mesh, has been widely used as a means to strengthen, reinforce, or replace damaged tissue in the vaginal wall. Surgical mesh is porous, and made of either synthetic or biologic material that can be used as absorbable or non-absorbable. Although initially considered to be a revolutionary breakthrough in medical device technology, new research has demonstrated that transvaginal mesh is far less reliable than initially believed, and comes with the threat of significant health risks that ultimately negate any benefits of the material.

Mesh Complications

Vaginal mesh complications have been reported to include:

  • erosion through vaginal epithelium
  • infection
  • pain, including dyspareunia
  • urinary problems
  • recurrence of prolapse and/or incontinence
  • bowel, bladder, and blood vessel perforation
  • vaginal scarring
  • mesh erosion

With tens of thousands of transvaginal mesh surgeries performed each year around the country, nearly a tenth of which result in failure, it’s no wonder an increasing number of women are hoping to surgically reverse the complications. A surgical removal of the mesh is painful and difficult because tissues grow in and around the mesh. Mesh removal surgery is also costly and dangerous, with lengthy recovery periods and a high risk of further damage or infection. Because many surgeons are not experienced or trained at removing the mesh, revision surgery is often performed a number of times before all the pieces of the device have been extracted from the patient.

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