Many women suffer from complications associated with vaginal mesh surgery. Specifically, some women may experience exposure of the mesh into the vagina, erosion of the mesh into the bladder, or pain associated with presence of mesh. In some cases, women may benefit from non-surgical management of these problems with medications, physical therapy or trigger point injections. For other women, surgical treatment may be a part of the treatment plan.
The advertisements about vaginal mesh and slings have been very misleading. In 2008, the FDA released a statement of concern about transvaginal mesh and subsequently revised this in 2011 to clarify that the concern regarding mesh is specifically for prolapse as some problems were found to be “not rare.” At the same time, they separated out slings used for urinary incontinence noting they were still evaluating them. In 2013, the FDA stated that “the safety and effectiveness of multi-incision slings is well established in clinical trials that followed patients up to one year.” Currently, slings for urinary incontinence remain the best studied and most effective option for women who have stress urinary incontinence. Transvaginal mesh for prolapse is still being actively studied and evaluated by the FDA but still remains a part of some physicians treatment for women with vaginal prolapse.
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