Published: July 29, 2011
Updated: July 29, 2011
Get answers to the most frequently asked questions about mesh and pelvic floor surgery.
Mesh is used in different types of pelvic floor surgery including:
The recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) safety communication was specifically focused on transvaginal placement of mesh for pelvic organ prolapse. This means the mesh is placed through a vaginal incision.
No, some surgeries use mesh while others do not. Depending on the amount of bulge (prolapse) and other factors, your surgeon may or may not recommend a surgery that includes mesh.
The surgeons in the Duke Division of Urogynecology are well-informed regarding the pros and cons of using mesh. Your surgeon is up-to-date on the recent FDA information and is happy to discuss whether or not a mesh repair may be considered for you.
There may also be the need for hospitalization or additional surgeries to treat complications or to remove the mesh.
In some instances, a permanent mesh can provide better long-term results than repairs without using mesh.
A mesh repair is recommended for some patients because they have factors that put them at risk for having a recurrence of prolapse if they use their own tissue. Some surgeries, such as slings for urinary leakage, use a very small piece of mesh.
Again, the FDA notification in July 2011 does not apply to mesh surgeries for urinary incontinence.
Depending on your history and your symptoms, your surgeon is prepared to advise you regarding which surgical procedures may be the best for you. Ultimately, the final decision is yours.
If you have unusual bleeding, discharge, or pain with intercourse you should contact your surgeon. You will likely be asked to come in for examination to determine the cause of your symptoms.
You can find additional information about the FDA safety notification on the FDA's Web site (FDA.gov).
You may also review the FDA report (PDF, 243 KB).