Surgical Mesh Uses
Surgical mesh is a categorized as a medical device. There are many reports of defective mesh. Mesh is used to repair weakened or damaged tissue. Typical urogynecologic uses of mesh include Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) and Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI), including vaginal sling, bladder sling, urethral sling procedures and transvaginal sling procedures.
Transvaginal Mesh (TVM) is a type of surgical mesh, similar to a woven fabric. It is used to treat stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.
Surgical mesh injuries may occur after use of surgical mesh to treat Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI). Stress Urinary Incontinence presents with leakage of urine during physical activity. Typically, loss of bladder control occurs during exercise, coughing, laughing, or sneezing.
Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the muscles and tissue that support the pelvic organs become stretched, damaged, or weakened, thereby causing the organs they support to sag and drop into the vagina. The pelvic organs include the bladder, cervix, uterus, and small intestines.
The FDA reports that 30% to 50% of women may experience Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) in their lifetime, with 2% experiencing symptoms. The FDA reports at least 10,000 POP repair procedures performed in 2010. 75,000 of these surgeries involved transvaginal mesh.
There are several different types of POP, and there are also several different causes, including:
- Vaginal delivery
- Hysterectomy or prior pelvic surgery
- Intense physical activity
- Family history
- Chronic straining or coughing
Oftentimes there are no symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse, but when women do experience symptoms, they include:
- A feeling of heaviness in the pelvic area
- Pelvic pressure that worsens with activity
- Problems inserting tampons
- Pain during intercourse
- A bulge in the vagina
- Urinary incontinence (leakage of urine)
- Difficulty having a bowel movement
- Pulling or aching feeling in the lower abdomen or pelvis
While some instances of POP are dealt with through lifestyle changes or observation, others are serious enough to require surgery. This is when TVM may be used instead of traditional stitches.