Risks and Rewards of Vaginal Mesh

Most people have seen the attorney TV commercials regarding vaginal mesh. Sometimes, synthetic meshes are utilized to correct vaginal prolapse (e.g., dropped bladder, rectum or uterus) and urinary incontinence.

Mesh Exposure

Vaginal meshes may supply increased success rates for prolapse and incontinence, but it does not come without risks. The most common complications for vaginal meshes include mesh exposure (i.e., feeling a foreign body sensation in the vagina), painful sexual intercourse, vaginal scarring, and vaginal pain, to name a few.

The treatment choices for vaginal mesh complications are dependent on the type of complication, which may include surgical removal of the mesh, hormonal cream application, or pelvic floor physical therapy.

Transvaginal Meshes

Utilized to correct vaginal prolapse, transvaginal meshes are normally bigger and possess higher rates of the complications mentioned above. Before their surgery, patients should be counseled regarding the benefits and risks of using a vaginal mesh against only using dissolvable sutures to correct the prolapse.

Patients should be told about alternative methods to rectify prolapse, which include non-surgical options. Some scientific authorities recommend that transvaginal mesh repairs should be reserved for the recurrent and / or severe cases of prolapse after appropriate patient counseling.

On the other hand, meshes used to treat urinary incontinence (also known as mid-urethral slings) are typically smaller and usually have lower complication rates compared to the larger ones that are used to treat prolapse.

Mid urethral slings are still considered by multiple scientific authorities to be the standard of care for surgical correction of stress urinary incontinence, combined with appropriate patient counseling. In general, mid-urethral slings have good success rates for curing urinary incontinence, paired with a low complication rate.


In the surgical treatment of vaginal prolapse, the use of transvaginal meshes is not vital; this is because other surgical choices can be implemented without the utilization of mesh. Arizona Urogynecology does not use transvaginal meshes for prolapse repair, but instead, absorbable suture repairs may be suggested depending on the case.

As clinically appropriate, they also provide trans-abdominal mesh repairs and mid-urethral slings after extensive patient counseling. As reported by the American Urogynecologic Society, these have much lower mesh complication rates.

Arizona Urogynecology also specializes in treating vaginal mesh complications. If a patient suffers from complications of vaginal mesh or is considering surgery for vaginal prolapse, please consult with a specialist (i.e. urogynecologist) for proper counseling regarding treatment choices.

AZ Urogynecology and Pelvic Health Center

About AZ Urogynecology and Pelvic Health Center

The AZ Urogynecology and Pelvic Health Center is devoted exclusively to the diagnosis and treatment of all urogynecologic, pelvic floor disorders and complex gynecologic problems.

They offer a wide array of advanced diagnostic tools and specialized treatment options.

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Last updated: Oct 21, 2019 at 5:14 AM


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