Why Do Surgical Mesh Products Fail?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Polypropylene (PP) mesh is currently used in both hernia and pelvic organ prolapses - Wikipedia Image

Polypropylene (PP) mesh is currently used in both hernia and pelvic organ prolapses – Wikipedia Image

Professor David Taylor
Trinity Centre for Bioengineering
Trinity College Dublin
The University of Dublin, Ireland

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The study was motivated by the emerging clinical problem of the failure of surgical mesh products used for transvaginal operations. Increasing numbers of women are experiencing the failure of mesh used to treated vaginal prolapse, urinary incontinence and other pelvic organ conditions.

I carried out a survey of all existing research, including medical case reports, meta studies of clinical outcomes and biomechanics research on the material, which is a knitted plastic mesh. A phenomenon known as “mesh erosion” causes damage to surrounding tissues and organs and can leave the person in severe and lasting pain.  Continue reading

Transvaginal Mesh Complications Lower In High Volume Surgical Practices

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Blayne Welk MD Assistant Professor in the Division of Urology The University of Western OntarioBlayne Welk MD
Assistant Professor in the Division of Urology
The University of Western Ontario

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Welk: Stress incontinence is a common problem among women. The most frequently used surgical treatment is a mesh-based midurethral sling. This procedure is commonly called a transvaginal sling, and is usually an outpatient procedure that takes about an hour in the operating room. However, there has been significant concern about some of the complications of this procedure, which include chronic pain, and mesh erosions into the urinary tract. This prompted the FDA and Health Canada to issue warnings regarding the use of transvaginal mesh, and numerous lawsuits have been launched against manufactures of transvaginal mesh products.

This study by Dr Welk and colleagues identifies the long term rate of surgical treated complications among a group of almost 60,000 women who had mesh based incontinence procedures between 2002-2012. The rate of surgically treated complications at 1 year is 1.2%, however this increased to 3.3% after 10 years of followup. The FDA and Health Canada recommend that surgeons obtain training and experience in their chosen type of midurethral sling, and we demonstrated that patients of high volume surgeons (who frequently performed mesh based incontinence procedures) were 27% less likely to have one of these complications.

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