Mesh Side Effects
Serious Side Effects of Mesh
Mesh typically induces mild pain or discomfort following surgery. However, serious side effects can be caused by the erosion
of the mesh or protrusion
of the mesh through tissue. Patients should contact their doctor immediately upon experiencing side effects of:
- severe pain or aching
- bleeding or perforation of the blood vessels, bladder or bowel
- urinary infection
- difficulty urinating or not being able to urinate at all, loss of bladder control
- serious discomfort or pain during sexual activity which can be related to scarring from surgery or erosion of vaginal mesh
- changes in the shape of the vagina, shortening or tightening of the area
- recurring prolapse
- irritation to penis during sex if mesh becomes exposed
- depression or psychological effects which may result from decrease in sexual ability
Warnings & Recalls for Mesh
Before receiving a mesh implant, patients are required to sign a consent form for surgery after being evaluated by a doctor to ensure safety during the procedure. Patients should discuss the risks and benefits of having mesh implanted and be aware of any complications which may occur from the surgery. It is important to ask your doctor about any questions or concerns you have about the procedure. In some cases it may be recommended that a women get a vaginal pessary that is changed every 3 to 6 months to treat prolapse without surgery.
FDA and Mesh
Due to the high risks of complications from mesh implantation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration discourages the use of mesh. Reports indicate that a large percentage of women suffer from serious side effects after the surgery which include recurrence of prolapse, extreme vaginal pain, severe discomfort during sexual intercourse, urinary disorders, infection, erosion or protrusion of organs. Although mesh has been used for decades and the FDA has worked for safer implantation and practice, these complications continue, even resulting in deaths, and thousands of lawsuits have been filed for these cases. In January of 2012 the FDA mandated that several manufacturers of these mesh products conduct 3 year examinations of the mesh before use.
Mesh Treatment and Use
Mesh or “surgical mesh” is a woven piece of material that is surgically placed in patients as a corrective procedure for prolapsed organs or hernias. Mesh may be made of biological materials such as animal tissue or man-made materials such as non-absorbable polyester or polypropylene, or absorbable synthetics depending on the use of the mesh. Mesh was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1996 for treating stress urinary incontinence and in 2002 for prolapse. Mesh may be required for:
- treating abdominal hernias
- patching perforations or holes in the stomach or intestines
- healing pelvic organ prolapse
- maintaining the shape and position of organs
- treating stress urinary incontinence
Mesh is generally implanted in women who are suffering from the previous conditions due to childbirth, a hysterectomy or menopause.
How Does Mesh Work?
Mesh is implanted beneath the skin and under any organs which may have shifted or may be hanging lower than normal. Organs which may hang lower due to child birth or decrease in muscle function include the bladder, uterus, vagina, rectum or bowel. The mesh supports organs to help ensure correct position of organs. Eventually, tissue from the patient will grow over the mesh as it continues to uphold the organs. This assists in the growth and strengthening of tissue that had been previously weakened.
How is Mesh Put in Place?
Mesh is inserted surgically into patients under local or general anesthesia . In some cases, mesh may be given trans-vaginally (through the vagina). The mesh is attached to muscles or ligaments depending on the treatment type to create a hammock for the organs above. Mesh may be transvaginally placed along the anterior walls, posterior walls or top of the vagina to treat prolapse. Mesh ma also be placed below the urethra and connected to tissue walls to treat bladder prolapse.
After surgery, a catheter is put in place to drain fluids and prevent any bleeding for 1 to 2 days and the patient is given stitches which will dissolve in 2 weeks. Between 3 and 4 weeks after surgery, tissue should have grown over the mesh and discomfort will decrease. Patients may be given antibiotics during and after the procedure to decrease the risk of an infection.
Other Names for Mesh
- Surgical Mesh
- Transvaginal Mesh
Lawsuits & Legal Information for Mesh