September 9, 2015 — About one in 30 women who get vaginal mesh to treat urinary incontinence need revision surgery within 10 years, according to a new study published in JAMA Surgery.
Overall, about 3.3% of women had a complication within 10 years. Researchers also found that patients of lower-volume surgeons were 37% more likely to have a complication. The findings highlight the importance of choosing a skilled surgeon, which may be difficult in less-populated regions.
Conclusions were based on data rom about 60,000 women who underwent a mesh-based procedure for stress urinary incontinence, a common problem that causes minor leakage of urine — often as a complication of multiple vaginal births or weakened pelvic muscles. The surgeries occurred from 2002-2012 in Ontario.
Manufacturers of vaginal mesh are currently more than 50,000 lawsuits from women who say they were not adequately warned about the risk of complications. Because vaginal mesh is designed to be a permanent implant, revision surgery may not correct all complications and may actually cause more serious problems.
Some of these complications include chronic pain, urethra fistula, urinary problems, and erosion of the mesh into the urethra or the vagina. Revision surgery can leave the patient with severe vaginal disfigurement and pain that makes it impossible to have sexual intercourse.
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