Practice Hours:

Mon – Fri 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Serving Multiple Locations in

North Texas

Vaginal Mesh Complications / Revision Surgery

There are different types of mesh for different purposes. In addition, not all pelvic floor repair requires mesh. While there has been much controversy over mesh products, to include ongoing lawsuits against the manufacturing companies, not all mesh products are “bad” or “defective.” In fact, the vast majority of female patients who have had pelvic surgery with mesh are doing well and have not had any complications.

However, one category of mesh products for pelvic floor repair has had an unacceptably high complication rate: vaginal prolapse “POP” mesh. The complication rate for these types of products have ranged from 30-40%, triggering FDA warnings, and ultimately, causing the companies to stop the production of these products. They are no longer available.

Another category of mesh products are the slings. These are used for the surgical treatment of stress urinary incontinence (leakage with cough, sneeze, lifting, laughing, exercise, etc.). The complication rate for slings is very low – less than 10%, when placed by an experienced surgeon. In addition, the success rates are extremely high – ranging from 85% to 95% at fifteen to twenty years after surgery. While slings have become the mainstay of surgical treatment for stress urinary incontinence, there are other non-mesh procedures such as the Burch procedure (also known as a retropubic urethropexy – suspending the urethra from the ligaments on the back of the pubic bone) which are highly effective as well.

It should be noted that there are also two different categories of slings – retropubic (placed vaginally, behind the pubic bone), and transobturator (also placed vaginally, but exiting through the groin). While the overall efficacy and complication rates are similar, the retropubic slings are more effective long-term (i.e., lower failure rates) and have lower rates of pain and vaginal exposure complications.

Lastly, mesh can be removed, and in many cases, it can be removed nearly 100%. Dr. Patel has performed hundreds of successful mesh removal and reconstruction procedures – and in most cases, he is able to perform the removal and reconstruction in one surgery. The national average is two to five surgeries to achieve complete removal. Dr. Patel will perform a thorough evaluation and exam at your consultation to formulate a customized plan.