The Problem with Transvaginal Mesh Implants for Pelvic Organ Prolapse
28 April 2017 by - Dr Pandelis Athanasias
It was recently reported by the BBC that more than 800 women in the UK are pursuing legal action against the NHS and the manufacturers of vaginal mesh implants which are used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence following childbirth.
Pelvic prolapse is the descent of pelvic organs into the vagina due to a weakening of the pelvic floor muscles. It is a common issue which affects millions of women worldwide and there are a number of different ways to help fix the problem.
Transvaginal mesh implants are medical devices inserted by surgeons with the aim of treating prolapse and incontinence, by providing extra support for damaged or weakened pelvic floor muscles. However, this type of treatment comes with a number of possible complications. As BBC News has reported, many women have been left in permanent, severe pain, whilst countless others have experienced serious problems such as an inability to walk, go to work or have sexual intercourse.
In the US, a report by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that once the mesh had been implanted, it was extremely difficult and sometimes impossible to remove, even where serious complications have arisen. A recent review by the Scottish Government also stipulated that the devices should not be routinely used for the treatment of pelvic prolapse.
There are clearly serious problems which can occur from the implementation of these devices and, as such, the London Women’s Centre do not and never have, endorsed the usage of synthetic mesh for the treatment of vaginal prolapse. It is important that women are made aware of the complications of this option so that they can make informed decisions about whether to go ahead or to seek better alternatives.
Find out more about the treatment for pelvic organ prolapse