Thanks to research and technology, doctors now have medical devices at their disposal to help patients live better lives. However, because these medical devices often are constructed with man-made materials, they can pose a threat to the patient. One of those devices is transvaginal mesh.
Transvaginal mesh, which is made with polypropylene, is implanted in female patients to repair pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the issue that holds the pelvic organs in place weakens or stretches. Stress urinary incontinence occurs when urine leaks during physical activities, such as exercise, laughing, sneezing or coughing.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first alerted patients about complications associated with transvaginal mesh in 2008. The FDA updated that alert in 2011, stating that the serious complications associated with the use of transvaginal mesh to repair a pelvic organ prolapse are not rare. This was a significant change from the FDA’s 2008 communication. However, the FDA still is considering any complications associated with the use of transvaginal mesh to repair stress urinary incontinence.