Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a medical condition that occurs when the internal support structure of the vagina fails. In 2010, more than 75,000 women had transvaginal mesh surgery (TVM surgery) to repair pelvic organ prolapse. This accounted for some 75% of all POP procedures performed. Rather than simply stitching tissue of the vaginal wall together, the transvaginal mesh is used to keep the organs-namely the urethra, cervix, bladder neck, and rectum-from falling out of place and “sagging” inside the body cavity.
Ten years of studies have shown women who were implanted with transvaginal mesh suffered higher rates of serious complications including bladder perforation and pelvic hemorrhage. Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently concluded there is no evidence that transvaginal mesh surgery provides any added benefit compared to traditional surgery that does not include mesh.
The FDA has warned that mesh placed transvaginally can have adverse events, including erosion through the vaginal tissue, pain, infection, bleeding, pain during intercourse, organ perforation from surgical tools used in the placement procedure, and urinary problems. Some patients may require additional surgeries or hospitalization to treat complications or remove the mesh, according to the FDA.