Many health problems can occur after pelvic mesh surgery, especially when doctors use it in transvaginal operations. The concerns are so serious that thousands of incident reports have been submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA says complications from pelvic mesh surgery are not rare. Pelvic mesh failure occurs more often than one might expect.1
Risks during surgery
While doctors are inserting pelvic mesh, they can perforate the bladder or intestines. They may also damage nearby blood vessels. Organ perforation can require additional repair.
Complications after surgery
Pelvic mesh surgery can lead to many potential complications. Some of these complications can have lifelong effects, which may decrease patients’ quality of life.
For example, pelvic mesh surgery can cause:1,2
- Mesh erosion through the vaginal surface
- Infections (including bladder infections)
- Pain (including back pain)
- Urinary problems
- Vaginal scarring
- Bleeding (including vaginal bleeding)
- Vaginal shrinkage
- Neuromuscular problems
- Emotional problems
- Pain during sexual intercourse
This treatment can cause significant pain and may even lead to additional surgeries. The complications can be long term. The prolapse may also recur.2
Having a hysterectomy before pelvic mesh surgery increases one’s chances of serious complications.3
Sometimes doctors recommend that patients undergo secondary surgeries to remove the mesh or treat some of the complications above. For example, a doctor may seek to drain an abscess or hematoma. IV therapy or blood transfusions may be required.
Despite the FDA’s concerns about pelvic mesh surgery, the product has not been recalled. If you are interested in pursuing legal action against a manufacturer or medical organization, contact a personal injury attorney to seek assistance.