For Immediate Release: July 13, 2011 (condensed)
FDA: Surgical placement of mesh to repair pelvic organ prolapse poses risks
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued an updated safety communication warning health care providers and patients that surgical placement of mesh through the vagina to repair pelvic organ prolapse may expose patients to greater risk than other surgical options.
"There are clear risks associated with the transvaginal placement of mesh to treat POP,” said William Maisel, M.D., M.P.H., deputy director and chief scientist of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “The FDA is asking surgeons to carefully consider all other treatment options and to make sure that their patients are fully informed of potential complications from surgical mesh. Mesh is a permanent implant -- complete removal may not be possible and may not result in complete resolution of complications.”
FDA recommends that healthcare providers:
- Recognize that in most cases, POP can be treated successfully without mesh;
- Know that surgical mesh is a permanent implant that can make any future surgical repairs more challenging and can put the patient at risk for additional complications and surgeries;
- Consider that mesh placed abdominally for POP repair may result in lower rates of mesh complications compared to transvaginal POP surgery with mesh; and
- Be sure that patients are aware of the risks and benefits of transvaginal POP repair with mesh, and inform patients if mesh is being used
Issued: October 20, 2008 (condensed)
FDA Public Health Notification:
Serious Complications Associated with Transvaginal Placement of Surgical Mesh in Repair of Pelvic Organ Prolapse and Stress Urinary Incontinence
Nature of the Problem
Over the past three years, FDA has received over 1,000 reports from nine surgical mesh manufacturers of complications that were associated with surgical mesh devices used to repair POP and SUI. These mesh devices are usually placed transvaginally utilizing tools for minimally invasive placement.
The most frequent complications included erosion through vaginal epithelium, infection, pain, urinary problems, and recurrence of prolapse and/or incontinence. There were also reports of bowel, bladder, and blood vessel perforation during insertion. In some cases, vaginal scarring and mesh erosion led to a significant decrease in patient quality of life due to discomfort and pain, including dyspareunia.
- Obtain specialized training for each mesh placement technique, and be aware of its risks.
- Be vigilant for potential adverse events from the mesh, especially erosion and infection.
- Watch for complications associated with the tools used in transvaginal placement, especially bowel, bladder and blood vessel perforations.
- Inform patients that implantation of surgical mesh is permanent, and that some complications associated with the implanted mesh may require additional surgery that may or may not correct the complication.
- Inform patients about the potential for serious complications and their effect on quality of life, including pain during sexual intercourse, scarring, and narrowing of the vaginal wall (in POP repair).
- Provide patients with a written copy of the patient labeling from the surgical mesh manufacturer, if available.
Have you or a loved one been injured after transvaginal mesh surgery? If yes, please contact a transvaginal mesh lawyer today for a complimentary no-obligation legal consultation. Let’s determine how we can help you obtain a settlement for pain and suffering and medical expenses.
- FDA Public Health Notification – October 2008
- FDA: Surgical placement of mesh to repair pelvic organ prolapse poses risks – July 2011
- FDA 2008 Warning About Transvaginal Mesh Devices