How to Know If You Are Suffering From Vaginal Mesh Complications

Pelvic organ prolapse is an often-frustrating condition that many women experience after childbirth and with changes linked to menopause, obesity, persistent cough or constipation that strains your muscles, and other common issues.

It’s caused by weakening of the pelvic floor muscles that normally hold your uterus, urinary bladder, and other pelvic organs in place. As these muscles stretch and weaken, your pelvic organs can begin to droop (prolapse) out of place. Though not typically life-threatening, pelvic organ prolapse can cause severe urinary incontinence (unexpected loss of urine), painful sexual intercourse, fecal incontinence (loss of stool), and other life-altering issues.

Depending on the extent of the prolapse, doctors may recommend transvaginal (vaginal) mesh surgery to help resolve your symptoms. The mesh is a surgical material that is implanted during the procedure and designed to reinforce the vaginal walls and supply support for your bladder and urethra. Transvaginal refers to the surgical approach (through the vagina) and may be suggested because it’s minimally invasive and eliminates the need for external incisions.   

Unfortunately, serious complications can occur following vaginal mesh surgery due to erosion and other problems associated with the mesh or the procedure itself. Dr. Kohli is a well-respected leader in the field of urogynecology and reconstructive pelvic surgery. He has significant experience in repairing the damage caused by transvaginal mesh surgery and is well-acquainted with the many problems associated with this procedure.

Read on to learn what he has to say about the complications and symptoms you may experience after vaginal mesh surgery.

What are the complications associated with vaginal mesh surgery?

Complications following transvaginal mesh surgery include:

Probably the most significant and difficult to treat complications occur when the mesh begins to erode and drop away from its surgical implant site. This can cause the mesh to protrude from the vaginal opening or lead to problems with surrounding organs.

What are the symptoms of vaginal mesh complications?

Symptoms of vaginal mesh complications may occur within weeks or months of the initial surgery and can include:

Infections related to vaginal mesh complications can quickly worsen and require prompt medical treatment. If you develop any of these symptoms following transvaginal mesh surgery, it’s important that you see your doctor as soon as possible.

What’s the treatment for vaginal mesh complications?

We use antibiotics to treat the symptoms of infection, which may include oral medications or antibiotics delivered via intravenous (IV) infusion if the infection is severe. Otherwise, the most effective treatment typically requires surgical removal of the mesh and repair of the damaged tissue.

It’s a delicate procedure that requires significant surgical skill and expertise. Removal of the mesh can be especially difficult because healthy tissue is often woven through the failing mesh, which must be carefully extracted to prevent further damage. It’s also hard to determine the extent of tissue damage until surgery is underway, which can complicate the surgery further..

Depending on the extent and type of pelvic floor disorder you’re experiencing, Dr. Kohli may recommend alternative surgical methods or other treatment strategies to help repair and strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor.

If you’re at risk for vaginal mesh surgery complications, schedule an appointment today with Dr. Kohli at Boston Urogyn. You can rely on his skill and expertise as a nationally and internationally respected pelvic reconstructive specialist.

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