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Severe Mesh Complications Following Intravaginal Slingplasty

K. Baessler, A. Hewson, R. Tunn, B. Schuessler, C. Maher
Published 2005 · Medicine

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OBJECTIVE: Synthetic meshes are increasingly used in the management of stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. This report describes severe complications following anterior and/or posterior intravaginal slingplasties employing a multifilament polypropylene mesh. METHODS: We describe the symptoms, findings, subsequent management, and outcome of 19 consecutive women who have been referred with complications following anterior (n = 11) and/or posterior intravaginal slingplasty (n = 13) employing the multifilament polypropylene tape. RESULTS: The main indications for removal of the 11 anterior intravaginal slings were intractable mesh infection in 6 women, retropubic abscess with cutaneous sinus in one, and vesico-vaginal fistula in one, intravesical mesh and pain syndrome in one, and voiding difficulties and pain syndrome in two. The main indications for removal of the 13 posterior intravaginal slings were intractable mesh infection in three and pain syndrome and dyspareunia in 10 women. Removal of the slings was performed after a median time of 24 months post-slingplasty. At follow-up between 6 weeks and 6 months, in all women genital pain, chronic vaginal discharge and bleeding, voiding, and defecation difficulties had been markedly alleviated (5) or they had ceased (14). Twelve of 17 sexually active women (71%) resumed sexual intercourse without difficulties. Ten women required subsequent surgery for stress incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. CONCLUSION: Surgeons should be aware of the potential complications of synthetic meshes. Until data on the safety and efficacy of the intravaginal slingplasties are available, these procedures cannot be recommended. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: III
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