Data released on effectiveness of transvaginal mesh in vaginal prolapse surgery
A Cochrane Review has been released which assesses the risks and benefits of transvaginal mesh.
Cochrane Reviews are internationally recognised as the highest standard in evidence-based healthcare. They are systematic reviews of primary research and investigate the effects of interventions for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.
The latest review published on 9.2.16 concludes that women with vaginal prolapse suffer a mixed outcome when mesh repair is carried out.
The review reports on 37 randomised controlled trials in more than 4,000 women and draws concerning conclusions for gynaecology surgeons and women who are considering repair surgery for prolapse.
Problems reported in the review include women being more likely to have incontinence, mesh exposure or repeat surgery if they have had mesh repairs.
- 19% women were aware of the prolapse following mesh surgery compared to 10%-15% in permanent mesh repair.
- 7%-18% women were likely to have further surgery in mesh repairs compared to 5% in native tissue repair.
The Cochrane Review also noted that other reviews had reported at 10% mesh erosion rate. An audit of women undergoing surgery for prolapse concluded that mesh anterior repairs had a higher risk of later complications than non-mesh repairs.
A number of British medical societies have recommended that women who are considering prolapse surgery should be advised about the potential serious health consequences, including mesh exposure and erosion, pain and incontinence. In the US the FDA has re-classified mesh as a high-risk device.Medical negligence solicitor Emmalene Bushnell is currently representing a number of patients whose vaginal mesh was fitted incorrectly by surgeons. Emmalene says:
“The routine use of vaginal mesh in women who have vaginal prolapse is under increasing scrutiny and this Cochrane Review suggests that a significant number of women can be left with serious health problems after undergoing mesh surgery.”
Medical device lawyer Jill Paterson is representing a number of women who believe that the health problems they suffer are caused by the mesh that they were fitted with.
“Any medical device that is used in the human body must be fit for purpose and it is increasingly clear that for many of my clients being fitted with surgical mesh has left them many health problems.
“I hope that medical staff will advise women facing prolapse surgery about the potential problems associated with vaginal mesh in light of this report.”