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Show #83, February 2009
The FDA is alerting healthcare professionals about rare but serious complications associated with the surgical mesh used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. The mesh is usually placed transvaginally using minimally invasive techniques.
Over the past three years, FDA has received over a thousand reports of complications. The most frequent included erosion of the mesh through the vaginal epithelium, infection, pain, urinary problems, and recurrence of the prolapse or the 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 quality of life due to discomfort and pain, including dyspareunia.
Treatment of the complications included IV therapy, blood transfusions, drainage of hematomas or abscesses, and additional surgical procedures, in some cases to remove the mesh.
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Clinicians using mesh for treatment of pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence should: