Vaginal Mesh: Proceed At Your Own Risk

The FDA announced yesterday that it was going to assemble a panel of experts to look into the plastic mesh used in surgery to correct pelvic organ prolapse, a slipping of the organs caused by weakened pelvic floor muscles.

The mesh helped keep the organs in place, but indications are that it harmed more than it helped. Some women who had the surgery using it have reported "painful sexual intercourse, infections, urinary problems, overall discomfort, and bleeding, usually from the mesh eroding through the stitched tissue or from skin contracting tightly around it." Last year, 75,000 women had the vaginal form of the corrective surgery, and in the past two years, adverse event reports to the FDA have quintupled.

The FDA has also received reports that three women died in connection with the surgery, and several other women are suing the device makers. One of their lawyers, who represents 75 patients, told the Globe, "It is unfortunate that the FDA doesn't come to these conclusions before all these people get hurt.''

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FDA Warns Mesh Used In Vagina Surgeries Can Pose Risk [Boston Globe]