Specialists are decreasing their use of transvaginal mesh for recurrent vaginal pelvic organ prolapse (“POP”) repair in wake of an FDA advisory, a November 2011 survey of 281 surgeons finds. Dr. Catherine Matthews, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, presented the results at the 33rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urogynecologic Society.

The survey found that doctors increased use of mesh for primary abdominal POP repair, but decreased mesh use for recurrent vaginal POP repair. 23 percent of surgeons said they intended to decrease use of transvaginal mesh.

The survey followed an FDA warning from July 2011 advising doctors that transvaginal mesh surgeries were associated with increased risks of complications without being a significant improvement over traditional tissue repair procedures.

The FDA warning documented a fivefold increase of transvaginal mesh complications since 2008, a total of 2,874. The agency stated that POP could be treated successfully without using vaginal mesh, and that mesh placed abdominally for POP repair may be linked to lower rates of complications.

The FDA received reports of neuromuscular problems, vaginal scarring or shrinking, and three transvaginal mesh related deaths.

In June 2012, Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon removed its Gynecare vaginal mesh products from the market. The company also changed the indications for use of the Gynemesh device, advising that it is only to be used in abdominal procedures. The company maintains that its product withdrawal was not safety related.

One woman affected by transvaginal mesh complications is filing a transvaginal mesh class action in Australia after suffered “devastating” side effects, which her doctor compared to the effect of a cheese grater on her vaginal walls Not only did she suffer from physical ailments, but the side effects took a psychological toll as well. She reported experiencing depression and even suicidal thoughts.

Thousands of women who suffered from transvaginal mesh injuries are filing lawsuits against mesh manufacturers to seek compensation for their expenses and suffering. Learn more by calling (877) 779-1414.

Published November 2, 2012 by