Transvaginal mesh is an artificial net-like substance that supports the internal tissues and cures conditions such as Pelvic Organ prolapse (POP) and Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI). The implants are used when other non-surgical treatments have failed. The procedure is known as transvaginal, as the mesh is inserted into the vagina.
The procedure has been successful in some women, while there’ve been reported cases of complications in others. Such events led to the recall of the implants and suspension in manufacturing mesh implants because of the lack of proper standards on safety and effectiveness.
Complications Of Transvaginal Mesh Implants
Transvaginal mesh implants can cause complications to your body, and that you should be aware of. Read this full article to know all the possible complications:
- Vaginal Mesh Erosion
Mesh erosion or protrusion is a common complication that occurs in people with mesh implants. The protrusion can cause the mesh to be visible as it erodes through the tissue. This complication causes severe pain, especially during sex.
Other effects of mesh erosion include infection and pain on the tissues around the vagina, such as the urinary tract and the rectum. Severe cases of mesh erosion can also lead to fistulas infections. Women who suffer from hypertension could suffer a greater risk of vaginal mesh erosion. Also, getting mesh implants from inexperienced surgeons can increase the cases of erosions.
- Perforation Of Body Organs
Perforation of internal organs around the vagina can occur in women who have inserted vaginal mesh. The erosion of the mesh often affects the walls of the neighboring organs such as the rectum, bladder, and urethra. The mesh can perforate the walls of the organs, causing other severe complications.
Also, it may occur during the surgical procedure if the tools puncture the walls of internal body organs. The perorations from the mesh implants and the surgical instruments may cause significant infection. In cases of having perforations, immediately consult your doctor for proper treatment and medication.
- Infections And Illnesses
Urinary tract infections may be common in women due to hormonal imbalance and poor hygiene. However, infections inside the vaginal canal, urinary tract, and other neighboring body organs can increase with a mesh implant. First, introducing foreign things in the body increases infections.
Secondly, perforations on body organs caused by the implants or during surgical procedures can lead to increased chances of infections in the body. Erosions of the mesh implants into the urinary tract can act as a channel for infection between the vagina and the urethra and bladder.
- Vaginal Scarring
Vaginal scarring occurs when the tissues inside the vagina heal after it has been damaged or injured. During a transvaginal mesh implant, perforation, cutting, and erosion can occur inside the vagina, damaging the tissues. As a healing mechanism, scars that can be thicker, numb, or too sensitive will form inside the vaginal canal.
The scarring causes pain during sex and exercises. Moreover, the scars could also open up, causing wounds if they haven’t healed properly. This increases the risk of infections around the vagina and other organs.
- Pain After Implants
While mesh implants intend to treat symptoms like pain caused by POP, it’s still possible that there will be cases of pain caused by the mesh after the implants. There have been reported cases of women suffering from acute pelvic and vaginal pains after the implants. The chances of post-implant pain increase significantly in poor physical health and in younger women who are sexually active.
Mesh implants also increase the risk of collagen buildup, which makes the vaginal tissues less flexible. The tissues then pull up on nearby muscles and organs, which may cause severe abdominal and pelvic pain.
Bleeding is another complication that may occur during and after a mesh implant. If it causes erosion or perforates any other body organ, causing wounds, then there’s a high chance of bleeding. The bleeding can be severe in some cases and will need urgent treatment.
The bleeding can indicate severe damages to the tissues and other organs, which could also be an entry point for germs and bacteria that can cause infections. Bleeding can also have other profound health implications on your body, such as fatigue, anemia, and dizziness.
Even though mesh implants serve a good purpose by helping treat conditions such as POP and SUI, their safety and effectiveness haven’t been fully explored. There are still some gaps that lead to complications, as discussed above. You risk infections, damaging other organs, and severe pain. Before getting an implant, you should first consult your doctor for your safety, as you may be introducing something new to your body.