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How Would Complications from A Pelvic Mesh Device Affect My Quality of Life?

Transvaginal mesh is a net-like surgical tool, also sometimes referred to as a tape, sling, ribbon or hammock. The mesh is a medical device used to provide additional support to weakened or damaged tissue in the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse (“POP”) or stress urinary incontinence (“SUI”) among female patients.

In one of our previously published articles, we discussed some of the common symptoms that are associated with mesh implants. Today, we will provide insight on how these symptoms can impact your day-to-day life.


Mesh erosion (also known as Exposure, Extrusion, and Perforation):

This refers to an instance where the mesh gradually passes out of the body structure or tissue, becomes visible or creates an abnormal opening into a hollow nearby organ. The presenting symptoms of this may vary, but generally results in vaginal bleeding, abnormal discharge, recurrent urinary tract infections, urinary frequency and painful voiding. Ladies suffering from mesh erosion thus find themselves in constant pain and often their ability to participate in daily activities such as socializing, participating in sport and pursuing hobbies is severely limited.



Pelvic pain, persistent vaginal discharge or bleeding, dyspareunia, and incontinence are the most common signs of vaginal mesh-related infection. This may also present as a pelvic abscess, or urogenital or other fistula. A mesh infection requires removal of the whole mesh, either transvaginally or abdominally, accompanied by drainage of abscess cavities and antibiotics. Due to the design of mesh, it fuses with the surrounding tissue often making a mesh removal impossible, resulting in an individual suffering from lifelong symptoms associated with a mesh infection.


This refers to an individual experiencing difficult or painful sexual intercourse. It may be caused by mesh erosion, mesh infection or mesh shrinkage, An incidence of dyspareunia has been noted in up to 6.2% of women implanted with mesh for treatment of SUI, and up to 24.4% for women implanted with mesh for treatment of POP. Some women have stated that are no longer able to have intercourse, which has severely affected the intimacy in their relationship. A lot of women are left feeling alone and secluded.


Mesh Retraction

Retraction of the tissue surrounding mesh occurs when the mesh shrinks, as a result of being exposed to oxidizing agents in the body. In order for the body to perform normal urinary, sexual and defecatory functions, the vaginal walls must be able to easily and painlessly change conformation. With tissue retraction, the vaginal walls become excessively stiff, resulting in dyspareunia, and urinary and defecatory disfunction. Individuals experiencing this are also exposed to an increased risk of recurrence of the previous POP or SUI that was treated.


If you or a loved one has suffered adverse complications after receiving a transvaginal mesh implant or undergoing revision surgery to remove mesh, contact RH Lawyers as soon as possible by visiting, or via the methods listed below:


Calling 087 188 2698; or

Sending a please call me or WhatsApp to 062 973 9224

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