Vaginal surgical mesh: Overview
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Surgical mesh is a medical device used to reinforce weakened or damaged tissue.
It is sometimes used to repair conditions such as:
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About surgical mesh
Surgical mesh can be made of either synthetic or biological materials. There are 4 types:
- absorbable synthetic material
- non-absorbable synthetic material
- absorbable biological material
- tissues from another person
- patient's own tissues (usually from the abdomen wall or leg)
- animal tissues from cows (bovine) or pigs (porcine)
- composite (a combination of any of these mesh types)
The design and shape of surgical mesh differ, depending on the condition that they are intended to repair.
Synthetic mesh in pelvic procedures
Surgeons implant surgical mesh to:
- reinforce the vaginal wall for POP repair
- support the urethra or bladder neck for SUI repair
POP is a drop or bulge of pelvic organs and occurs due to weakened tissue and/or muscle which can no longer support the organs. POP can involve the:
- bladder (anterior compartment)
- uterus (apical compartment)
- rectum (posterior compartment)
SUI in women is a leakage of urine during physical activities that increase abdominal pressure, such as:
Surgical mesh is intended to become a permanent part of the body once implanted.
In pelvic surgery there are 3 ways to implant mesh:
- as a mesh sling, to treat SUI
- transvaginally (through the vagina) to treat POP
- transabdominally (through the abdomen) to treat POP
There are benefits to each of these surgical procedures, but there are also risks.
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