American_Urologic_Association_logoThe American Urological Association (AUA) held a special press conference at their May Annual Scientific Meeting in Orlando, FL to announce the results of four studies conducted by medical research centers throughout the U.S.

The studies centered around patient knowledge and perception of transvaginal mesh products prior to surgery as well as after mesh removal. Here is a summary of the information concluded from these studies:

Image Source:
Image Source:

Evaluation of Patients’ Knowledge and Perceptions of Mesh: Researchers from the Glickman Urologic and Kidney Institute at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH administered a 25-question prospective survey between March 2013 and November 2013 to new female patients presenting to a single academic institution specialty clinic for either pelvic organ prolapse, (POP) or stress urinary incontinence (SUI). The study yielded the following results:

  • 70 percent of new patients obtained most of their information about mesh from television.
  • 61 percent stated they were aware of the 2011 FDA safety communication regarding the use of transvaginal mesh for pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI).
  • 65 percent said they were unsure if the mesh used for SUI was different from the mesh used for POP
  • 50 percent believed there was a mesh recall despite their knowledge of the FDA safety communication.

Researchers conclude patients do not fully understand the uses of synthetic mesh and suggest that physicians must do the following: 1) educate patients about synthetic mesh and or 2) resolve any transvaginal mesh misconceptions when providing counsel on treatment options for POP or SUI.

Image Source:
Image Source:

YouTube as Source for Vaginal Mesh Information: New York University Langone Medical Center, New York study performed a YouTube keyword search on “vaginal POP repair with mesh” to examine available information from YouTube videos on POP repairs with mesh. Researchers concluded the majority of information available from YouTube about vaginal POP repair with mesh is recent, short and may lack the comprehensive content needed to educate patients properly.

Patient Pain Only Results for Vaginal Mesh or Tape Removed Transvaginally: Researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX conducted a study of patients who present with pain (without other complications) following transvaginal mesh placement. The study showed the pain was significantly reduced in the majority of patients following mesh removal.

Patient Quality of Life after Removal of Transvaginal Mesh: Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), CA conducted a review of all vaginal mesh removal procedures performed at the UCLA Division of Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery between 2006 and 2012.

Of the 662 patients identified, 214 surveys were collected, the UCLA study revealed the following:

  • 77 percent of patients who underwent mesh removal were better
  • 17 percent were much or very much worse.
  • 30 percent stated they had no pain, but the majority continued to experience incontinence.
  • 28 percent complained of SUI at least once a day.
  • 49 percent complained of dyspareunia or painful intercourse
  • 20 percent stated their sexual activity was limited due to incontinence.

Researchers concluded the use of vaginal mesh has the potential to cause permanent and disabling pelvic pain, urinary incontinence and sexual dysfunction despite subsequent mesh removal.

If you or a loved one been harmed or suffered adverse effects of a transvaginal mesh product, it’s important to speak to experienced transvaginal mesh attorneys to find out what your options are and if you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.