Publication of Cochrane Review on use of Surgical Mesh

Publication of Cochrane Review on use of Surgical Mesh - February 2016

Publication of Cochrane Review on use of surgical mesh – February 2016

This publication assesses the risks and benefits of transvaginal mesh. Cochrane reviews are internationally recognised  as the highest standard in evidence-based healthcare. They ar systematic reviews of primary research and investigate the effects of interventions for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation

The latest review published on 9th February 2016 concludes that women who with vaginal prolapse suffer a mixed outcome when mesh repair is carried out.

The review reports on 37 randomised controlled trials in more than 4,000 women and draws concerning conclusions for gynaecology surgeons and women who are considering repair surgery for prolapse.

Problems reported in the review include women being more likely to have incontinence, mesh exposure or repeat surgery if they have had mesh repairs.

19% of women were aware of the prolapse following mesh surgery compared to 10-15% in permanent mesh repair. 7-18% of women were likely to have further surgery in emsh repairs compared to 5% in native tissue repair.

The Cochrane Review also noted that other reviews had reported at 10% mesh erosion rate. An audit of women undergoing surgery for prolapse concluded that mesh anterior repairs had a higher risk of later complications than non-mesh repairs.

A number of British medical societies have recommended that women who are considering prolapse surgery should be advised about the potential serious health consequences, including mesh exposure and erosion, pain and incontinence.

Medical device lawyer Jill Paterson comments:

Any medical device that is used in the human body must be fit for purpose and it is increasingly clear that for many of my clients being fitted with surgical mesh has left them many health problems. I hope that medical staff will advise women facing prolapse surgery about the potential problems associated with vaginal mesh in light of this report.