Do we need meshes in pelvic floor reconstruction?
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Transvaginally placed mesh in pelvic reconstructive surgery for women with pelvic organ prolapse has gained popularity because of excellent anatomical outcomes, but postoperative mesh-related complications have lead to a number of cautious reviews and warnings. This review focuses on functional outcomes after synthetic transvaginal mesh placement.
MEDLINE database was searched from 2010 to August 2011 for original articles on transvaginal mesh surgery for pelvic organ prolapse not included in recent reviews. The following search terms were used: pelvic organ prolapse, genital prolapse, cystocele, rectocele and mesh, synthetic graft, and repair. Studies were assessed and appropriate data extracted and tabularized. Studies were excluded if the follow-up time was less than 12 months and if studies did not contain original data or data on subjective outcome.
Eleven studies irregularly reported functional outcomes. After trocar-guided transobturator vaginal mesh surgery, symptomatic recurrence of pelvic organ prolapse was reported between 7 and 33%. If analyzed cumulatively, 76 of 370 patients (21%) complained of prolapse symptoms postoperatively. De novo stress urinary incontinence occurred in 12–17% and persisted in up to 68% after trocar-guided mesh surgery. De novo dyspareunia was present between 2 and 15%, worsened or de novo dyspareunia between 25 and 44%. Deteriorating coital incontinence was described in 6 of 16 women after anterior Prolift in one trial.
When counseling women for pelvic reconstructive surgery, we should provide them with evidence-based information on functional outcomes and subsequently take the patient’s concerns and preferences into account. Pelvic floor symptoms were scarcely reported in reviewed trials, but demonstrated a worse scenario than anatomical outcomes.