International Urogynecology Journal

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 239–243 | Cite as

Mechanical properties of urogynecologic implant materials

  • H. P. DietzEmail author
  • P. Vancaillie
  • M. Svehla
  • W. Walsh
  • A. B. Steensma
  • T. G. Vancaillie
Original Article


Synthetic suburethral slings have recently become popular despite the risk of erosion commonly associated with synthetic implants. Some of these materials seem to have unexpectedly low erosion rates. Based on the hypothesis that erosion is due, in part, to biomechanical properties, we undertook an in vitro study. The biomechanical properties of eight non-resorbable synthetic implant materials, stiffness (slope, N/mm) and peak load (N) were determined from load vs. displacement curves. Open-weave Prolene mesh showed unique biomechanical properties compared to other tested materials. The tension- free vaginal tape had the lowest initial stiffness (0.23 N/mm), i.e. low resistance to deformation at forces below the elastic limit, whereas the stiffest implant tested, a nylon tape, reached 6.83 N/mm. We concluded that the TVT and other wide-weave Prolene tapes have unique biomechanical characteristics. These properties may be at least partly responsible for the apparent clinical success of the implants.


Biomechanics Implant materials Incontinence surgery Prolene mesh Stiffness TVT 



Materials were supplied free of charge. There was no further corporate sponsorship of this study by any manufacturer.


  1. 1.
    Iglesia CB, Fenner DE, Brubaker L (1997) The use of mesh in gynecologic surgery. Int Urogynecol J 8:105–115Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Fenner DE (2000) New surgical mesh. Clin Obstet Gynecol 43:650–658CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ulmsten U, Johnson P, Rezapour M (1999) A three-year follow up of tension free vaginal tape for surgical treatment of female stress urinary incontinence. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 106:345–350PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Olsson I, Kroon UB (1999) A three year postoperative evaluation of tension-free vaginal tape. Gynecol Obstet Invest 48:267–269PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Moran PA, Ward KL, Johnson D, Smirni WE, Hilton P, Bibby J (2000) Tension-free vaginal tape for primary genuine stress incontinence: a two-centre follow-up study. BJU Int 86:39–42CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Schumpelick V, Klinge U, Welty G, Klosterhalfen B (1999) Meshes within the abdominal wall (in German). Chirurgie 70:876–887CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Stanton S (2001) Some reflections on tension-free vaginal tape – a new surgical procedure for treatment of female urinary incontinence. Int Urogynecol J 12 [Suppl 2]:S1–2Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Dietz HP, Mouritsen L, Ellis G, Wilson PD (2003) How important is TVT location? Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand (in press)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Falconer C, Soederberg M, Blomgren B, Ulmsten U (2001) Influence of different sling materials on connective tissue metabolism in stress urinary incontinent women. Int Urogynecol J 12 [Suppl 2]:S19–23Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Urogynecological Association 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. P. Dietz
    • 1
    Email author
  • P. Vancaillie
    • 1
  • M. Svehla
    • 2
  • W. Walsh
    • 2
  • A. B. Steensma
    • 1
  • T. G. Vancaillie
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal Hospital for WomenAustralia
  2. 2.Orthopaedic Research LaboratoryPrince of Wales HospitalSydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations