Surgical Mesh Repair for Incontinence: Is it Safe?

In 2011 The Food and Drug Administration issued safety communication with warnings about the use of surgical mesh for repair of pelvic organ prolapse.

Rachel Pauls MD and her team of pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgeons (Steven Kleeman MD and Catrina Crisp MD) at Cincinnati Urogynecology Associates, have released a statement supporting the use of surgical mesh as a safe, effective treatment for the majority of women who have stress incontinence.

Surgical Mesh Repair for Stress Incontinence: How it Works 

“This is all that goes under the urethra – a small strip of mesh, very thin, about the width of a shoe lace – and it provides the support that the woman needs in order to cure their problem,” Dr. Pauls tells Local 12's Liz Bonis.

Stress incontinence occurs when you stress the bladder with a sudden increase in pressure, such as sneezing, couching, standing up, exercising or laughing.

The Bottom Line

Dr. Pauls says she and her team released the statement to clarify that pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is not stress incontinence. “It’s a different condition,” she points out. Furthermore, “The FDA report was targeting specific mesh kits for prolapse, not the slings for stress incontinence.”

On the other hand, Dr. Pauls also wants to clarify that this does not mean surgical mesh can’t be used to treat other problems, aside from stress incontinence.

Tags: Womens Health

Last Updated: October 3, 2016