Long-term Outcomes and Complications of Trans-vaginal Mesh Removal: A 14-year Experience



      To assess the long-term patient outcomes, including the resolution of symptoms and need for subsequent procedures, after vaginal mesh removals (VMR) we evaluate our 14-year experience with VMR from a tertiary center with three FPMRS-trained surgeons. Although the use of transvaginal mesh (TVM) had decreased significantly before its ban in 2019, surgeons are still treating TVM complications and performing vaginal or open/robotic VMR for mesh-related complications.


      A retrospective review of women undergoing VMR with 6 months minimum follow-up was undertaken. The data abstracted included demographics, provider notes, operative reports, pathology findings, outside medical records, peri-operative information, and reoperations.


      From 2006 to 2020, 133 patients were identified, and 113 patients met study criteria with at least 6 months follow-up. The most common presenting symptoms were dyspareunia (77%) and pain (71%). The majority of VMR were performed vaginally (84.5%). Vaginal mesh was removed from anterior (60%), posterior (11%), and anterior and posterior (10%) compartments. Two ureteral injuries and one rectal injury were repaired intraoperatively.
      VMR resulted in resolution of pain in 50% of patients. Some patients had persistent pain (21%) and a few developed de novo pain (4%). More than half of the patients had dyspareunia resolution (52%), but 12% had persistent dyspareunia and 2% developed de novo dyspareunia.


      VMR complexity requires advanced surgical expertise. Most patients undergoing VMR had resolution of their presenting symptoms. However, outcomes for pain, sexual function, continence, and/or prolapse can be unpredictable, resulting in multiple surgeries.
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