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On July 24, 2009, WECT in Wilmington, NC ran a Lifewatch story on urinary incontinence in women and the use of a midurethral mesh sling to solve this problem suffered by so many women. While somewhat informative, WECT left out important information regarding the problems that have occurred since this product entered the market. I am really disappointed that the piece by WECT did not mention at all any of the problems experienced by women who have had the mesh sling implanted, especially given the warnings and action by the FDA with regard to these products.

In October 2008, the FDA issued a public health warning advising consumers and doctors about the serious complications association with the use of this surgical mesh to treat Stress Urinary Incontinence and Pelvic Organ Prolapse. In many cases, women who have had these slings implanted, have required multiple surgeries and have been left with permanent and debilitating injuries. Problems that can arise include vaginal or pelvic pain, bloody discharg, foul vaginal odor, vaginal infections and severe pain in the back, hips and legs.

InjuryBoard has been a series of articles chronicling the horror stories of these women and I would invite any woman considering this option to look at this before making any decision. Some of these mesh products have been removed from the market. A group called Truth in Medicine has formed to advocate for the removal from the market of all synthetic mesh used to treat urinary incontinence in women.

Women need to discuss with their healthcare providers the complications that may arise with the use of the vaginal or midurethral mesh sling. Know all of the facts before you make a decision that could change your life.


  1. Gravatar for Sherrie Palm

    It is hugely important for women to not only make sure the physician who will be performing their surgery has a reputation for doing a good job with these types of repair, but also to discuss the options available as far as kinds of mesh the physican performing the surgery likes to use and why. Being an informed patient reduces the risks involved with all surgical procedures. Pelvic organ prolapse surgeries more frequently utilize mesh because women are much more active today. Doing your homework prior to surgery will reduce the risk of complications.

    Sherrie Palm, author of

    Pelvic Organ Prolapse: The Silent Epidemic.

  2. Gravatar for Jean Martin

    Sherrie, thank you for your comments. You make an excellent point that women need to be informed before making these decisions. Be informed about your doctor. Be informed about the surgical procedure. Be informed about the medical device or product.

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