In the news this week is a report on problems with the mesh sling surgery used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Apparently there have been about 1,000 reports of problems with the mesh sling, including pain, recurrence of the original problem, and infection.
Stress urinary incontinence is the type of leakage that occurs when you place physical (not emotional) stress on your pelvic floor by laughing, sneezing, coughing, lifting, running, etc. The muscles of the pelvic floor, which are like a hammock and keep your organs in the correct places and help close-off the urethra (the tube that leads urine from the bladder out of your body), can become weak and start to sag due to injury during surgery, pregnancy, or hormonal changes. The sling surgery involves placing a small mesh sling under the urethra to help support it so that when the muscles clamp down to close off the urethra and prevent leakage, they have some resistance (the sling) to clamp against.
It should be noted that must surgeries have been successfully performed, and I have personally heard from many, many people who have loved the outcomes of the surgery. According to doctors, it is a fairly simple procedure that is often performed safely on patients of all ages, including those in their 70s and 80s. As with any surgery, it does carry risks, and you want to make sure you select the right surgeon for you. Don't be afraid to get a few opinions, and ask the doctors how many of the procedures they have performed, what can go wrong and how it can be remedied, and what you can realistically expect as far as treatment.
For more information, and suggestions on questions to ask your surgeon, visit here.
Published On: November 07, 2008