Transvaginal mesh implants

Introduction

In recent years there has been some publicity about the use of transvaginal mesh implants, which are used for the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or stress urinary incontinence (SUI). To address concerns that arose from this, the Scottish Government carried out an independent review of transvaginal mesh implants which was published in March 2017. Some of the conclusions made by the independent review include:

  • Shared decision making with health professionals and patient choice is essential when choosing treatments
  • In the case of surgical treatment for stress urinary incontinence, women must be offered all appropriate treatments (mesh and non-mesh) as well as the information to make informed choices about their treatment
  • In the surgical treatment of pelvic organ prolapse, current evidence does not show any extra benefit from the use of transvaginal implants (prolypropylene mesh or biological graft) over native tissue repair. Transvaginal mesh procedures must not be offered routinely

What to do if you have concerns

For more information about transvaginal mesh implants and the results of the Scottish Government’s independent review, you can call the NHS inform helpline free on 0800 22 44 88 (textphone 18001 0800 22 44 88). The helpline is open Monday to Friday, 8 am to 10 pm, and Saturday to Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm. It also provides an interpreting service.

NHS inform’s helpline can only provide general information, if you’re experiencing unusual symptoms or health issues with an implant, please contact your GP or consultant.

Further information, including the full independent review, is available from the Scottish Government website.

Further resources

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

A patient information leaflet on vaginal mesh tape procedure for treatment of stress urinary incontinence

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

Scottish Government News: Halt in use of transvaginal mesh

Healthcare Improvement Scotland: Transvaginal mesh oversights group