Vaginal mesh is a material used by surgeons to reinforce a severely weakened vaginal wall that’s causing pelvic organ prolapse. It’s also used to support the urethra and bladder in treatment for stress urinary incontinence. Dr. Antonini uses synthetic mesh created from polypropylene, the same material used for sutures for more than 50 years. Surgical mesh has also been used for decades to aid in abdominal and incisional hernia repairs when extra reinforcement is needed.
For some patients, Dr. Antonini may recommend a surgical procedure called native tissue repair that uses absorbable sutures to restore structure to the vaginal wall. This technique relies on new tissue growth to provide strength. If the damage to your vaginal wall is severe, however, vaginal mesh implanted during surgery can offer better support that helps prevents recurrent prolapse.
Some factors that Dr. Antonini considers before recommending native tissue repair versus vaginal mesh placement include age, what stage of prolapse you have, whether you’ve had recurrent prolapse in the past, and if you have complicating conditions such as diabetes that may affect healing.
Dr. Antonini has extensive experience and skill in both native tissue repair and repair with surgical mesh. He does not support the routine use of one method over the other. Rather, he advocates tailoring surgery to meet each patient’s individual need. His priority is choosing the surgical technique that offers you the best opportunity for repair of your pelvic floor disorder and resolution of your symptoms. He’ll take the time to discuss all options at length so you can make an informed decision about which technique best suits your circumstance.
Every surgery carries risks, but there are particular circumstances when the placement of vaginal mesh is beneficial and appropriate. When used by a qualified surgeon, vaginal mesh is a valuable tool in the successful surgical repair of vaginal wall abnormalities leading to pelvic organ prolapse.
However, the proper surgical technique is critical and surgeons must be effectively trained to perform these procedures and must maintain a significant case volume to sustain their proficiency. Dr. Antonini has the expertise necessary to determine if you’re a good candidate for vaginal mesh repair and the surgical skill required to use it effectively.
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