Short-term complications associated with the use of transvaginal mesh in pelvic floor reconstructive surgery: Results from a multi-institutional prospectively maintained dataset

Vaginal reconstructive surgery can be performed with or without mesh. We sought to determine comparative rates of perioperative complications of native tissue versus vaginal mesh repairs for pelvic organ prolapse.

Using the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database, we concatenated surgical data from vaginal procedures for prolapse repair, including anterior and posterior colporrhaphy, paravaginal defect repair, enterocele repair, and vaginal colpopexy using Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) coding. We stratified this data by the modifier associated with mesh usage at the time of the procedure. We then compared 30-day perioperative outcomes, postoperative complications (bleeding, infection, etc), and readmission rates between women with and without mesh-based repairs.

We identified 10 657 vaginal reconstructive procedures without mesh and 959 mesh-based repairs from 2009 through 2013. Patients undergoing mesh repair were more likely to experience at least one complication than native tissue repair (9.28% vs 6.15%, P < 0.001), with the overall complication rate also being higher in the mesh group (11.37% vs 9.39%, P = 0.03). Procedures with mesh had a higher rate of perioperative bleeding requiring transfusion than native tissue repair (2.3% vs 0.49%, P < 0.001), and organ surgical site infection (SSI) (0.52% vs 0.17%, P = 0.02). There were no significant differences in rates of readmission, superficial, or deep SSIs, pneumonia, urinary tract infection, sepsis, or renal failure.

The use of vaginal mesh for pelvic organ prolapse repair appears to result in a higher rate of perioperative complications than native tissue repair. Patients undergoing these procedures should be counselled preoperatively concerning these risks.

Neurourology and urodynamics. 2017 Apr 13 [Epub ahead of print]

Maxx Caveney, Devin Haddad, Catherine Matthews, Gopal Badlani, Majid Mirzazadeh

Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.