Complications related to use of mesh implants in surgical treatment of stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse: infection or inflammation?

The surgical mesh material used in the surgical treatment of stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and pelvic organ prolapse (POP) in women is associated with significant complications in some women. This has recently become a public health issue with involvement of national parliaments and regulatory bodies. The occurrence of mesh complications is thought to be a result of multifactorial processes involving problems related to the material design, the surgical techniques used and disease, and patient-related factors. However, the infectious complications and mesh-tissue interactions are least studied. The aim of this article is to review any previous clinical and basic scientific evidence about the contribution of infectious and inflammatory processes to the occurrence of mesh-related complications in SUI and POP. A literature search for the relevant publications without any time limits was performed on the Medline database. There is evidence to show that vaginal meshes are associated with an unfavourable host response at the site of implantation. The underlying mechanisms leading to this type of host response is not completely clear. Mesh contamination with vaginal flora during surgical implantation can be a factor modifying the host response if there is a subclinical infection that can trigger a sustained inflammation. More basic science research is required to identify the biological mechanisms causing a sustained inflammation at the mesh-tissue interface that can then lead to contraction, mesh erosion, and pain.

World journal of urology. 2019 Feb 13 [Epub ahead of print]

Naşide Mangir, Sabiniano Roman, Christopher R Chapple, Sheila MacNeil

Department of Material Science and Engineering, Kroto Research Institute, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK. ., Department of Material Science and Engineering, Kroto Research Institute, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK., Department of Urology, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK.

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