We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Surgical Mesh?

By Brenda Scott
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Surgical mesh is a woven fabric used for chest wall reconstruction, strengthening tissues, to provide support for internal organs, and to treat surgical or traumatic wounds. The fabric is usually made of Gore-Tex®, Teflon®, polypropylene, or some other polymer, although a titanium mesh has been used in some back surgeries. The most common types are hernia mesh, stress urinary incontinence slings, and mesh for treating prolapse.

A hernia is caused when an internal organ, usually the small intestine, pushes through a weak spot in the lining of the abdominal wall. This condition does not repair itself, and will generally deteriorate over time. Surgery is often recommended to prevent the intestine from becoming strangulated, or constricted, causing serious complications. Surgical mesh is often used in a hernia repair and is placed on or under the damaged area in the abdomen.

Another common use of this fabric is in the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse, a condition that occurs when one of the pelvic organs —; the bladder, uterus, bowel or rectum — drops from its normal position and pushes against the vaginal wall. This can happen when the muscles and connective tissues that hold the organs in place are weakened. If surgery is required, mesh is sometimes inserted through an incision in the vaginal wall to provide additional support for the affected organ.

Uterine prolapse occurs when the uterus falls from the pelvic cavity into the vagina. This generally happens in women who have had one or more vaginal deliveries, and can be caused by aging, a post-menopausal lack of estrogen, or obesity. Unless the condition causes undue discomfort, it is often left untreated. If surgery is warranted, a vaginal hysterectomy is sometimes recommended. Other procedures, like sacral colpopexy, leave the uterus in place and use surgical mesh to support it.

Another female condition that can be treated with this fabric is female stress urinary incontinence. This is a common condition in which urine is involuntarily leaked, and it can be caused by muscles weakened as a result of pregnancy, childbirth, or sustained heavy lifting. Non-surgical treatments include pelvic exercises and custom fitted devices worn to support the vagina. If surgery is indicated, than a variety of mesh slings are available that can be surgically installed to lift and support the urethra.

As with any surgical implant, some complications can occur, including infection, inflammation, tissue damage, and septic shock. There have been instances of surgical mesh used in hernia repair adhering to the intestines or causing injury to nearby organs, though most of those problems have been related to products that have been recalled. In rare cases, complications have also risen from mesh used to treat a prolapse. These problems generally included erosion of the mesh into the vagina, infection, or pain.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By scott — On Mar 25, 2011

Are you having any symptoms which cause you concern? If you are worried it might be worthwhile to speak to a gynecologist.

By anon151013 — On Feb 09, 2011

I had this vaginal mesh inserted quite a few years ago. I have had no trouble since I now no longer have sex. I wondered if I need to have it examined at all or do I just leave it as it is, as I was not told at the time.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.