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Ask Super Doctors – Dr. Richard William Farnam, MD


Ask Super Doctors

Dr. Richard William Farnam, MD (Doctor Profile)

Question: Is pelvic mesh a safe treatment option for prolapse and incontinence?

Answer: It is estimated that 35 to 50 percent of women struggle with issues of prolapse and incontinence that can lead to medical complications and depression. Mesh has been used for more than 60 years to treat pelvic prolapse. Sacrocolpopexy mesh and incontinence slings are the gold standard treatment for prolapse and incontinence. These are sometimes confused with Transvaginal Mesh (TVM) devices, which were introduced in 2005 and found to have a greater risk of complications based on varying surgical standards. In January, the FDA classified TVM as a high-risk device and virtually all major manufacturers announced they will stop making it. Meanwhile, Sacrocolpopexy mesh and incontinence slings are considered proven treatments, with the FDA stating the safety and effectiveness of the midurethral sling is "well established." Women seeking guidance should consult a highly specialized surgeon such as a board certified urogynecologist.

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