Effects of mesh-related complications in vaginal surgery on quality of life

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Introduction and hypothesis: Vaginal mesh surgery is subject of debate due to the impact of mesh-related complications on patient’s lives. Not all of these complications are symptomatic. Restoration of the anatomy and improvement of pelvic floor function as a result may counter the experienced discomfort related to adverse events. We hypothesized that health-related quality of life (HR-QoL) is comparable in women after vaginal mesh surgery regardless of the presence or absence of a mesh-specific complication. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of 128 women who had vaginal mesh surgery in a Dutch university hospital between 2007 and 2012. HR-QoL was measured in women with and without mesh complications using standardized QoL questionnaires Urogenital Distress Inventory-6 (UDI-6), Incontinence Impact Questionnaire (IIQ), Defecation Distress Inventory (DDI), and Pelvic Organ Prolapse/Urinary Incontinence Sexual Function Questionnaire (PISQ-12). Complications were scored according to the International Urogynecological Association (IUGA) complication classification. Comparisons between groups were performed with Student’s t test and analysis of variance (ANOVA) test. Results: In 29 (23%) women, a mesh-related complication occurred. The domain scores of the UDI-6, DDI, IIQ, and PISQ showed no statistically significant differences between women with and without a mesh-related complication. A post hoc analysis showed similar HR-QoL for those in whom the complication had been resolved and those with persistent symptoms of the complication. Conclusion: Mesh surgery imposes specific complications. When counseling patients about the potential adverse events related to vaginal mesh surgery, it is important to inform them that mesh-related complications do not negatively affect QoL related to micturition, defecation, and sexual functioning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1083-1089
JournalInternational Urogynecology Journal
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019

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