Study: Autoimmune Response to Transvaginal Mesh

//Study: Autoimmune Response to Transvaginal Mesh

Study: Autoimmune Response to Transvaginal Mesh

Macrophages at work, Stonybrook Medicine

Macrophages at work, Stonybrook Medicine

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, August 21, 2016 ~ A study published this month is just the latest to confirm that there is an autoimmune response some women experience after a transvaginal mesh implant. It further dispels the notion many doctors believe that vaginal mesh complications are psychological in nature and just in a woman’s head.  

The research, from McGee Women’s Hospital at the University of Pittsburgh, is published in the August 2016 issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Twenty-seven women underwent mesh removal or excision due to pain or mesh exposure or erosion into the vagina. The explanted mesh was compared to 30 vaginal biopsy specimens from women who did not have a vaginal mesh implant.  The women who were experiencing vaginal mesh complications had an elevated inflammatory response to the transvaginal mesh medical device.

Researchers found the excised vaginal mesh had higher levels of macrophages, a type of white blood cell that responds to a foreign body.

An M1 is a macrophage that is proinflammatory leading to chronic inflammation and a ultimately a potential for tissue damage. A M2 macrophage remodels tissue which, if it is ongoing, can result in fibrosis and encapsulating of the mesh.erosion and secondary infection

Fibrosis is essentially scar tissue formation that causes mesh to harden, become rigid. Scar tissue formation can entrap nerves in the process. Fibrosis causes chronic inflammation and that in turn can result in the vaginal mesh shrinking up to 50 percent.

Mesh explanted after 3 mo.

Mesh explanted after 3 mo.

Mesh removed because it was eroding into the vagina had an 88.4% greater response and higher number of macrophages and vaginal mesh degradation. Mesh removed because of pain had a higher number of M2 cells and was consistent with fibrosis.

Researchers believe this bodily response can go on for years.

The latest information about pelvic mesh is part of a growing body of research that may explain why so many women are suffering after they were implanted with polypropylene mesh to treat pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence. Some mesh was implanted prophylactically during a hysterectomy ‘in case” there was prolapse.

Rectocele, FDA graphic

Rectocele, FDA graphic

Very little was known to doctors or patients about pelvic mesh prior to it being approved for market because mesh manufactures were not required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to do any clinical trials. Instead vaginal mesh was allowed to be put on the market to treat pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence in the mid 1990’s with abundant marketing promises and no research to back it up. Doctors and marketers considered accurate placement of the mesh all that was necessary to call it a success.

We are now discovering 20 years later, that the permanent implants may elicit a permanent complication, even when they are removed or partially removed.  ##


By | 2016-08-21T22:32:30+00:00 August 21st, 2016|Medical News|14 Comments

About the Author:

I’m National News Editor, Jane Akre and I began Mesh Medical Device News Desk aka Mesh News Desk (MND) in the summer of 2011 just after the Food and Drug Administration issued an explicit warning to the public that complications associated with surgical mesh used for prolapse repair (POP) and incontinence (SUI) are NOT rare! That was the starting point for the litigation you see today and thousands of lawsuits have been filed by women whose lives have been altered, some permanently, by the use of this petroleum-based product.


  1. Shannon L August 22, 2016 at 2:34 am - Reply

    I am post removal of my mesh. I missed work, was la re on the rent and now facing homelessness with my two teen age daughters and my husband who desperately needs surgery for his failed inguinal hernia mesh. We need help please send resources, something I’m grasping straws. Thank you for your site it has been so informative and comfoting. God bless

    • Jane Akre August 22, 2016 at 9:25 am - Reply

      I’m so sorry Shannon… truly mesh meshes with families. I’m hoping you have adequate medical and legal help. Please advise.

  2. Pat August 22, 2016 at 10:30 am - Reply

    That is exactly what my pathology reports showed.Mesh had embedded in pelvic bone and set up severe inflammatory response.Caused many complications!!!!

  3. k August 22, 2016 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    There is so much evidence about all the complications women are having and are suffering with. Yet we have all had to wait so long for a settlement and very few doctors really understand it. #nobodycares

    • Jane Akre August 22, 2016 at 7:13 pm - Reply

      Why are doctors not all up to date on the emerging science? They think its junk science made up by law firms? They don’t take the time to read? They don’t like/respect women? They believe whatever their medical societies say? Maybe a little of all? I would love to hear from doctors-why deny mesh injuries?

  4. k August 22, 2016 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    My doctor said most removed mesh implants results come back with giant cell foreign body response. What more evidence do they need? Do they think the labs are lying now?

  5. Lauren August 23, 2016 at 10:33 am - Reply

    I too had necrotic tissue, giant foreign body cells, foreign material from tissue block samples surrounding mesh. UCLA pathology found these conclusions only after I asked them to look deeper into the results my outside pathologist found. Please be your own advocate!!! Most pathology reports after mesh removal are quite basic. Please make sure you have the pathology department stain the tissue samples in the correct way…(my outside pathologist directed them). It took a lot of convincing for me to have UCLA pathology retest the samples but the results are cut and dry. You can not dispute university pathology findings. its science, not hypothetical guessing. Soon there will be better imaging to detect the tissue response without biopsies. Columbia and Stanford Universities are studying bioluminescence and florescent imaging to detect abnormalities of tissue without surgery. I can only imagine how upset theses product manufacturers will be when it’s a simple test to determine the devastating effects millions are suffering from synthetic mesh. We are on the front line fellow sufferers, helping pave the way for other poor souls that have no idea what is causing their demise. I met two people just last week with mesh and have no idea that the awful auto immune challenges they are suffering are a most probable a result of the mesh they have in their bodies to this day. They simply do not know enough to understand how the mesh is causing the damage. Both were very healthy before mesh and now have nerve damage, horrible health. We must keep fighting for transparency and truth, our battle is not in vain. We are making a difference, keep fighting, be strong and know you are not alone. I send you all my best AND without you, Jane, we would be left in the dark; you are our lightness. 🙂

    • Jane Akre August 23, 2016 at 11:13 am - Reply

      I love that you are a strong advocate. Tell us exactly what you asked for so others can follow your lead. Thank you!!!

      • Lauren August 24, 2016 at 9:33 am - Reply

        Hi Jane, it was my independent pathologist that helped direct UCLA pathology. I’m not sure of the proper terminology or staining techniques. I can maybe give you my pathologists name and number but I want to ask him to make sure it’s ok I disclose his name.

    • Kitty August 25, 2016 at 5:17 pm - Reply

      Thank u for this info…

    • Mary Pat August 26, 2016 at 12:17 am - Reply

      Lauren, can you tell us what pathology tests we should ask for and also can you give us the contact information for the lab at UCLA?

  6. Dottie R August 25, 2016 at 9:06 am - Reply

    How do you find/ get an independent pathologist???
    Thanks for info,

    • Jane Akre August 25, 2016 at 11:15 am - Reply

      Bennet Omalu is the coroner/pathologist from concussion movie he has done beat the NFL he might take our donated bodies and tell the truth….wouldn’t he be good??!!

      Here is another…..
      USAFORENSICS – Dr. Amy Gruszecki and her staff at American Forensics bring a high level of integrity to mesh forensics.

      • Still Standing August 26, 2016 at 7:29 am - Reply

        Just be forwarned that sending tissue for special exxamination with the flourescent stain is expensive. My doctor sent mine last year and didnt realize that the company was not an in network provider. My cost was over a $1000. Kind of a shock. So, be sure to get a breakdown of the cost or look for lab in network.

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