Expansion of the role of web-based social networks related to synthetic mesh/tape complications

Caroline Stephens, Philippe E. Zimmern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: To update a prior report on web-based networks and frequently visited forums used by patients affected by synthetic mesh and/or tape (SMT) complications and to present the new developments in this dynamic SMT field following recent FDA notifications. Methods: A review of available blogs and forums on SMT complications was conducted using the terms “mesh complications”, “mesh blogs”, and “polypropylene mesh removal” in Internet search engines for the United States and several other countries. Forums from a prior report were analyzed for updates, and new forums with their founders were identified using same search methodology. The number of posts and new fields from 07/2011 to 10/2013 was recorded, and then divided into categories based on broad content (personal stories, supportive replies to complaints, patients recommending physicians, legal stories, newspaper/article stories with reactions, other). Results: Although four social networks became inactive, four expanded and at least five new major ones surfaced. While personal stories and support remained a prominent topic of discussion, other categories increased, such as the number of posts discussing physician referrals and reactions to news stories. Additionally, the number of posts designated to personal stories decreased. Finally, discussion about the topic expanded internationally. Conclusion: Web-based social networks for women suffering from SMT have expanded and the contents have broadened with new domains being introduced. Patient networking remains a dynamic force in the current debate on the future of these procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)999-1004
Number of pages6
JournalWorld Journal of Urology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 20 2014


  • Female
  • Outcomes research methods
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Surgery
  • Synthetic grafts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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