Is pain relief after vaginal mesh and/or sling removal durable long term?

Karen Jong, Shreeya Popat, Alana Christie, Philippe E. Zimmern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Introduction and hypothesis: This study was to review our experience of pain relief durability in women who experienced initial pain resolution after vaginal mesh and/or sling removal (VMSR). Methods: A retrospective chart review of consecutive, nonneurogenic women who underwent VMSR for pain and reported persistent pain relief at the 6-month postoperative follow-up visit were assessed. Pre- and postoperative data collected were self-reported chief complaints, physical examination, other medical conditions associated with chronic pain, use of pain medications, Urogenital Distress Inventory-6 (in which question 6 specifically addresses pain), and the Numerical Pain Rating Scale (NPRS). Success was defined by continued resolution of pain assessed by score of 0 on NPRS (0 none to 10 terrible), (0–1 on the Urogenital Distress Inventory-6 (UDI-6) question 6, subjective report of pain-free status, and/or no chronic use of pain medications other than those prescribed for non-mesh-related pain. Results: Between 2006 and 2015, 125 of 356 women met study criteria. Mean follow-up after VMSR was 3.5 (range 0.5–10) years. Among 25 women who did not meet success criteria by questionnaire answers or subjective report, 21 had causes unrelated to their original mesh/sling placement and were pain free after they were addressed. Four women experienced delayed mesh-related pain return at 28, 46, 47, and 54 months, respectively; two required mesh removal surgery. Involvement in lawsuits and chronic pain-related medical conditions did not affect the durability of pain relief. Conclusions: At a mean follow-up of 3.5 years, the original pain relief noted after VMSR was durably maintained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)859-864
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Urogynecology Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • Mesh removal
  • Pelvic pain
  • Synthetic mesh
  • Vaginal surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Urology


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