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Rectal Mesh Complications

Rectal Mesh Complications

Are you suffering from Rectal Mesh Complications? Do you find it difficult to get help and recognition that your symptoms are as a result of mesh from your doctor, then most of all you are not alone.

Many women and men are finding it difficult to persuade their doctors that the problems they have are mesh related. Thankfully there is more and more literature available supporting the evidence of complications. In turn, synthetic mesh is now an undesirable method of addressing rectal prolapse. If you have had mesh inserted recently by your Doctor then it is questionable as to whether this was the best decision for your care.

What is rectal prolapse?

Rectal prolapse can occur as a result of many conditions, including chronic constipation or chronic diarrhoea, long-term history of straining during bowel movements, or old age. Consequentially, rectal prolapse is the protrusion of either the rectal mucosa or the entire wall of the rectum. Partial prolapse involves only the mucosa and usually only protrudes by a few centimetres. Complete prolapse involves all layers of the rectal wall.


You can repair a rectal prolapse with a laparoscopic rectoplexy. In this surgery, the rectum is restored to its normal position in the pelvis, so that it no longer prolapses (protrudes) through the anus. Usually, stitches are used to secure the rectum. Sometimes mesh is used.

Sutured rectoplexy is a procedure that has stood the test of time and given reasonable results.It is not perfect and can result in further prolapses.

Posterior mesh rectoplexy has been more or less abandoned because of the fear of mesh related complications yet it is still being used by some hospitals.

Rectal Mesh Complications

Rectal mesh has the same major mesh related complications as vaginal mesh. These included

  • erosion into the vagina, bladder or rectum,
  • mid-rectal stricture,
  • rectovaginal fistula and
  • chronic pelvic pain due to pudendal nerve irritation or
  • chronic inflammation around the mesh

It is the likelihood of shrinkage which makes heavyweight polypropylene meshes unsuitable for use in ventral rectoplexy. The propensity of the partially absorbable meshes (combining polypropylene and poliglecaprone) for stretching makes them a poor choice.

In ventral rectoplexy the complication rates varied from 1.4-47%. Urinary tract infections and port-site hernias were the commonest complications. Complications related to the mesh included one death from sepsis 6 months after surgery, two cases of mesh detachment and one instance of erosion of the mesh into the vagina. Intervertebral disk infection is an unusual complication seen in two patients.

Doctors are right to be concerned regarding problems related to a prosthetic rectoplexy. Between 2-16% patients reported rectal mesh complications.. Erosion of the mesh can result in significant morbidity and pose challenges in management. It mirrors quite clearly the problems seen in vaginal mesh for incontinence and prolapse. However, doctors in the rectal prolapse field are quicker to reject synthetic mesh as an option

What to do now

Not warned about the risks of rectal mesh, then contact us for free initial advice. Finally, if you feel that had you known about this complications you would not have had that procedure, then we can help.

Call us FREE on 0800 470 2009. We offer a no win no fee service.


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