Introduction: Various grafts have been used in the treatment of urinary incontinence and pelvic prolapse. Autologous materials such as muscle and fascia were first utilized to provide additional anatomic support to the periurethral and pelvic tissues; however, attempts to minimize the invasiveness of the procedures have led to the use of synthetic materials. Complications such as infection and erosion or extrusion associated with these materials may be troublesome to manage. We review the literature and describe a brief overview of grafts used in pelvic floor reconstruction and focus on the management complications specifically related to synthetic materials. Materials and Methods: We performed a comprehensive review of the literature on grafts used in pelvic floor surgery using MEDLINE and resources cited in those peer-reviewed manuscripts. The results are presented. Results: Biologic materials provide adequate cure rates but have associated downfalls including potential complications from harvesting, variable tissue quality and cost. The use of synthetic materials as an alternative graft in pelvic floor repairs has become a popular option. Of all synthetic materials, the type I macroporous polypropylene meshes have demonstrated superiority in terms of efficacy and fewer complication rates due to their structure and composition. Erosion and extrusion of mesh are common and troublesome complications that may be managed conservatively with observation with or without local hormone therapy, with transvaginal debridement or with surgical exploration and total mesh excision, dependent upon the location of the mesh and the mesh type utilized. Conclusions: The ideal graft would provide structural integrity and durability with minimal adverse reaction by the host tissue. Biologic materials in general tend to have fewer associated complications, however, the risks of harvesting, variable integrity of allografts, availability and high cost has led to the development and use of synthetic grafts. Synthetic grafts have a tendency to cause higher rates of erosion and extrusion; however, these complications can be managed successfully.
- Synthetic mesh
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