Management of vaginal erosion of polypropylene mesh slings

Kathleen C. Kobashi, Fred E. Govier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

175 Scopus citations


Purpose: The SPARC (American Medical Systems, Minneapolis, Minnesota) polypropylene sling has recently been introduced as an alternative delivery system to TVT (Ethicon, New Brunswick, New Jersey) tension-free vaginal tape for placement of a tension-free mid urethral sling. Erosion must always be considered a risk of synthetic materials. We present 4 cases of vaginal erosion of polypropylene mesh placed with this system and the successful conservative management done. Materials and Methods: A total of 90 patients received a SPARC polypropylene pubovaginal sling at our institution between October 1, 2001 and October 1, 2002. During followup 3 of our patients and 1 patient with tension-free vaginal tape who was referred from elsewhere presented with vaginal exposure of the mesh. Results: Two patients described persistent vaginal discharge 6 weeks postoperatively, including 1 who complained primarily of partner discomfort during sexual intercourse. Two patients were completely asymptomatic and mesh erosion was discovered at routine physical examination 6 weeks postoperatively. Pelvic examination demonstrated vaginal exposure of the mesh in all cases. Each patient was observed conservatively and 3 months postoperatively all 4 had complete spontaneous epithelialization over the mesh. None had stress incontinence, urgency or urge incontinence, all emptied the bladder to completion and all patients were completely satisfied with the procedure. Conclusions: The recent literature suggests that polypropylene mesh erosion should be treated with complete removal of the sling material. We present 4 cases of vaginal erosion of polypropylene slings that were managed conservatively with observation and resulted in complete spontaneous healing. Sling preservation with continued patient continence and satisfaction is a feasible option in those with vaginal exposure of polypropylene mesh.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2242-2243
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003


  • Polypropylene
  • Postoperative complications
  • Surgical mesh
  • Urethra
  • Urinary incontinence, stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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