What Impacts the All Cause Risk of Reoperation after Pelvic Organ Prolapse Repair? A Comparison of Mesh and Native Tissue Approaches in 110,329 Women

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Several factors are hypothesized to impact the risks of mesh augmented pelvic organ prolapse repair, including 1) the characteristics of the material, 2) surgical experience and 3) patient selection. We present a large, population based approach to explore the impact of these factors on outcomes and describe an ideal mesh use strategy.

Materials and Methods:

Data from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development were accessed to identify all women who underwent pelvic organ prolapse repair in California from 2005 to 2011. Multivariate mixed effects logistic regression models were constructed to explore which patient, surgical and facility factors were associated with repeat surgery for a complication due to mesh or recurrent pelvic organ prolapse.


A total of 110,329 women underwent pelvic organ prolapse repair during the study period and mesh was used in 16.2% of the repairs. The overall repeat surgery rate was higher in women who underwent mesh repair (5.4% vs 4.3%, p <0.001). However, multivariate modeling revealed that mesh itself was not independently associated with repeat surgery. Rather, repair at a facility where there was a greater propensity to use mesh was independently associated with repeat surgery (highest vs lowest mesh use quartile OR 1.55, p <0.01). Further modeling revealed that the lowest risk occurred when mesh was used in 5% of anterior and 10% of anterior apical repairs.


Our findings demonstrate that mesh is not independently associated with an increase in the rate of complications of pelvic organ prolapse repair on a large scale. We present a model that supports judicious use of the product on the population level which balances the risk of complications against that of recurrent pelvic organ prolapse.

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