Safety of Mesh for Vaginal Cystocele Repair: Analysis of National Patient Characteristics and Complications

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The use of mesh in vaginal cystocele repair has decreased. We analyzed the ACS NSQIP® (American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Project) database to compare outcomes of repairs with and without mesh.

Materials and Methods:

CPT was used to identify patients who underwent cystocele repair with and without mesh from 2006 to 2013. Patient characteristics and complications were analyzed.


We identified 6,849 patients, of whom 5,667 (82.5%) underwent native tissue repair and 1,182 (17.5%) underwent repair with mesh. Patients who received mesh were older (mean ± SD age 64 ± 11 vs 60 ± 12 years, p <0.001) and more had comorbidities (56% vs 47%, p <0.001). Mean mesh vs nonmesh operative time (97 ± 67 vs 95 ± 53 minutes, p = 0.2) and mean length of stay (1.3 ± 2.4 vs 1.4 ± 1.3 days, p = 0.2) were similar in the 2 groups. Urinary tract infection was the most common complication in cases without vs with mesh (3.8% vs 3.5%). Mesh procedure rates of mortality (0% vs 0.3%, p = 0.04) and overall surgical complications (1.8% vs 3.9% p <0.001) were higher. On multivariate analysis ASA® class 3 or greater (OR 1.4, p = 0.01), longer operative time (OR 1.004, p <0.001) and mesh (OR 1.32, p = 0.05) were associated with greater morbidity. Patient comorbidities, surgeon specialty and concomitant procedures did not confer an increased risk of complications.


Native tissue repair is performed more commonly than mesh repair. ASA class, operative time and mesh use are associated with an increased risk of postoperative morbidity. These results suggest an increased risk of complications when using mesh in vaginal anterior repair, although the overall risk in each procedure was low.

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