Although the TVT sling is considered the standard of care in sling surgery today, complications can still occur. It is very important to note that it typically is NOT the mesh itself or the procedure that is the cause of the complication, it is how the mesh is placed or how the body heals around the mesh that is the underlying cause. For example, if a patient is a smoker, her tissue is not as well vascularized as a non-smoker and therefore she is at higher risk of the incision not healing well and then a mesh extrusion occurs. This is NOT the mesh’s fault and this patient is a high risk of complications with ANY surgery, whether mesh was used or not.
Studies have actually shown that the TVT sling has HIGHER cure rates than traditional surgery for incontinence (ie the Burch or MMK) with LOWER complication rates. TVT sling (Gynecare, Johnson and Johnson) was the first sling of this type on the market and now many other companies have similar products such as the SPARC procedure (American Medical Systems) and others by Bard Urology, Boston Scientific, etc. All of these slings are essentially the same as the TVT as they use needles passed through the abdominal wall and an incision under the urethra to place the mesh tape sling.