Rectocele Mesh Complications

Back in 2009 I remember wondering what a rectocele was after I had been diagnosed with it. I had not had a hysterectomy, but I had had one child weighing 9lbs at birth although it had been around thirty-seven years before and I had not had any complications since. Six years ago, when I researched to find out what it was, there was little about it on the Internet and of course I did not know key words to do a proper search. These days I am very educated about this and every complication for women because of pelvic mesh. So now to allow you to understand what a rectocele is, I found a good explanation and here it is. You can read more here

A rectocele, also called a proctocele, results from a tear in the normally tough, fibrous, sheet-like divider between the rectum and vagina (rectovaginal septum), causing a bulge to protrude as a hernia into the vagina when there is a bowel movement. It is mainly caused by childbirth or a hysterectomy. It is more likely to occur as a result of childbirth if the baby weighs over nine pounds, or the birth was fast.

If the rectocele is small the patient may not notice it, there may be no signs or symptoms at all. In larger cases there may be a perceptible protrusion of tissue through the vaginal opening. The woman may experience some discomfort – pain is rare.

In the majority of cases the patient can treat the rectocele with self-care and other non-surgical methods. Surgery may be required in severe cases.

Males may also develop a rectocele (extremely rare).

Mine was repaired without using mesh and I thank God for that, because many surgeons simply add a wall of mesh and conclude this is the best treatment for the problem. However mesh erodes and once it does, it can destroy your colon causing all kinds of complications such as erosion, and the bowel is perforated. This is very dangerous. To explain how dangerous it is, I found an article that explains more and the reasons for a perforated bladder. However nothing is mentioned about mesh as a cause, and surgery as a cause is last on the list. This you will find is always the case.

Once the bladder is perforated it becomes a medical emergency because you can die quickly from sepsis.

Gastrointestinal perforation is a hole that develops through the wall of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large bowel, rectum, or gallbladder. This condition is a medical emergency.
Peritonitis is caused by a collection of blood, body fluids, or pus in the abdomen.

Symptoms may include: Severe abdominal pain. Chills. Fever. Nausea. Vomiting. X-rays of the chest or abdomen may show air in the abdominal cavity. This is called free air. It is a sign of a tear. A CT scan of the abdomen often shows where the hole is located. The white blood cell count is often higher than normal.

Even with surgery, infection is the most common complication of the condition. Infections can be either inside the abdomen (abdominal abscess or peritonitis), or throughout the whole body. Body-wide infection is called sepsis. It can be very serious and can lead to death.

Call your health care provider if you have: Blood in your stool. Changes in bowel habits. Fever. Nausea. Severe abdominal pain. Vomiting.

If you are searching for answers, you can read more here

I know many women who have come very close to death after mesh and the worse cases are because mesh eroded into the colon. This is why I am writing this blog today, for anyone searching for answers about a diagnosis of a rectocele, BEFORE they go for surgery.

Ask questions of your doctor. How are they going to fix your rectocele? Ask outright if they often or ever used mesh to repair. Base your decision of what you will do after they answer important questions.

Here is a case report for you to read.

Laparoscopic ventral mesh rectopexy (LVMR) is an effective method of management of functional disorders of the rectum including symptomatic rectal intussusception, and obstructed defaecation. Despite the technical demands of the procedure and common use of foreign body (mesh), the incidence of mesh related severe complications of the rectum is very low.

PRESENTATION OF CASE A 63 year old woman presented with recurrent pelvic sepsis following a mesh rectopexy. Investigations revealed fistulation of the mesh into the rectum. She was treated with an anterior resection.

DISCUSSION The intraoperative findings and management of the complication are described. Risk factors for mesh attrition and fistulation are also discussed.

CONCLUSION Chronic sepsis may lead to ‘late’ fistulation after mesh rectopexy.

1. Introduction Laparoscopic ventral mesh rectopexy (LVMR) is an effective method of management of functional disorders of the rectum including symptomatic rectal intussusception, and obstructed defaecation.1 and 2 Despite the technical demands of the procedure and common use of foreign body (mesh), the incidence of mesh related severe complications of the rectum is very low.

2. Presentation of case A 63-year old lady presented with a three month history of progressively worsening recurrent pelvic pain. There was no associated rectal bleeding or change in bowel habits, but there had been intermittent rectal discharge. Each episode resolved quickly after commencement of broad spectrum antibiotics, but the episodes were becoming more frequent. Past medical history included type 2 diabetes mellitus and a laparoscopic mesh rectopexy performed 24 months earlier.

A CT scan during a previous episode showed chronic sepsis around the sacral promontory (in the area of the anchored tail of the radio-opaque mesh). General, abdominal and digital rectal examinations were unremarkable. Rigid sigmoidoscopy demonstrated normal rectal mucosa, but there was a local concentration of whitish discharge in the mid-rectum. Synthetic mesh material and a green suture were identified on flexible sigmoidoscopy (Fig. 1). 3-D reconstruction of the pelvic CT scan performed during the earlier episode of pain demonstrated a chronic pelvic inflammatory mass with radio-opaque mesh fistulation into the rectum (Fig. 2a and b). Continue reading about mesh complications in bowel

In this same article there is a discussion you should read. Part of it states that only 1% of complications have risen with surgeries of the bowel using mesh. Who keeps a record I want to know? No one and most people who have these serious complications never report them to the FDA or they die and their family doesn’t report it either.

I never copy awful photos of complications or surgeries until now but I do not want any woman to suffer the way women I know have suffered and the only way to make the point is to show you what mesh looks like in the bowel. But showing the reality I hope women will seek a surgeon who will do the repairs without using mesh!

The point of this blog is that your rectocele can be fixed without using mesh so please spend time researching and even if it means travelling far from home, find a surgeon who is familiar with this surgery without using MESH!

What do most colon surgeons do when they see a mess like this where the bowel and the mesh are entwined? They cut out the affected area of your colon and you are left with a bag! This is the truth because I know many women that this has happened to. That is why I am putting out this warning and showing how serious this can be.


  1. T

    Dr. Raz is repairing mine without mesh of course. He said all my prolapse issues stem from the injuries I sustained when my original butcher/mesh implanter had to perform an emergency laparoscopy to stop me from hemorrhaging to death the night of my hysterectomy. Praise the Lord for blood donors!! From the surgery reports it reads like that jerk just went in rooting/digging for gold with no regard. I can’t believe I’m getting ready for LA again!! I’m so scared but ready for the mesh to be gone!! I hate we will miss each other but know that you are never far from my mind. I have to stay 2 weeks since EVERYONE here refused to be part of my aftercare & waited until now to say that. So far we don’t have a place to stay. Tiverton has us for week 1 & wait list week 2. Other places are booked. I’ve got faith though. Blessings!!

  2. Juanita

    Thanks for sharing this. I am getting ready to do rectocele repair. Have had endometreosis and scar tissue removal on colon, lasier surgery first and then total hysterectomy. Now this pain to look forward to. I don’t know why I had to get sick and have so many health issues. At least now I can find stuff like this to talk to dr about. What is my purpose to be so sick and nobody wants to be with me. I am learning to like living alone after seeing other complicated families. But going through this and not much support, not looking forward to it, but it needs done now. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.

    1. Linda (Post author)

      Juanita, do you know what size it is? Were you given any other options other than surgery?

  3. Deborah M Hessenius

    I had retocele repair with evaulta mesh. I am 61 now and have boughts of cramping pain in pelvic area which i know means i am about to have a bloody stool or just bleed. My stool has gone from normal looking to thin sometimes flat stools. I have been thru colonoscopies and they find nothing. I swear it feels like something cutting off bowle movents

    1. Linda (Post author)

      Deborah, unless you travel far from home to a doctor who will listen to your symptoms, this is a hard journey with more to come. I don’t know where you live, but if you can get to UCLA in California, it is your best plan of action.

  4. Gillian M Hedley

    I had a laproscopic rectopexy and rectocele repair in 2013. I have had my rectum removed due to mesh erosion and have a permanent stoma.
    Thank you for your blog.

    1. Linda (Post author)

      I am so sorry Gillian. You are doing something by telling what can happen because of these implants and I hope it will stop any woman from thinking this is all so easy.

  5. Casey

    I had a 3rd degree rectocele repaired with a MPathy Y Graft in 2010. I have been trying to do research as to what that actually is and the only thing i can come up with is a MPathy Restorelle Y Mesh graft. I have had so many complications over the past 8 years all I can do is cry. While I was having my rectocele repaired I was also getting a partial hysterectomy and a bladder sling (transvaginal “tape” which I know now is just a fancy word for thin tape)placed to help with leakage. I am at my wits end with all of this and no one will help me. I have even started having auto immune symptoms in the last year, but it’s like my doctors can not connect the dots. I am only 35 and I am in the worst health of my life. My poor husband has been so supportive through it all, but I know that not being able to be intimate with his wife must take a toll.

    1. Linda (Post author)

      Casey I did not know what type of mesh you so I looked it up and will give you that link in a moment. You are so young and my advice to you is to go out to the urologists at UCLA and see what is going on. They will believe you. I will also give you a link for Dr. Kim.
      Don’t give up, but please do something, because you need to learn what is going on.

      This is your mesh.
      This is about Dr. Kim.

      This will tell you more about your implant.

      This is the FDA report about your implant.

      1. Casey Switzer

        Thank you for your reply. I figured that is what it was because all my research pointed to that device. The infuriating part of all this is when I read over my health records with my surgeon he nonated a blurb where I stated I did not want the mesh procedure. I assume his way around that was the tape and calling the y mesh a “y graft.” I feel like I am stuck in this failed body due to technicalities.
        I will definitely look into UCLA. We may be stationed in California in the next two years. Unfortunately military healthcare will not allow me to see a doctor so far away. We currently live in College Station, TX and I am seeking local help.

        1. Linda (Post author)

          Casey I live fairly close to you and if you would like we can arrange a meeting place near me and we can talk. I cannot drive and I am disabled, so I rely on my daughter. I sent you an email, so let me know.

        2. Linda (Post author)

          I sent you an email and there is a doctor you can see to find out what is going on. Check your email for his name.


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