To identify demographic and clinical characteristics of patients with symptomatic pelvic floor mesh complications who underwent mesh removal at our academic medical center. The secondary goal was to determine patient-reported outcomes after mesh removal.
We conducted a retrospective review of consecutive patients from 2011-2016 undergoing removal of mesh graft for treatment of symptomatic mesh-related complications. Patient demographics, comorbidities, symptoms, and mesh factors were evaluated. Outcomes after explant were determined by the Patient Global Impression of Improvement and a Likert satisfaction scale.
One hundred fifty-six symptomatic patients underwent complete or partial pelvic floor mesh removal during the study period. Mid-urethral slings comprised 86% of explanted mesh grafts. Mesh exposure or erosion was identified in 72% of patients. Eighty-one percent of patients presented with pain, and 35% reported pain in the absence of exposure or erosion. Pre-operative comorbidities included psychiatric disease (54.5%), chronic pain (34.0%), irritable bowel syndrome (20.5%) and fibromyalgia (9.6%). Forty-three percent of patients reported current or past tobacco use. At mean follow-up of 14 months, 68% of responding patients reported improvement on the Patient Global Impression of Improvement after surgery.
This research identified tobacco use, and psychiatric, immunosuppressive, and chronic pain conditions as prevalent in this cohort of patients undergoing mesh removal. Surgical removal can improve presenting symptoms, including for patients with pain in the absence of other indications.

© The Korean Urological Association, 2020.