ProteGen Vaginal Sling
The ProteGen sling is a synthetic polymer implant introduced in April of 1997
as a treatment for feminine urinary stress incontinence. Urologists implanted
the sling underneath the bladder to provide support and reduce stress that can
cause incontinence. Instead of providing relief, the device often caused numerous
complications including erosion of the vaginal wall, dehiscence (splitting of
the tissue), infection, vaginal discharge, vaginal bleeding, foul odor, and
other problems. In January of 1999, Boston Scientific Corporation, the manufacturer
of the ProteGen, recalled the product due to the unusually high number of complications.
In the December 1999 edition of The Journal of Urology, a group of respected urologists from across the United States reported a high rate of complications such as tissue erosion and urethral erosion in patients who had the ProteGen sling placed.
Many women implanted with the ProteGen sling are not aware of the potential complications
because Boston Scientific only recalled unused slings. Women who have been implanted
with a synthetic sling should visit their urologist to identify the type of sling
used and discuss potential complications.
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