Media coverage of the 2019 United States Food and Drug Administration ordered withdrawal of vaginal mesh products for pelvic organ prolapse

Abstract

Introduction and hypothesis

On April 16, 2019, the United States Food and Drug Administration announced a withdrawal on sales and distribution of transvaginal mesh products for pelvic organ prolapse. The aim of this study was to asses online user behavior on pelvic-mesh related articles after the withdrawal and to evaluate article accuracy.

Materials and methods

We used Google Trends© to identify the terms related to pelvic mesh that experienced increased activity after the FDA announcement. The terms were analyzed for worldwide social media engagement (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Reddit) between April 16–19, 2019. The top ten lay press articles shared for each term were evaluated. We also examined the top ten Google search results for each term on June 6, 2019, in the US to evaluate what information was available after peak interest subsided.

Results

During peak activity in April, 30 unique articles were identified after the FDA announcement. Two (6.7%) did not mention the April 2019 FDA announcement. Seven (23%) discussed mesh for stress urinary incontinence. After peak interest on June 6, 2019, Google identified 26 unique articles for the four terms. Seven (27%) did not mention the FDA announcement, and 3 (12%) mentioned mesh for incontinence.

Conclusions

Internet search patterns and social media behavior following the April 2019 ordered withdrawal on transvaginal mesh for pelvic organ prolapse reveal that some of the most disseminated information did not accurately or thoroughly distinguish the type of mesh discussed. This could lead to negative consequences for other mesh indications in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery.

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Fig. 1

Abbreviations

FDA:

Food and Drug Administration

POP:

Pelvic organ prolapse

SUI:

Stress urinary incontinence

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Authors

Contributions

Poone Shoureshi: Project development, data collection, manuscript writing. No conflict of interest or disclosures.

Kamran Sajadi: Project development, manuscript writing. No conflict of interest or disclosures.

Kathleen Kobashi: Manuscript writing, project development. No conflict of interest or disclosures.

Wai Lee: Manuscript writing, project development, data collection. No conflict of interest or disclosures.

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Correspondence to Poone S. Shoureshi.

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Prior presentations

Western Section of the American Urological Association; November 2019; Monterrey, CA, USA

Society of Women in Urology; January 17, 2020; New Orleans, LA, USA

Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine, and Urogenital Reconstruction; February 2020, Scottsdale, AZ, USA.

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Shoureshi, P.S., Lee, W., Kobashi, K.C. et al. Media coverage of the 2019 United States Food and Drug Administration ordered withdrawal of vaginal mesh products for pelvic organ prolapse. Int Urogynecol J (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00192-020-04401-6

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Keywords

  • FDA mesh
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Transvaginal mesh
  • Vaginal mesh