Pelvic mesh has been used in the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence since the ‘90s and the majority of women who have had surgical treatment continue to have a good long-term outcome.
It is known as 'transvaginal' mesh as it is implanted in a surgical procedure via the vagina. Pelvic mesh is a synthetic net-like substance that provides extra support to repair weakened or damaged internal tissue.
In December 2017, the Therapeutic Goods Administration removed transvaginal mesh products that have a sole use of treating pelvic organ prolapse via transvaginal implantation from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.
Other synthetic meshes can be implanted via laparoscopic procedure for intra-abdominal approach.
Transvaginal mesh products can cause significant and severe complications for some women including:
- Punctures or lacerations of vessels, nerves, structures or organs, including the bladder, urethra or bowel, requiring surgical repair.
- Mesh extrusion, explosion or erosion into the vagina or other structures or organs.
- Acute and/or chronic pain; or neuromuscular problems.
Management of possible mesh-related complications
SA Health pelvic mesh support service
If you are experiencing complications from transvaginal mesh support is available.
To secure more information contact our consumer support telephone line between 9.00 am – 4.00 pm, Monday to Friday (except Public Holidays) on 1800 66 MESH (1800 666 374).
If you require help in accessing the Transvaginal Mesh Consumer Support Line the following services are available.
For those who speak languages other than English:
- Translation service: phone (08) 8226 1990, then ask for 1800 666 374.
For those who are deaf, hearing impaired or speech impaired:
- TTY users: 133 677 then ask for 1800 666 374.
- Speak and Listen users: 1300 555 727 then ask for 1800 666 374.
- Internet relay users: connect to the National Relay Service then ask for 1800 666 374.
For all media enquiries, telephone (08) 8226 6488.
Accessing medical records
Patients who have had a pelvic mesh procedure may wish to access their medical record. If you have had a transvaginal mesh procedure and wish to access your medical record, the Freedom of Information Act 1991 gives members of the public a legally enforceable right to access information held by the South Australian Government, subject to certain conditions.
More information is available through the SA Health pelvic mesh support service on 1800 66 MESH (1800 666 374).