22 May 2014

Warning over use of surgical mesh

3:19 pm on 22 May 2014

A gynaecologist is warning patients are not being informed of serious problems arising from the use of surgical mesh.

The net-like product is used to repair hernias, treat bowel prolapse and to treat pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence in women.

The Accident Compensation Corporation has received 421 claims relating to surgical mesh in the past three years and a Health Select Committee is considering launching an inquiry into its use.

Wellington gynaecologist Dr Hanifa Koya said the mesh could cause infection and bleeding, and could be rejected by the body, causing chronic pain. However, the manufacturers listed the side-effects simply as subtle discomfort or irritation.

Mrs Koya said she had removed more than 50 of the implants.

The product's developers had a lucrative product because of a lack of regulation, she said.