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Transvaginal Mesh

Senate report into transvaginal mesh released

The Senate have released their report into transvaginal mesh.

Joint State/Territory Peaks Media Release

Vindication for mesh injured women: but suspend mesh until after audit results

Australia’s state and territory based health consumer organisations have welcomed the recognition of the extent and impact of harm to women, and the recommendations contained in the report from the Senate Inquiry into transvaginal mesh implants released yesterday. But they say they hoped the report had gone further.

“We are very pleased that the Senate’s recommendations reflecting our calls to strengthen provisions for informed consent, only using mesh as a last resort, requiring mandatory reporting of complications, establishing a register (which should be retrospective and for all transvaginal mesh devices) and having the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care do an audit of transvaginal mesh procedures in Australia. The Commission must be resourced to do this in a timely manner and the audit should also include procedures done by private specialists” said state and territory consumer peaks spokesperson Melissa Fox, CEO of Health Consumers Queensland.

“However until the community sees this accurate, retrospective data we won’t know just how many women have been harmed by all types of mesh including POP, tapes and slings.  We are disappointed that a more cautious approach wasn’t taken, to recommend the suspension in use of all mesh until the data is in to establish their safety and efficacy.  These devices will continue to be implanted in women in hospitals across Australia tomorrow, and not one more woman should be unwittingly subjected to this high-stakes surgical intervention until we can be assured of their safety”, said Ms Fox.

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Survey updates

Women who have had mesh surgically implanted to treat vaginal prolapse or urinary incontinence were invited to respond to a survey from Australia’s state, territory and national peak consumer groups, including Health Consumers Queensland. The experiences reported will be vital to inform a joint Senate submission being drafted by our organizations.

(Note that mesh can also be referred to as tape, a sling, or TVT)

This survey is now closed. Health Issues Centre would like to thank all of the women who have bravely shared their experiences of pelvic mesh implants. We will continue working on behalf of all mesh injured women. You can follow updates on http://www.facebook.com/UnderstandingPelvicMesh .


General information

Information sheet on transvaginal mesh

Story from The Project on transvaginal mesh implants

The Project’s page with further information, links & statements (please note that they currently have the incorrect address listed for the Qld complaints body, the correct address being http://www.oho.qld.gov.au/)

Information from the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) organised a series of consumer consultation forums with the assistance of state health consumer councils in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney from January to March 2017. The intent was to provide consumers with the opportunity to provide information about their experience of transvaginal mesh treatment to inform the development of patient decision support resources.

Thirty-one women participated in the forums, either in person or by telephone. All but one of the women who participated in the forums had experienced complications following transvaginal mesh treatment, and the majority of participants had been treated for stress urinary incontinence.

The common themes and issues raised by women who attended the forums are summarised on this page.


Support

If you are after information and support from women, please visit the Australian Pelvic Mesh Support Group.


Senate Inquiry

A Senate inquiry is being held in Australia on the number of women in Australia who have had transvaginal mesh implants and related matters. Women were invited to share their experiences via submissions. The submissions closed on 31 May 2017.

Health Consumers Queensland is feeding into a joint submission from the state and territory peak consumer organisations across Australia.  Our equivalent organisation in Victoria, Health Issues Centre, has created a time-limited Facebook page to gather feedback from consumers to inform this submission. All information will be used without identifying the respondent.