Following a request from state and territory health department representatives, the Commission is developing guidance for consumers, clinicians and health services on the use of transvaginal mesh products for the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI).
The Commission considered the peer-reviewed evidence; consulted with clinicians; and held consumer forums with women around Australia to ensure that the available evidence and a breadth of views were considered in the development of resources. A summary of issues raised by women who attended the forums was published by the Commission.
The Commission convened a reference group consisting of consumers, clinical experts nominated by specialist colleges and surgical specialty societies, state and territory health department representatives and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). The Transvaginal Mesh Reference Group is chaired by Dr Robert Herkes, Chief Medical Officer at the Commission. The Reference Group met on 4 occasions in 2017; the last meeting was held on 1 December 2017.
Members of the Reference Group have supported the Commission in its development of the guidance in relation to:
The Commission has identified a number of issues impacting on the safety and quality of these procedures, including:
A number of factors impacting on the recording of these events have been noted, including the variable timeframes for onset of symptoms, from immediately post-surgery to a number of years post-procedure. When women reported symptoms to their general practitioner or specialist these were often not directly linked with mesh
Information about mesh and adverse event reporting is available on the TGA website.