Western Health is one of four Victorian centres supporting women with trans-vaginal mesh-related complications or concerns. We specialise in the management of such complications with multi-disciplinary care provided by a team including surgical specialties (urogynaecology, urology and colorectal surgery), pelvic floor physiotherapy, continence nursing, community based rehabilitation and the chronic pain team. This team has the training and experience to manage the spectrum of mesh complications using non-surgical and surgical treatments including the removal of mesh.
Transvaginal mesh is a synthetic, net-like material that is used to manage stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. While such treatment has been successful for many women, it has caused complications for others.For the women affected, complications can include irregular vaginal bleeding or discharge, discomfort during sex (for the woman or her partner), a sharp or prickling feeling in the vagina, and abdominal, buttock or leg pain. Such pain can range from mild discomfort to debilitating pain, and can be experienced immediately after the operation or years later. There are also many women with mesh who have no complications, but may request reassurance or review.
Regarding the ongoing use of transvaginal mesh:
In November 2017, the Therapeutic Goods Administration deregistered some transvaginal mesh products making them unavailable for general use for the surgical treatment of pelvic organ prolapse when inserted via the vaginal route and a specific type of incontinence sling called a mini-sling.
Prolapse treatment using mesh inserted via abdominal incisions (sacrocolpopexy) and incontinence slings inserted via the "retropubic" or "transobturator" route are still available.
As for any surgery, each woman has the choice of whether or not to undergo a procedure using mesh after a detailed discussion, about all available options, with their treating clinician.
Further information about the treatment of urinary incontinence, prolapse and use of transvaginal mesh can be found at:
Victorian Government's Better Health Channel: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/Transvaginal-mesh
Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists: Transvaginal mesh: https://www.ranzcog.edu.au/news/Use-of-mesh-for-the-surgical-treatment-of-vaginal
Urogynaecological Society of Australasia: http://www.ugsa.org.au/pages/patient-information.html
Women and those affected by transvaginal mesh can contact our service by calling our senior gynaecology nurse on (03) 8345 0633 or mobile number 0481 908 118 between 9am-4pm Monday to Friday or by emailing [email protected]
General Practitioners and other referrers can fax a referral through to the Western Health Women's clinic on (03) 8345 1691. In the referral, please state the following:
that the woman has had a transvaginal mesh procedure
the indication for the mesh, the type of mesh, when and where it was performed (if known), with the operation note (if available)
the related symptoms or complications
any other relevant pelvic floor symptoms
Please feel free to use following referral form:
The Western Health Transvaginal mesh management service referral form
The Victorian government has set up a mesh information hotline: 1800 55 6374 (1800 55 MESH) for women and those affected by transvaginal mesh to discuss their concerns with a registered nurse.