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New Zealand Herald: surgical mesh costs millions

A news article published in the New Zealand Herald on 30th September 2012 explains how surgical mesh is being implanted into hundreds of New Zealanders despite the mesh being the subject of international lawsuits and warnings.

The report refers to synthetic mesh used for hernia repairs and in gynaecological surgery to repair pelvic organ prolapse and states that $3.1 million in treatment and compensation has been paid out by the Accident Compensation Corporation to people with post-surgical complications.   Since 2008 there have been nearly four hundred successful claims.  Injured patients have been awarded financial compensation and money for treatment and rehabilitation.

The article tells of several people who had severe complications after having surgical mesh implanted.  One woman had to undergo a lengthy operation to remove the mesh from her bladder.

Although gynaecologist Paul Macpherson says he repairs at least one mesh-related surgery error each week, he still supports the use of mesh and suggests it is the technique which may be to blame for complications.  On the other hand, gynaecologist Hanifa Koya argues against the use of mesh, referring to a lack of research and lax regulatory processes.

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