RANZCOG statement on pause on using surgical mesh


The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

23 August 2023

RANZCOG notes today’s recommendation by the Director- General of Health of a time-limited pause on the use of surgical mesh to treat stress urinary incontinence, in all but exceptional circumstances and under high vigilance.

The College has advised its members to comply with the Director-General’s recommendations.

RANZCOG Aotearoa New Zealand committee Te Kāhui Oranga ō Nuku Chair Dr Sue Fleming said: “RANZCOG is committed to rebuilding trust and confidence in the community by strengthening the health system supports for the use of mesh for stress urinary incontinence.”

“We will work with members and patients to ensure they are informed and kept up-to-date of the latest developments.”

Dr Fleming said stress urinary incontinence can have a significant impact on quality of life and urged anyone experiencing worrying symptoms to seek help. “A range of treatments are still available and where there are no other appropriate options, there is an exceptions process for the pause to allow surgical mesh,” Dr Fleming said.

RANZCOG acknowledges the pain and distress suffered by New Zealand women who have experienced complications arising from pelvic mesh implants.

“The College will work with the Director-General/ Ministry of Health and Te Whatu Ora to ensure the credentialing of all surgeons in this space and that training and mentoring pathways are put in place as quickly as possible, to see the pause lifted so women can again have the full range of treatment options for stress urinary incontinence available to them,” Dr Fleming said.

“We emphasise the need for adequate communication with all stakeholders, and that any framework put in place – mandatory credentialling, a mesh registry, and an informed consent process – and its roll out needs to be embedded in a supportive and learning culture, and one that focuses on the needs of women.

For media queries

Catherine Cooper
Executive Director Aotearoa New Zealand
021 137 0748

Andre Khoury
Head of Communications and Public Affairs
+61 448 735 749

Aotearoa New Zealand


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