The reason for the pause is to establish a process ensuring mesh is used in a manner that minimises harm linked to the procedure and maximises its benefits to patients. The pause is expected to be in place for a number of months while work is underway to ensure safety measures are implemented.
The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) supports the need for safety systems around the implantation of mesh sling to treat SUI. The College welcomes government action to credential surgeons, introduce a pelvic floor registry, develop a structured informed consent process for patients and establish regional multidisciplinary meetings. A time-limited pause will give space for these measures to be implemented.
Patient safety has been front of mind in our calls for measures to improve the safety of mesh sling to treat SUI but we do acknowledge that this news may be disappointing both for those patients waiting for mesh procedures and their surgeons. RACS is working with government to ensure safety measures are implemented quickly and to the highest quality and we hope to see a resumption of mesh MUS use as soon as possible.
This is a pause, not a ban, and there may be exceptions where a multidisciplinary team agree there is no viable alternative.
With the pause on mesh sling to treat SUI, use of other treatment options are expected to increase and a high vigilance process has been put in place for all SUI procedures.
RACS asks its members to respect the Director-General’s support for a pause and offer alternative incontinence treatment options for its duration. The high vigilance process for all SUI procedures as well as the application process for the rare cases where a mesh MUS is the only option are outlined below. We also ask that members familiarise themselves with both of these if they treat patients with SUI.