The Director-General of Health has supported an immediate time-limited pause, effective 23 August 2023, to allow new safety measures to be put in place around the use of mesh sling to treat stress urinary incontinence (SUI).

RACS spokesperson and Christchurch urologist Dr Sharon English says the College has been advocating for some time on the issue.

“We have been calling for improvements that need to be made regarding the implantation, assessment and reporting of stress urinary incontinence surgery. These include the credentialling of surgeons, creation of a pelvic floor registry, development of a structured informed consent process and establishment of regional multidisciplinary meetings.

“We see this as a win for patient safety and look forward to a resumption of the use of mesh sling to treat SUI within a solid safety system as soon as possible.

“We have had the patient front of mind in our calls for measures to improve safety in the use of mesh sling to treat SUI and it is with patient interests foremost that we will work with government to ensure safety measures are implemented quickly and to the highest quality.”

Dr English accepts some patients waiting for mesh procedures may be disappointed by the news. She says RACS will work with its members and their affected patients to ensure they are informed and kept up-to-date with the latest developments.


Media contact: Diana Blake - [email protected]/021 0247 8454

More details about the pause are available through the information sheet put together by RACS and RANZCOG.