Updated 22 May 2019

WATCH: Controversial surgery – doctor tells of her experience with mesh, and no longer recommends it

A specialist tells of how she was required to perform vaginal mesh surgeries, but since many reports of complications, she no longer recommends it.

A urogynaecologist tells that doctors were stipulated to use mesh surgery, to maintain their accreditation, but she no longer recommends it.

Vaginal mesh implants are used to treat female patients suffering from stress incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse. These conditions are especially common in women as a result of pregnancy and childbirth.

The vaginal mesh is a net-like material made up of either polypropylene, animal tissue or a combination of both. The mesh is inserted via the abdomen or the vagina. A transvaginal insertion of the mesh is viewed by urogynaecologist as less invasive than a transabdominal insertion.

Over the last few years, thousands of women who have undergone the procedure have reported complications regarding the mesh.

These complications include burning sensations in the pelvic area and debilitating pain. In some cases, this pain has prevented some patients from returning to work, in others it has made a simple task like walking a considerable struggle.

The material of the mesh also places females at risk of organ perforation.

ALSO WATCH: Woman tells of her ordeal after mesh surgery – went from being fit young mum to suicidal


Ask the Expert

Incontinence Expert

Dr Prenevin Govender completed his MBChB at the University of Cape Town in 2001. He obtained his Fellowship of the College of Urologists in 2009 and graduated with distinction for a Masters in Medicine from the University of Cape Town in 2010. His special interests include laparoscopic, pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence surgery. He consults full-time at Life Kingsbury Hospital in Claremont.

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