Transvaginal mesh (TVM) has been used for treatment of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Mesh-related complications are reported in 3% of women receiving mid-urethral sling surgery for SUI and in up to 20% of women who receive TVM for POP. The Australian Senate Enquiry report in March 2018 recommended that each Australian state establish specialist multidisciplinary units for management of TVM complications.
The aims of this study are to report on the setting up of the Queensland Pelvic Mesh Service (QPMS) and summarise its first 24 months to provide a potential framework for the establishment of similar service models within Australia and internationally.
The planning and implementation of QPMS was a complex two-stage co-design process involving clinicians and consumers representing women with TVM complications. Consumer input in planning was important for the optimal establishment of QPMS to meet women's holistic needs.
From April 2019 to April 2021, 484 women had been treated by the medical team; 257 women had undergone cystoscopy and examination under anaesthesia; 91 patients had undergone mesh revision surgery - 65 complete excision and 25 partial excision and one sling division; and 180 women had been discharged from QPMS.
Providing a comprehensive multidisciplinary service for managing TVM complications requires careful planning with consumer involvement before initiation. Addition of these patients to an existing service may not succeed. Emphasis on surgery may be misplaced for many. QPMS patients, as in sufferers with chronic pain conditions, benefit from psychological support and allied healthcare.
The Australian & New Zealand journal of obstetrics & gynaecology. 2021 Dec 02 [Epub ahead of print]
Yu Hwee Tan, Malcolm I Frazer
Robina Hospital, Robina, Queensland, Australia.