Update: October 2020

ACC is offering to reassess declined surgical mesh injury claims based on new cover guidance.

This was one of the actions agreed to in the report Hearing and Responding to the Stories of Survivors of Surgical Mesh released last December.

For more information, or to find out how to have your claim reassessed, visit the ACC website.

Use of surgical mesh


Surgical mesh is widely used for hernia repair.


It is also used in urogynaecological surgery, including in the treatment of stress urinary incontinence (SUI).


Surgical mesh was previously used for repair of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) but since regulatory action was taken in December 2017 no surgical mesh products have been supplied for POP in New Zealand – see the Medsafe website for more information.


The use of mesh in surgery was introduced in response to the high failure rate of both initial surgery and revision surgery estimated at about 30%, with the aim of augmenting the surgery and reducing the failure rate.

Concerns about the use of surgical mesh


For many people, surgical procedures using mesh provide an effective form of treatment.


While many people who have mesh inserted experience no complications, a number do.


Some experience complications immediately after their operation, while for others they develop years later.


Complications may range from mild to debilitating and can have physical impacts and affect an individual’s quality of life.

Making an informed decision on the use of surgical mesh


Each type of mesh procedure carries its own risks and benefits.


As part of the informed consent process, patients should be fully informed on what is involved in the procedure, the possible benefits and risks of complications, as well as any alternative treatment options (both surgical and non-surgical).


If you are considering surgical mesh to treat stress urinary incontinence you should receive a copy of this document to discuss with your surgeon and support your decision-making: Considering Surgical Mesh to Treat Stress Urinary Incontinence?


You have the right to seek a second opinion if you are not satisfied with the information you receive or would like further advice on your treatment options.