News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Waikato Surgeon Upset at Surgical Mesh Criticism

Media Release

Date: 25 July 2014

Waikato Surgeon Upset at Surgical Mesh Criticism

A leading Waikato Hospital surgeon says recent publicity about surgical mesh has the potential to detract attention from real clinical issues and undermine public confidence in well-established standards of care.

Dr Rowan French, the clinical director of general surgery at Waikato Hospital, said some of the criticism amounted to “inappropriate generalisation” and “scare-mongering”. Doctors routinely use surgical mesh in the repair of hernias, gynaecological problems and incontinence.

Advocates have called for the Government to launch an independent inquiry into the use of surgical mesh. Dr French said it was important for the public to understand that the uses of mesh were wide and varied.

“Potential complications are related to the technical aspects and placement location of the mesh and almost never the mesh itself. “Reported problems such as erosion of mesh into internal organs and major pelvic pain are related to the use of mesh in the pelvis to treat prolapse and incontinence,” said Dr French.

The actual reported incidence of these complications is rare. “It is vital that this particular use of mesh is distinguished from the (far more common) use of mesh to treat various abdominal wall hernias. “This particular use is not experimental, it is worldwide standard of care.” “Hernia operations using mesh do have a small risk of problems such as chronic nerve pain. and can be associated with the complications of hernia recurrence or chronic nerve pain.

“These complications were in fact more common in the era before the use of mesh. We support informed consent with these surgeries including discussion of real and potential risks.

“The current coverage of surgical mesh in the media is misinforming the public and adversely affecting the consent process.”



Rowan French is a gastrointestinal and endocrine surgeon with a strong interest in metabolic surgery, including both under-nutrition and over-nutrition.

He is a member of many general and obesity surgical societies.

His primary interests include the treatment of breast disease and breast cancer, thyroid and parathyroid surgery, gastrointestinal endoscopy and the surgical management of obesity. He is committed to the treatment of patients at both ends of the nutritional scale.

He has trained extensively in these areas around New Zealand. His other interests include surgical nutrition including intravenous nutrition.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


University Of Canterbury: Henry VIII’s Divorce Lawyer’s Magna Carta On Display

The University of Canterbury is publicly displaying New Zealand’s oldest copy of the Magna Carta for the first time, just as a new connection it has with Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn has been discovered. More>>

Arts Festival: An Evening With Richard Dawkins

In a special one-off, New Zealand event at the Michael Fowler Centre, Dawkins will reflect on his eminent career as a scientist, and expand on the themes of inspiration, influence and ideas in his recent memoir, Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Worldly And Unworldly

"Being Magdalene" by Fleur Beale The situations shown in this youth novel are shocking, scary, and very moving as we experience Magdalene’s struggle to be a perfect girl as defined by the cruel and unreasonable leader of “The Children of the Faith”, as she moves reluctantly into young womanhood. More>>

Whistle Stop: Netball NZ To Implement New INF Rules

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) will implement the new Official Rules of Netball, as set down by the International Netball Federation (INF), from January 1, 2016. Key changes include the elimination of whistle following a goal, amendments to injury time and changes to setting a penalty. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Waiata Aroha

Vaughan Rapatahana on Chappy by Patricia Grace: With this eminently readable novel Patricia Grace returns to the full-length fiction stage after a hiatus of ten years. More>>

'Ithaca' At Q Theatre: Introducing NZ's World Class Cirque Troupe

NZ’s very own cirque troupe is set to become a household name with the premier of its adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey having secured a key season in Auckland. More>>

Music Awards: The Tuis Are Broody This Year

Topping off a sensationally eventful year both at home and internationally, Nelson born brother-sister duo Broods has taken home four Tuis from this year’s 50th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>


Sport: Richie McCaw Retires From Rugby

Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby. The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news