Mesh implant field lacks rules: surgeon

Peter Petros, left, and Richard Reid
Peter Petros, left, and Richard Reid

Hunter women seek  redress for suffering

A GYNAECOLOGIST found to have lacked ‘‘a complete understanding of the obligation owed by a medical practitioner to a patient’’ after failed surgery using his mesh implant technique, has called the controversial mesh implant field a ‘‘free for all’’.

‘‘See one, do one, teach one,’’ wrote Dr Peter Petros in 2012 of the growth of mesh surgery among doctors, after his work in the 1990s with Swedish gynaecologist Ulf Ulmsten that led to a number of mesh procedures and devices.

In a report in 2012 Dr Petros listed complications from some of the mesh devices.

‘‘Bladder perforation was an early problem. Injury to major blood vessels, nerves, small bowel, and large haematomas were a serious problem, with several fatalities,’’ Dr Petros wrote.

In a 2004 damages case Dr Petros was criticised by a West Australian district court judge for failing to warn a woman his form of mesh tape surgery to treat her urinary incontinence and prolapse, based on his ‘‘integral theory system’’, was ‘‘not a standard procedure ... and was not employed by a majority of gynaecologists’’.

Dr Petros had also not warned her risks included haemorrhage and thrombosis, as well as tape rejection and infection.

Dr Petros was ordered to pay her more than $136,000 damages after the judge found he was ‘‘concerned to extol what he perceived to be the many advantages of [his] procedure rather than to point out, in a balanced and neutral manner, both possible beneficial and adverse outcomes and risks’’.

‘‘The defendant did not, it would seem, and apparently still does not, believe there was or is any real detriment associated with ‘his’ procedure,’’ the judge found.

In his 2012 report Dr Petros conceded his ‘‘tissue fixation system’’ of prolapse repair using mesh tape, and based on the ‘‘integral theory system’’, was not ‘‘mainstream’’.

In an email this week Dr Petros said a type of mesh tape used prior to 2008 was no longer used.

In February this year Dr Petros and recently suspended University of Newcastle associate professor Richard Reid worked together on a report about the ‘‘integral theory system’’.

They were due to appear together at a German conference this week  to discuss the ‘‘tissue fixation system’’ based on the ‘‘integral theory system’’, but Dr Reid had to cancel because of his suspension.