"Abdominal Hernia Mesh"

About: Bunbury Hospital Fiona Stanley Hospital Fremantle Hospital and Health Service Joondalup Specialist Medical Centre Peel Health Campus Royal Perth Hospital Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital

(as the patient),

Following the mesh implant surgery for abdominal hernias, I have had major life threatening complications and chronic pain for nearly 3 years, and have been unable to eat anything but thin liquids for over 2 years.

Many different surgical opinions on what the problem is with no thorough explanation.

Surgeons willing to operate and then refusing to and no alternative treatments been given.

My questions are: Why, when I had a tube in my bowel and Prep being put through for a MRI would it not go through, even after the rate was slowed, and I was vomiting the solution back up, was I being told my bowel was not blocked?

Why haven’t I been referred to a nutritionist if I am passing out from a lack of nutrients, and pain on a regular basis?

Why has this mesh not been removed?

I am in the country, and I am also not getting access to vital information. The cost of travel and ongoing medication, is putting a huge financial burden on us as I am unable to work.

I’ve been left in pain and have not been able to eat for over 2 years and have lost 70kgs.  My GP has told me that my system is shutting down, but no one will operate on me to remove the mesh or give me any alternatives. I am in fear that I will not wake up one day leaving a young child motherless. My child suffers anxiety attacks as he worries I will not be home for him after school, that I will be in hospital again instead. Or that plans will get cancelled as they often are due to me being in too much pain or I don't physically have the energy to take him to the planned outings.

I have previously had many other surgeries and have recovered well from all of them, but right from day one have complained about something not being right since this mesh was put in, but no one seems to be listening.

I wrote a formal complaint letter to the Royal Perth Hospital which was responded to, but no answers to my concerns have been provided.

Where do I go to for help on getting the vital medical treatment I need? I feel like I’ve been left to slowly die, as no one is willing to fix the damage that the mesh is doing to me.



Response from Jennifer Francis, A/Director Safety, Quality & Performance, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, North Metropolitan Health Service

Dear Vital medical treatment

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. I am very sorry to read of your ongoing ill health and the impact this has had on both you and your child. I also wish to acknowledge that the treatment you received whilst in our care did not meet your expectations. I completely appreciate the need for you to fully understand the decisions for your care and treatment and I am sorry this was not explained to you at the time.

So that I am able to help you with your questions, I encourage you to contact the Patient Liaison Service at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital on (08) 6457 2867 or by email at PatientLiaisonService.SCGH@health.wa.gov.au] so that I can arrange a thorough investigation and response.

Thank you again for bringing this to our attention – I do hope that you will be happy to contact us so that we may assist you.

Kind regards

Jennifer Francis

A/Director Safety, Quality & Performance

Sir Charles Gairdner Osborne Park Health Care Group

on behalf of

Tony Dolan

A/Executive Director

Sir Charles Gairdner Osborne Park Health Care Group

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Response from Jan Cook, Operations Manager Coastal Hospital, WACHS South West

Dear Vital medical treatment,

Thank you for taking the time to tell us of your health issues, following surgery, which are impacting the quality of your life and that of your son’s.

You have raised some serious concerns relating to the treatment and investigations that you have experienced, which are of concern to us.

I am sorry to hear that you have been in constant pain and have had dramatic weight loss since your operation.

The issues you have said that you are having with accessing treatment and care locally need to be addressed.

This is certainly not the situation that we strive to have our patients experience.

I would like the opportunity to meet with you, if that is acceptable and discuss your concerns in more detail, so that I can ascertain how Bunbury Hospital may be able to assist you.

Please contact me to arrange a meeting; I am contactable on 9722 1421

Yours sincerely

Jan Cook

A/Operations Manager Bunbury Hospital

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Response from Aresh Anwar, Executive Director, Royal Perth Bentley Group

picture of Aresh Anwar

Dear Vital medical treatment,

Thank you for your post. It was very sad to read about the very challenging situation that you face each and every day. I apologise that the responses we have previously provided have failed to address your concerns. This is not right! You describe a very difficult and complex clinical situation, and in not to repeat the errors of our first attempts to address your concerns I wonder whether you would be kind enough to make contact directly with my office on 9224 2219 so that I can put together a more thorough investigation of your concerns, and feedback and assist accordingly.


Dr Aresh Anwar

Executive Director

Royal Perth Bentley Group

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Response from Geraldine Carlton, Executive Director Special Projects, South Metropolitan Health Service

picture of Geraldine Carlton

Dear Vital medical treatment,

I am sorry to hear of your experience and how tough life has obviously been for you over the past three years. It sounds as if it has been a very confusing, painful and difficult time for both you and your son.

I understand Royal Perth Hospital is inviting you to contact them to discuss your experience. I encourage you to do this; I will liaise with the team there regarding any issues you may have that need to be addressed by our health service.

Thank you for sharing your story with us. It is sincerely appreciated. If your health is still deteriorating, it is important you seek further support from your GP and for your GP to make the appropriate referrals

Kind regards

Geraldine Carlton

A/Chief Executive

South Metropolitan Health Service

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Update posted by Vital medical treatment (the patient)

I will be making contact with both Royal Perth Hospital and Bunbury Hospital today and try to come to some resolution.

Response from Karina Watson, Ramsay - Joondalup Health Campus

The following response has been submitted by Karina Watson, Executive Services, Joonalup Health Campus:

Dear Vital medical treatment,

I am sorry to hear of your ongoing health concerns and the impact it is having on yourself and your child on a daily basis. I am also sorry to hear of your concern with the treatment you received at the Joondalup Specialist Medical Centre.

I read that you are planning on contacting Royal Perth Hospital and Bunbury Regional Hospital and I hope that you are able to obtain the assistance you are seeking. If you require further assistance, I encourage you to directly contact the rooms of the Specialist you saw at the Joondalup Specialist Medical Centre. Alternatively, please contact the Joondalup Health Campus Consumer Liaison Team on (08) 9400 9672 who will be able to investigate this further for you.

Kind regards

Dr Simon Wood,

Director of Medical Services,

Joondalup Health Campus

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Update posted by Vital medical treatment (the patient)

Thank you for responding, have spoken to the doctors involved before and got nowhere, but am follow up with Royal Perth at the moment and will contact you again if needed.