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Engineering a solution to pelvic health

  • Date(s)
    Friday, 2 November 2018
  • Time(s)
    From 7.00 to 9.00pm
  • Venue
    The Mill Theatre, Dundrum

About the event

Aimed at biomedical, mechanical and materials engineers working in medical device design, also biomedical/clinicians working to face to face with affected patients.

In July 2018, Minister for Health Simon Harris announced that the Department’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) has requested the Health Service Executive (HSE) to pause the use of all procedures involving transvaginal mesh devices for the management of Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) or Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) in HSE funded hospitals.  This pause will remain in place until the HSE confirms the implementation of several recommendations including surgical training, informed consent and the implementation of a dataset on mesh procedures. 

In the last month, Sir Andrew Dillon, chief executive of UK’s NICE, said: "Where surgical mesh/tape could be an option, there is almost always another intervention recommended in our guideline, which does not involve surgical mesh/tape. If a surgeon cannot provide a full range of choices to the patient, then she should be referred to one who can."

Elaine Miller will talk about the prevalence of pelvic dysfunction including symptoms associated with the problem.  Elaine Miller is a physiotherapist, comedian, mother of three children and a recovered incontinent. She did the obvious thing, combined all of those and wrote a stand-up show about pelvic floors, “Gusset Grippers”.  Most cases of stress incontinence can be cured.

As biomedical, mechanical and materials engineers and medical device designers – we need to understand why so many complications with the use of surgical mesh have arisen.  This is not a new product; for almost 50 years, surgical mesh has been used, typically in the treatment of hernias in addition to stress urinary incontinence and pelvic prolapse.  With high complication rates arising with surgical mesh use, this begs fundamental questions on design, materials use, biomechanics and tissue interaction - all of which need to be better understood. 

This talk, while presented through the medium of comedy, opens the conversation on an incredibly serious subject.  There has never been a more important time to understand pelvic biomechanics and learn about the conservative ways to prevent pelvic dysfunction while we engineer more predicable surgical solutions.


This event takes place at the Maureen O'Hara Studio in The Mill theatre Dundrum.  Tickets, costing €10, can be purchased through the link provided.

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