updated 8/25/2011 12:38:08 PM ET 2011-08-25T16:38:08

A consumer advocacy group is calling on government regulators to ban a type of surgical mesh used to treat pelvic collapse, saying it exposes patients to serious risks.

Public Citizen sent a petition to the Food and Drug Administration asking the agency to ban pelvic surgical mesh inserted through the vagina. About 75,000 women had prolapse surgery with forms of the mesh last year, according to the FDA.

FDA announced last month that complications with mesh are higher than previously estimated, with many women experiencing pain, bleeding and infection. Public Citizen said mesh offers no benefit over traditional surgery with stitches.

"Even the FDA seriously questions the safety and effectiveness of these mesh products, so they should be removed from the market immediately," said Public Citizen's Dr. Michael Carome.

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