Vaginal Mesh – Is a new NHS scandal developing?

Sometimes referred to as a ‘sling implant’ or ‘tape’, it is a treatment to help permanently fix pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.

Laura Reaney

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Please note that this article was originally written by Andrea Ribchester-Hodgson in October 2017.

Within the last two weeks the words "Vaginal Mesh" appear to be trending within the national media, (not something I ever thought I would say) and it’s evident from the many articles in the national press and TV news, that this has the potential to develop into a new crisis within the already struggling NHS.

The Guardian appears to have been the front runner in identifying this developing issue where mesh has been used as a surgical treatment for pelvic organ prolapse in an attempt to support weakened organs often following the trauma of childbirth.

Such surgery is currently the subject of investigation to determine whether its efficiency and the potential side effects are a cause for concern given the large number of women who have subsequently had what was intended to be a permanent implant removed.

It has been reported that women have been left in permanent pain, unable to walk or have sex as a result of the mesh cutting into other organs.

Between April 2007 and March 2015, more than 92,000 women had vaginal mesh implants in England, according to NHS data from the Hospital Episodes Statistics, obtained by the Victoria Derbyshire programme.

There are currently a number of groups of women voicing their concerns including a group of women from Northern Ireland who are reported to be taking their fight to Westminster where the issue is due to be debated in Parliament today and where Labour is supporting calls for a public inquiry.

The “Sling the Mesh” Campaign is headed by regional newspaper journalist Kath Sansom, who had the mesh implant operation on the NHS, to fix problems caused by childbirth. Following a 20-minute operation, she experienced agonising pain affecting her legs, feet and groin, which left her struggling to walk. The majority of symptoms resolved within a week of the mesh implant being removed by a specialist surgeon.

Whilst the current calls for a full inquiry are ongoing, claims are already being brought against both the NHS and the manufacturers of the mesh.

The subject of Vaginal Mesh therefore appears to be an issue which will be talked about for some time to come.

The team, here at Spencers, have extensive experience in dealing with clinical negligence and have represented patients making claims against the NHS in a variety of cases. We are committed to assisting clients in getting answers and providing support at what is often the most difficult and stressful time of their lives, with the aim of putting things right.

We are committed to assisting clients in getting answers and providing support at what is often the most difficult and stressful time of their lives, with the aim of putting things right.

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