What is surgical mesh?
Trans vaginal mesh has been used as a treatment for pelvic organ prolapse repair (POP) or stress urinary incontinence (SUI). These are very common issues for women to suffer from, particularly after childbirth or a hysterectomy.
The mesh is implanted during surgery and was originally marketed as a simple and easy way to create a long term solution for women.
Surgical mesh and complications
However, many women have suffered very severe complications as a result of the mesh breaking down and have reported serious health problems after having the surgical mesh implanted. In the UK, NICE issued interventional procedure guidance in 2009 commenting that evidence on the safety and efficacy of the mesh sling was inadequate. Further afield in the USA, many women have sought compensation for their injuries and Doctors have commented that the mesh was simply not fit for purpose. Some manufacturers have already stopped manufacturing certain types of mesh. Unfortunately, many women still have this mesh in place.
Complications vary from person to person, but can include:-
- Severe pelvic pain
- Persistent and debilitating infection
- Bladder irritation with feelings of urgency and frequency
- Mesh protrusion and erosion
- Mesh contraction and mesh rigidity
- Embedding of the mesh into soft tissue, including the bladder and vaginal wall
- Organ perforation and injury
- Sexual and psychological difficulties
- Side effects of medication used to control on-going pain and to treat persistent infections
Many women are not aware that the mesh they have received may actually be defective. A lot of women are also not aware that the symptoms they suffer from are as a result of problems with the mesh and are not just as a result of on-going urogynaecological issues. Symptoms can be very debilitating and can disrupt almost every aspect of day to day life.
A number of women suffer permanent pain as a result of the implanted mesh breaking down and face the frightening prospect of further surgery to try and remove the mesh and repair the damage that has been caused. This type of surgery is performed by only a few surgeons in the UK and many people will have to travel to undergo surgery. Surgery itself carries further risks.
If you have had surgery that involved surgical mesh and want to speak to someone confidentially about your difficulties, please do feel free to contact us. We are happy to investigate all enquiries on an individual and personal case by case basis.
As more women become aware of the link between their symptoms and the breakdown of the mesh, we hope that women will seek help and be able to receive compensation for their pain and suffering, receive proper treatment and ultimately, be able to move on with their lives, pain free.