16 March 2015
Continued Mesh Implants in Scotland after Suspension
It has been reported in the Daily Record that 166 surgical procedures that used mesh implants have taken place since mesh procedures were suspended in Scotland in June 2014.
Former Health Secretary Alex Neil declared mesh procedures “highly unacceptable” after hearing testimonies from hundreds of women in Scotland who had pelvic and bladder operations with mesh implants. At that time he invited all the health authorities in Scotland to suspend the use of mesh implants in vaginal procedures pending the outcome of an independent enquiry.
In England, the use of mesh implants to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress incontinence has not been suspended but is subject to close regulation and monitoring. HM Government stated that around 13,000 Tension-free Vaginal Tape (TVT) and Transobturator Tape (TOT) implants are used every year to treat women suffering from stress urinary incontinence, and 1,500 transvaginal mesh (TVM) implants for women with pelvic organ prolapse.
Numerous women have reported serious injuries resulting from transvaginal mesh implants hardening including constant pain and in some cases an inability to ever have sex again. The suspension of mesh implants in Scotland came after the Scottish Mesh Survivors Group put pressure on the Scottish Government with their ‘Hear Our Voice’ campaign.
Many women from Scotland came forward and gave evidence to Members of Scottish Parliament about their suffering following the procedure. Around 12,600 women have had treatment for prolapse and incontinence in the last seven years. Whilst there are reports that mesh use can be effective in the majority of cases, there are also known complications with many suffering from mesh migration or erosion causing damage to surrounding organs. This in turn can lead to infection and may necessitate the removal of the mesh which can be complicated and difficult to attain.
To make matters worse for survivors who underwent dangerous mesh surgery, we’ve seen that in some cases non-surgical options which may have avoided the use of mesh have not been adequately pursued. For example, physiotherapy or pelvic floor exercises can be given as a potential solution to urinary stress incontinence.
We have seen cases where there have been inadequate objective investigations to determine the nature of a patient’s urinary symptoms resulting in misdiagnosis or unnecessary surgery. A claim for Clinical Negligence Compensation could be made in such circumstances.
Slater and Gordon’s Clinical Negligence Lawyers are representing numerous people in England and Wales who suffered injuries following the use of vaginal mesh. We can advise on your options and whether your treatment has been substandard.
Call us for a free consultation on freephone 0800 916 9049 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to help.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers have more than 1,450 staff and offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Derby, Merseyside, Cardiff, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Halifax, Newcastle, Wakefield and meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire and in Hull, Yorkshire.