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Mesh repairs, a fix that causes more problems?

Across the UK, cases of mesh repairs that have caused chronic symptoms are increasingly becoming known. The complications women have suffered following the surgery have become known across the world with class action cases being brought in Australia, The United States, and Canada. But what is this mesh and why is it causing so many problems for women who receive it?

What is a mesh implant?

The mesh can come under a variety of names, such as pelvic mesh, urogynaelocagical mesh, transvaginal tape and vaginal mesh.  Mesh repairs are most often used for women following childbirth to treat bladder incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse that is problematic enough to effect daily life.  It can come in variety of net-like implants such as, tapes, slings and hammocks.

The mesh is a net-like implant and aims to give permanent support to the weakened organs and to repair damaged tissue. The mesh is implanted and held in place by sutures or tissue fixation devices. It is designed to be a permanent implant, once in place the mesh embeds into the tissue to strengthen its position.

Originally, the mesh was designed to treat bladder problems and it was used globally from the early 2000s. The high success rate, low complications and the fact that surgery was less invasive meant that many saw its potential for organ prolapse repair shortly afterwards.  There is growing evidence that mesh used for prolapse is causing further complications and doing little to hold any prolapse in place. It is also alleged that mesh implants for prolapse were pushed through testing and trial phases and more could have been done to fully test the efficiency of the mesh on pelvic prolapses.

Possible complications of mesh implants

Women have reported numerous symptoms since receiving the mesh implants these include:

  • Pelvic Pain
  • Irregular vaginal bleeding or discharge
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Recurrent or new bladder and bowel symptoms
  • Prickling sensation in the vagina which is exacerbated by exercise
  • Buttock or leg pains (searing pain)

In extreme instances, some women have reported such debilitating symptoms that they have reduced mobility and have lost their independence. It is thought that the material used in the mesh can in some cases cause internal injury to the patient.

Concerns over the safe use of mesh implants led to NHS England pausing the use of them in July 2018, unless they are needed as a last resort.  It’s estimated that over 100,000 women across the UK have received the mesh implant. Approximately 800 cases are being brought against the NHS and mesh manufacturers for the complications the women have gone on to suffer.

How can I start a claim?

Here at Irving’s, we have a dedicated team of specialist clinical negligence solicitors who have many years’ experience in dealing with a wide range of cases.  We understand the impact that clinical errors can have on your daily life. If you think, you have suffered symptoms after being treated with vaginal mesh you can speak with one of our clinical negligence team.

If we are able to investigate a claim on your behalf, we can do this under a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement. This means that if you win your claim the Defendants will pay our costs. We will be more than happy to discuss this arrangement in detail with you.

If you would like to speak with one of our dedicated clinical negligence team call us on 0151 475 1999.

Author: Alex Lee

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