The Daily Mail Online and The Guardian have both recently highlighted and raised awareness about the controversial vaginal mesh implants.
In recent years, mesh implant surgery has been performed on patients suffering from pelvic organ prolapse (POP) a condition where there is bulging of one or more of the pelvic organs into the vagina. POP is a common condition and is experienced by many women, particularly after childbirth, which occurs due to a weakening of the tissues that support the pelvic organs. Other women have received the mesh implant treatment for stress incontinence, where urine leaks when the bladder is under pressure.
For several years women have raised concerns over complication suffered as a result of mesh implant surgery.
These adverse effects included:
- Pain – includes any reference given to post-operative pain
- Extrusion/erosion – refers to incidents where the mesh has either migrated or become partially exposed through vaginal tissue. It does not refer to the mesh eroding or fraying.
- Relapse of conditions/urinary symptoms – reoccurrence of urinary incontinence
- Perforation of organ – refers to incidents that were procedural related, such as perforation of the bladder or bowel when inserting the mesh implant.
- Sexual difficulties – dyspareunia, painful sexual intercourse.
Sufferers have argued the synthetic mesh treatment is often distressing and sometimes not necessary as alternatives are available which do not expose the patient to the above risks.
Although, the meshes are approved by The National Institute for Health and Excellence (NICE), their safety has become a significant cause for concern and this was last published in October 2016. The NICE guidelines are not due for review until 2019.
The NICE committee did find the mesh slings are intended to be permanent implants, and that the presence of anchors makes removal of an implant, if necessary, particularly difficult. It was advised that a national standard consent form is being developed. This has also been re-enforced by the recent report published by the NHS England highlighting, a patient, their GP and surgeon must be fully inform the patient about the potential benefits and risks of surgery.
NHS England has set up the Mesh Working Group to address the concerns of a number of patients and clinicians and published a report in July 2017. This allows you as the patient, aided by your Doctor, to make an informed decision about the care you wish to have, along with the option of alternative treatment. This is a fundamental basis of all medical treatment whether it is a relatively low risk treatment or complex surgery with higher associated risks.
With any type of surgery there is some degree of associated risk but rather you should be fully informed so you can make the right decision for you. If your Doctor failed to deal with consent issues, this lack of communication can lead to clinical negligence claims. Call The Specter Partnership Solicitors for a free consultation on 0800 019 3460 and speak to a person who understands your claim. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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