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Chamber and committees

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee


Anne Monie submission of 2 July 2021

PE1865/CC - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

My mesh journey began in 2010 when my GP referred me to a Gynaecologist for investigation of anterior prolapse and slight stress incontinence. Subsequently I had an Anterior Prolapse along with Tension-free Vaginal Tape Obturator (TVTO) implant.

The surgeon assured me that this ‘gold standard tape’ would change my life. Sadly, not for the better!

It was never explained that the ‘tape’ was polypropylene mesh and would through time knit into my muscles and nerves making it difficult to remove.

I was told it was an easy and quick procedure and I would likely go home the next day. However, I was unable to pass urine and the pain became so intense a catheter was fitted so I had to stay in hospital for a few days.

Over time I developed a few issues along with pain at top of leg. I was told that nerves may have been disturbed and all should settle with time. Many have been told “it’s all in your head” or “it’s part of the recovery process”. Even when pain is difficult to diagnose it should be taken seriously rather than being dismissed as post surgery ‘normal’. Thankfully due to support groups and the media, more are becoming aware of the potential complications and symptoms experienced.

Women should have been told of the possibility of issues and of the symptoms and difficulties that might occur in the future. I developed severe inflammation and pain in my vulva area. The pain was so debilitating, sitting was so painful and I spent a lot of time between my bed or couch, or even lying on the floor.

After many months of being seen by various specialists Pudendal Neuralgia was diagnosed. Passing faeces became difficult with a Colorectal Surgeon diagnosing puborectalis spasm. Both conditions continue despite medications. More recently I have developed chronic pain in my left hip, buttock and leg. The orthopaedic consultant I now attend believes I may have sacroiliac joint dysfunction and painful sciatica. Many sleepless nights occur! I have had consultations and treatments with the initial gynaecologist, dermatologist, colorectal surgeon and physiotherapists. I also had two MRIs and a Translabial Scan, all privately paid. Waiting to be seen by the NHS is very slow when suffering so much pain. The Translabial scan has shown mesh shrinkage and pelvic inflammation.

I feel fortunate because my implanting surgeon now believes my pain is down to the mesh. Particularly in respect to the pelvic inflammation being caused by an immune response. Research has shown mesh should never be used in people with autoimmune diseases. I have Coeliac Disease, Sjogrens Syndrome, and a prothrombin gene. All known to the surgeon prior to mesh surgery.

My husband once asked my surgeon if he would have considered using mesh in his wife. His response was that years ago he would have, but now he wouldn’t.

I am 69 years old, retired and been suffering chronic as a result of the mesh. My life, along with my husband’s has changed forever. Our dreams of what we would do in our retirement have gone. Instead, I live every day in pain and fear for what I might face in the future.

Everything is affected. How long will I be able to sit when out for a meal, or at the cinema, or going on a drive? What activities can I do with my grandchildren? How long will a flight be to go on holiday, etc?

All those with either pelvic or hernia mesh face so many uncertainties. Will and when will the mesh start breaking up resulting in damage to organs? Will we get cancer from the polypropylene or other conditions relating to the deterioration of the mesh? Will the toxins affect our autoimmune systems?

Even if we can get FULL removal by an experienced surgeon, most of us may live the rest of our lives in chronic pain.

I believe mesh implants have been used by the NHS to save money and time. Quicker procedures and recovery time, therefore cheaper! But for what, to then prescribe expensive medications, care pathways if you can get them, or attempt partial removals resulting in even more problems. More sufferers will appear in years to come if the use of mesh is resumed. It is my view that new surgeons are not being taught the old fashioned but effective skills. I believe that older surgeons should be teaching that rather than ‘save time and money’.

With the knowledge and evidence given by ‘mesh victims’ I am astonished that some are hoping to re-establish mesh being used in surgeries. Enough damage has been done. Please do not allow this to happen to our daughters, granddaughters and friends.


Related correspondences

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Ray Taylor submission of 13 June 2021

PE1865/A - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

James Snell submission of 17 June 2021

PE1865/B - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Iana Buckley submission of 17 June 2021

PE1865/C - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Anonymous submission of 25 June 2021

PE1865/I - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Anonymous submission of 25 June 2021

PE1865/J - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Anonymous submission of 25 June 2021

PE1865/K - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Anonymous submission of 25 June 2021

PE1865/N - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Anonymous submission of 25 June 2021

PE1865/P - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Maureen Kane submission of 26 June 2021

PE1865/S - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Graham Bute submission of 29 June 2021

PE1865/U - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Amy Hughes submission of 29 June 2021

PE1865/V - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Anonymous submission of 30 June 2021

PE1865/Y - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Marie Steele submission of 2 July 2021

PE1865/AA - Suspend all surgical mesh and fixation devices