Following the findings of a review investigating the safety of devices and the harm reported by patients, the government has put an immediate stop to vaginal mesh operations.
The independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review, chaired by Baroness Julia Cumberlege, felt compelled to suspend the use of the devices after hearing evidence from women suffering complications as a result of the procedure. Although this is not a total ban and the suspension may be lifted if certain measures are met by March 2019, the review was “in no doubt that this pause is necessary”.
The device is used most commonly as a treatment for incontinence in women after childbirth, and it is estimated that more than 100,000 women have had the device fitted. Designed to support the bladder, it is made of plastic which can erode and cut into surrounding tissue. Thousands of women say that the implants have caused them to suffer constant and chronic pain, and for some, life-changing injuries.
Baroness Cumberlege stated in her report that:
"We have not seen evidence on the benefits of mesh that outweighs the severity of human suffering caused by mesh complications.”
She went on to say:
"We must stop exposing women to the risk of life-changing and life-threatening injuries. We must have measures in place to mitigate the risk, and those are sadly lacking at the moment. We strongly believe that mesh must not be used to treat women with stress urinary incontinence until we can manage the risk of complications much more effectively."
The suspension of vaginal mesh operations was welcomed by Owen Smith MP, who championed the issue, and also the lobby group Sling the Mesh.
Kath Sansom, founder, said:
"This is incredible news and vindication for more than 6,100 members of Sling the Mesh who have been maimed by this operation and then ignored - some for years.
It is testament to people power.
Our members have written, emailed, attended parliament and lobbied to get this result and I am delighted.”
If you have been affected by the use of vaginal mesh to treat pelvic organ prolapse, stress incontinence or any other condition, and you feel you were not properly informed of the risks of the procedure or have suffered other complications, please contact Jonathan Austen-Jones for an initial free no obligation chat. Jonathan has a wealth of experience in this type of claim, having already successfully concluded vaginal mesh claims on behalf of women whose lives have been blighted by these products.