In November 2017, the health watchdog NICE issued a recommendation for a vaginal mesh ban. The month before, the government opposed calls to ban the treatment.
These two opposing viewpoints provide just one example of the controversy that still surrounds vaginal mesh implants, which have faced criticism both in the UK and across the world.
The mesh implants, which are used to treat issues such as pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI), have widely been condemned by women who have undergone the treatment, many of whom now have irreversible complications and constant pain.
Conflicting opinions on the use of vaginal mesh implants
It was the reports of severe consequences which first brought the issue of vaginal mesh implants to the mainstream news. Some of the potential complications can include bleeding, erosion of the device or vaginal tissue, infections, reduced mobility, and more.
In fact, vaginal mesh implants have been found to induce incontinence and prolapsing in some cases, which are two key issues that the mesh is designed to rectify. In this sense, the treatment could be regarded as ineffective and unfit for purpose.
In response to the proposed vaginal mesh ban, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists argued that the treatment was vital for women suffering from prolapse. One professor, Linda Cardozo, suggested that the treatment is an important option for women, and that the debate was causing unnecessary panic.
Indeed, for some women suffering from prolapse, the condition can be debilitating and life-altering, so vaginal mesh can be seen as a lifeline which allows them to continue leading an active lifestyle. But with the potential for serious and lifelong consequences arising, the most important question in the debate remains: do the benefits outweigh the risks?
Testimonies – misinformation and mistreatment
Because of the potential risks involved with vaginal mesh implants, both patients and doctors must carefully consider whether the treatment is the right course of action. In some cases, it appears that medical professionals neglected their duty to alert patients to the possible complications, and many women felt that they have been gravely misled.
Such testimonies were compiled into a condemnatory review in July of last year, in which 700 women revealed the horrific pain they had undergone as a result of such treatment. The review chair went as far as suggesting that the problems were “caused and compounded by failings in the health system itself”. The review prompted a government apology but, as yet, no final vaginal mesh ban has been put into place in the UK.
Legal action in response to vaginal mesh implants
Without a formal vaginal mesh ban, you may think that you have no claim to make if you have been affected by mesh complications.
However, at The Vaginal Mesh Lawyers, we believe that, where there is sufficient evidence of pain and suffering, alongside factors such as inadequate advice, you could be eligible to make a successful compensation claim for damages.
The largely irreversible nature of the surgery means that complications can be permanent and life-altering. If you were not in a position to give proper and informed consent, your doctor could be at fault.
If you have been affected by a vaginal mesh complication, do not hesitate to contact us for free, no-obligation advice.
IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.