Prevention is key to stopping another scandal like the vaginal mesh one from ever taking place again. It is also important that victims who have suffered are entitled to pursue compensation for any pain and suffering endured.
Whilst we cannot turn back the clock, we can hope for a better future. We can push for better testing and research before medical devices are used, and we can recover compensation for people who have suffered as a result of negligence.
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.
It’s understood that the results of a pelvic mesh inquiry are set to “vindicate” patients who have been complaining of issues for years.
We represent a number of women for vaginal mesh compensation claims, so we know how bad people can suffer. In some cases, women have been left with irreversible damage that has changed their lives forever.
According to the Daily Mail, a review from the Independent Medicines And Medical Devices Safety is set to be published soon. Reportedly, the pelvic mesh inquiry review will reveal worrying revelations about how women suffering from horrendous complications were reportedly doubted and ignored, despite presenting with serious symptoms. Others were said to have been questioned despite suffering from chronic pain and problems.
Many people feel that TVT surgery support and aftercare remains inadequate, even after the conclusions of the recent review and the additional guidelines from NICE (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence).
The revised guidance has already face significant criticism on the basis that it doesn’t go far enough, and fails to address the long-term impact vaginal mesh devices can have.
Despite this being a worldwide issue that has been going on for over a decade, women undergoing TVT surgery in the last few years are still not receiving adequate support, it’s claimed. Although we can’t turn back the clock, we can make sure that clients who claim compensation with us are supported as best as we can.
This month, a Bard mesh recall has been initiated, and the company has decided to no longer produce and distribute their mesh devices.
The mesh products made by Bard – C.R. Bard (Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD)) – are for treating POP (pelvic organ prolapse) and SUI (stress urinary incontinence). The recall is voluntary, and the advice so far is that the devices don’t need to be removed. However, anyone who suffers with complications should seek advice immediately.
The recall has been launched with immediate effect, according to the company’s written publications.
There were previous NICE mesh implant guidelines that were designed to ensure that the risks posted by transvaginal mesh and transvaginal tape were limited.
NICE – AKA the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence – published guidance, as did senior medical experts and healthcare leaders, about the sorts of requirements that should be met for NHS trusts that wished to carry out the procedures, and how they should go about patient selection and advice. This was designed to limit the risk involved in the use of mesh implant procedures.
At the end of 2017, that changed. In fact, in December last year, NICE altered their stance and called for an outright ban on the use of some mesh implants in the UK, and only last month did we finally see the NHS take more appropriate action.
We’re pleased with the news that NHS mesh operations are being halted in light of a recent review chaired by Baroness Julia Cumberlege.
Although this isn’t a total stop on all NHS mesh operations, it’s a widespread pause on the procedures pending further investigation into the dangers of transvaginal tape and transvaginal mesh, particularly given the seriousness of the complications that can arise.
We’ve been advising women who have suffered complications from mesh operations since 2013, so the news of the halt is, to us, long overdue.