As a result of growing concerns over the quality of the surgical techniques used to fit mesh implant devices to treat Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) and Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP), as well as the advice given to patients, a number of women who have been harmed may have a cause of action against their surgeon or medical team.
We can advise and represent you for a surgical mesh compensation claim against a surgeon or an NHS Trust or private hospital.
Previous reports from the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) suggested that the benefits of mesh implants outweighed the risks, but this was on the basis that surgeons and medical professionals follow stringent guidance over the use of the devices and the advice given to patients.
Whether it’s a lack of quality surgical skill needed to safely fit the mesh implant, or the advice and warnings about the severity of what can happen if things go wrong, women may be eligible to make a surgical mesh compensation claim where complications arise.
Surgical Mesh Compensation Arising From Surgeons Ignoring Advice And Guidance
With research indicating that some women are more susceptible to complications than others, the skill of the surgeon carrying out the mesh implant procedure has been a defining factor. When assessing whether a person is entitled to make a surgical mesh compensation claim, we must take into account whether the surgeon is a contributory or causative factor.
There are some surgeons and healthcare professionals who are failing to follow guidance in place for the use of mesh implant devices, and there are also cases where the important advice patients must consider prior to deciding whether to have the treatment has not been provided; either effectively, or in full.
We are taking legal action specifically against Dr Angamuthu Arunkalaivanan, formerly of Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospital NHS Trust, who was carrying out mesh implant treatments even though the Trust he worked for had banned their use. Given that the guidance specifically enforces the use of auditing and reviews, and makes clear that senior clinical governance leaders must know about the procedures, the fact that these were carried out at a Trust where the mesh implants were banned means the guidance could not have been followed.
Dr Arunkalaivanan triggered a major recall involving his former patients who are now claiming for surgical mesh compensation as a result.
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The Important Advice Patients Must Be Provided With!
If the skill of the surgeon was deficient, or the advice and warnings about procedures provided to you was inadequate, you may have a claim for surgical mesh compensation.
Stringent guidelines put in place by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) say that medical professionals must:
- Ensure patients fully understand the uncertainties about the safety and efficacy of mesh implant treatment
- Ensure that the potential for the procedure to fail and cause catastrophic long-term complications is fully explained
- Ensure patients understand that the mesh implant is intended to be permanent. This is important given that removal of a mesh implant if something does go wrong may be incredibly difficult, or even impossible
- Inform the clinical governance leaders in the NHS Trust they work for (the system used by the NHS for continually improving the quality of services)
- Review and audit the outcomes of mesh implant use on patients
This advice should be clearly provided to patients and should be in a written format as well as verbal guidance.
Further, surgeons and medical professionals should only carry out a procedure in accordance with these additional guidelines:
- Only surgeons with specific training in transobturator surgical techniques should carry out procedures
- Only a multidisciplinary team with experience in the assessment and management of patients with stress urinary incontinence should be charged with patient selection
- The removal of a short sling mesh should only be carried out by healthcare professionals with expertise in this specialised surgery
Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS Medical Director for England, provided the following advice:
- Patients fully understand the long-term side effects and potentially catastrophic complications they are at risk of
- Mesh implant procedures ought to only be carried out when all other options for treatment have been explored and are no longer effective in treating symptoms of POP and SUI
- Auditing and reviews should be undertaken by surgeons
Claiming For Surgical Mesh Compensation
Where these criteria have not been fulfilled, a person suffering complications arising out of their mesh procedure may be entitled to claim for surgical mesh compensation.
You should contact our team if you have had any problems with your mesh implant and we can further advise whether you may be entitled to claim compensation for the suffering and loss caused.