Vaginal mesh implants have been used for a number of years to treat stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. The surgical mesh usually made from synthetic polypropylene is inserted into the vagina or vaginal wall in order to support the womb.
NHS Digital records show that between 2006 and 2016 just over 75,000 trans-vaginal tape implants (the most common type of implant) were fitted. However, thousands of women have been left with issues following the procedure including nerve damage, abdominal and vaginal pain, bleeding, pain when walking, and discomfort during sexual intercourse. During the same period, over 4,900 procedures were carried out to remove these implants which amounted to approximately 6.5% of removals of the number of implants put in.
More than 1,000 removals were also carried out for a type of mesh called transobturator tape, which had been inserted into 44,000 women over a ten year period.
In April 2019, the Food and Drug Administration ordered manufacturers to stop distributing and selling pelvic organ prolapse mesh because it had not proven its safety or effectiveness.
An audit carried out by the National Health Service (NHS) this year revealed that in a number of cases the implant deformed after being fitted resulting in women suffering life-threatening infections and injuries.
The findings show that at least 500 women each year have had surgery to remove the implant from April 2008, and over 5,300 women have undergone full or partial removals up to March 2017.
In February, Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt launched a review into how the NHS responds to safety concerns raised by patients about medicines or medical devices. In particular, the review aims to look into patient concerns about vaginal mesh implants. The review will also consider whether a full investigation or a public inquiry into any of the issues is required.
Common complications of vaginal mesh implants include:
- Chronic pain in the abdominal and pelvic areas
- Nerve damage
- Difficulty or inability to walk
- Bladder infection
- Mesh erosion or deformation
Many victims claim they were inadequately informed about the possible complications associated with mesh implants. If you have suffered complications or injuries from a vaginal mesh implant, then you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Our specialist clinical negligence Solicitors have a wealth of experience including handling vaginal mesh implant claims. If you or someone you care about has been affected, feel free to contact us to speak to a medical negligence solicitor for a free no obligation discussion on 0121 355 0011.