More than 127,000 women in the UK have had mesh and tape implants for side effects typically following childbirth, according to the NHS.

Hundreds more, including men and children, have been offered mesh surgery as a treatment for rectal prolapses and abdominal hernias. Figures for private mesh operations are, as yet, unknown.

Many people who have had a mesh implant are now suffering from severe pain, life-long injuries and psychological trauma as a result of their operations. Some have been able to have their mesh implants removed, but for some, it’s not a possibility. Victims of mesh injuries are often scarred for life, physically and mentally. People are are fighting for answers and Thompsons is fighting with them.

We know that almost everyone who had a mesh sling, mesh tape, tension-free vaginal tape (TVT) or ventral mesh rectopexy operations were either not told about the potential risks when they were offered the surgery or were told it was a very simple operation with minimal side effects. They are now paying the price with serious health complications.

Thompsons Solicitors believes that mesh may be the biggest medical scandal to hit the UK since thalidomide, and we are committed to fighting for those who have been affected.

Independent review into pelvic mesh

In February 2018, Baroness Cumberlege was asked by the government to carry out an independent review into the harmful side effects of medicines and medical devices, including mesh.

The report of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review was published on 8 July 2020 and shared key recommendations, such as:

  • The need for a fully-functioning database to capture every mesh implant and removal
  • The introduction of specialist mesh centres where there is expertise in how to treat mesh complications and in the most appropriate techniques for mesh removals.
  • Clinicians ensuring patients have a full understanding of their treatment, including the benefits, the potential risk and any alternative treatment options available, so they can consider all options before deciding if they are willing to continue with the treatment
  • Professional bodies ensuring surgeons only operate within their capabilities; surgeons should be appropriately trained and this should be assured through the appraisal process.


You can view the report in full here and read our response here.

Facts about mesh in the UK

Thompsons is privileged to be able to support mesh surgery victims. We will continue to support them and call for an end to mesh use in the UK.

a lady stands in a park in a striped top
Adèle Yemm, 46, had tension-free vaginal tape (TVT) surgery in 2013 to treat mild stress incontinence following the birth of her daughter. She has suffered from chronic pelvic pain ever since.
a man and woman sit on a bench with their son in the middle of them
Bonita had mesh surgery in 2015 as an ‘add on’ when treated for prolapse, and has been in constant pain ever since. The pain was such that she found it difficult to visit her father who was dying of cancer.
a young dark haired woman looks sternly at the camera
Chloe was just 15 when she underwent rectopexy surgery for a suspected internal bowel prolapse. The surgery left her in debilitating pain and eventually stopped her bowel functioning normally.

Mesh is still used by surgeons in the UK, despite being banned in New Zealand and Australia. Even now, patients are being told mesh is the answer for vaginal and rectal prolapse, as well as incontinence when there are other non-invasive options available that are often not exhausted first.

Thompsons Solicitors has a long and proud history of representing people who have suffered from medical negligence and has always refused to act for anyone other than injured people and never for insurance companies.