Leading medical negligence solicitors confirm they are representing more than 200 UK-based victims of rectal and vaginal mesh surgery, in what they say is one of the biggest health scandals since thalidomide.
It is estimated that over 127,000 people in the UK have undergone surgical procedures involving mesh between 2009 and 2017. Some types of surgical mesh, including mesh for vaginal prolapse and mini slings have already been banned in New Zealand and Australia, but other forms such as TVTs are still offered frequently.
While some UK hospitals have stopped using mesh procedures for prolapses, mesh is still being widely offered to patients as a treatment for prolapse, hernias and incontinence, despite growing concerns about its safety. There are now cross-party calls from MPs to suspend the use of mesh in the UK pending a full inquiry.
Linda Millband, national head of medical negligence at Thompsons Solicitors said: “Mesh is the biggest health scandal the UK has seen since thalidomide, and has the potential to affect hundreds of thousands of individuals – the scale of the mesh problem is huge.
“Each of our 200 mesh clients has told us the same thing: they were either not told about the potential risks of mesh or were told that it was a very simple operation with minimal side effects. In fact, they have been left with excruciating pain that is impacting their lives, wellbeing and relationships.”
"Until a full independent inquiry into mesh has been conducted by the government, we are echoing Sling the Mesh’s call for an immediate suspension of surgical mesh usage in the UK."
The Sling the Mesh campaign was established by journalist Kath Sansom – herself a mesh implant victim – to support people who have suffered from mesh-related injuries. The group currently has over 6,000 members and is growing daily, offering a glimpse of the scale of the issue, and how many people have been affected.
“Until a full independent inquiry into mesh has been conducted by the government, we are echoing Sling the Mesh’s call for an immediate suspension of surgical mesh usage in the UK,” continued Ms. Millband.
“While we continue to fight for justice on behalf of the 200 victims we are already supporting, we are also asking people from across the UK to back our campaign by contacting the Health Secretary and pushing for a ban on mesh, before more lives are ruined. This is a huge health scandal and one that is thankfully starting to get national attention.”
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