The Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review chaired by Baroness Julia Cumberlege has today (10 July 2018) called for an immediate halt of the use of surgical mesh for stress urinary incontinence.

Kath Sansom, founder of Sling The Mesh said: "This is incredible news and vindication for more than 6,100 members of Sling The Mesh who have been maimed by this operation and then ignored, some for years.

"It is testament to people power. Our members have written, emailed, attended Parliament and lobbied to get this result and I am delighted.

"We now hope that Baroness Cumberlege adds rectopexy mesh to the suspension. This is used when patients suffer faecal incontinence after a rectal prolapse. This is even more taboo and more embarrassing than urinary incontinence. Women suffer the same grave, life changing complications. Many are suicidal. The main proponent of this mesh, Anthony Dixon, is suspended from Bristol NHS Trust and around 200 of his patients have been contacted to ask if they are suffering. It is vital there is a #metoo on rectopexy mesh."

Sling The Mesh wants to ensure that, as a matter of urgency, women booked in for TVT, TVTO and TOT mesh sling incontinence operations in both NHS and private hospitals across the UK now have those surgeries cancelled.

Linda Millband, head of medical negligence at Thompsons Solicitors representing over 220 mesh-injured clients said: “We’re pleased that The Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review, having listened to the women affected and taken on board the persistent warnings from Sling the Mesh about the harm mesh was causing, Baroness Cumberlege has taken immediate and decisive action. For all the women Thompsons is acting for, injured by the use of mesh for stress incontinence, the suspension comes too late - but if it prevents one more woman being left injured for life, as many of our clients have been, then that is welcome. 

“We have concerns that there seems to be little in the way of official guidance or information for the women with stress incontinence whose operation will have been stopped; they have had a narrow escape but need to know why. The Sling the Mesh group is a great source of support and advice about alternative solutions, we also have a resource where you can  learn everything about mesh implants, from the facts to the problems and side effects associated with them.

“There will also be legitimate questions as to why procedures, such as rectopexy for bowel patients have not been included in this ban. We believe they should be because any mesh, wherever it is used, is dangerous, destructive and in some cases, deadly. We encourage anyone who has fallen victim to mesh complications to seek medical and legal advice as soon as possible.”