Rectal and vaginal mesh implants are devices inserted by medical professionals to treat health issues such as incontinence, prolapse and hernias in men, women and even children.

Mesh implants have been widely used across the UK for many years, however, there have been extensive reports of numerous health complications such as debilitating pain, bleeding and difficulty walking, following their rectal or vaginal mesh surgery. These procedures include rectopexy and stapled transanal rectal resection (STARR), which use implants like trans-vaginal tape (TVT), trans-obturator tapes (TOT) and suprapubic slings (SS tape).

Thompsons Solicitors has a number of specialist mesh lawyers who are currently acting on behalf of more than 100 clients who have suffered complications of vaginal and rectal mesh implants, including nearly 50 women in the South West who were treated with mesh implants by Dr Tony Dixon, who is currently under investigation by his NHS trust after complaints were made by his former patients.

The safety of rectal and vaginal mesh implants is now in question, with many victims claiming they were inadequately informed about the possible complications associated with mesh implants and that some surgeons unnecessarily performed procedures without considering other less harmful or invasive treatments.

As a campaigning law firm, Thompsons Solicitors is working with Sling the Mesh group, which is raising awareness of vaginal mesh complications. The organisation is campaigning for a full investigation into the number of women who have undergone vaginal mesh surgery as well as the creation of a national register that enables the health of those who have received the implants to be monitored. To learn more about the campaign and how you can get involved, visit the website and show your support on Facebook and Twitter.

Whether you’ve had TVT surgery, a rectopexy or the STARR procedure, Thompsons Solicitors’ legal experts are just a phone call away to discuss your concerns and help you begin a rectal or vaginal mesh claim. 

'The dark side to surgical mesh' - Sling the Mesh & Cambs Times


1. What is a mesh implant?

A mesh implant is a small device made of polypropylene, a type of plastic, which is one of the options available to strengthen damaged or weakened muscle or tissue. It is usually placed under the urethra or the rectum to act as a sling through vaginal or rectal procedures, such as rectopexy, STARR and TVT mesh surgery.

2. Why do people need rectal and vaginal mesh implants?

Men, women and even children receive rectal and vaginal implants for health issues such as hernias and incontinence, which can cause deterioration or even prolapse of the pelvic floor. Vaginal and rectal mesh implants are one option available to treating doctors.

3. What are the health concerns around rectal and vaginal mesh implants?

There are concerns that little or no information about mesh surgery complications has been provided to those treated in this way and, in some cases, the information provided is incorrect.

There are also fears that many procedures are performed by inadequately trained surgeons. Another criticism has also been that surgeons have failed to investigate less intrusive procedures before proceeding with vaginal or rectal mesh surgery. Problems also occur when defective mesh implants are removed. The damage can be life-changing and irreversible.

4. What are the health complications caused by rectal or vaginal implants?

Mesh surgery is often performed successfully, but as with all medical procedures, things can and do go wrong. Thompsons Solicitors has been contacted by hundreds of people who have suffered complications following vaginal or rectal mesh surgery, many of whom are now pursuing rectal or vaginal mesh claims. Complications reported include:

  • Chronic pain, especially in the abdomen and pelvic areas
  • Bleeding
  • Difficulty or inability to walk
  • Bladder perforation
  • Bladder infection
  • Haematoma
  • Vaginal erosion or scarring
  • Bowel and nerve trauma
  • Incontinence
  • Mesh erosion or protrusion

5. I’m suffering with health problems after rectal or vaginal mesh What should I do?

Thompsons Solicitors urges anyone who thinks they have been injured as a result of vaginal or rectal mesh procedures to contact their GP immediately to determine the cause of pain. If your GP concludes that your mesh implant is the cause of your suffering, or if they cannot explain it and you think it’s related to your mesh implant, Thompsons Solicitors’ specialist medical negligence lawyers are on hand to use their significant legal expertise to advise whether you could begin a rectal or vaginal mesh claim for compensation.

6. How can Thompsons Solicitors help me make a rectal or vaginal mesh implant claim?

Thompsons Solicitors is already helping many people who have suffered injury as a result of rectal or vaginal implants. Our team of exceptional medical negligence lawyers, who also took on hundreds of cases against disgraced breast cancer surgeon, Ian Paterson, will use their extensive legal knowledge to help you secure compensation after suffering a mesh implant injury. We are proud to only ever act for claimants, never defendants, something many law firms cannot claim to do.

It’s important to get expert support as soon as possible after a medical negligence injury, so don’t delay – call our specialists on 0800 0 224 224 or complete our free online claim form today.

7. I’m male – can I make a mesh implant claim with Thompsons Solicitors?

Yes. Mesh implant surgery is performed on women, men and even children. If you have experienced health problems following mesh surgery, you can talk to our medical negligence experts in confidence about the possibility of starting a mesh implant claim. Call us today on 0800 0 224 224 or fill in our free, no obligation claim form.

8. I had rectal or vaginal mesh surgery years ago but have only recently started to experience complications. Can I still make a rectal or vaginal mesh claim?

Yes. Some complications have been known to manifest themselves years after insertion of the mesh. The time limit in medical negligence cases is that it must be started within three years of the date you could have reasonably known that your injury was a result of medical negligence. An example of this is a diagnosis by a GP or any other medical professional. This means that, even if you underwent a mesh procedure such as TVT surgery, rectopexy or STARR several years ago, and you are only now experiencing pain and discomfort, you could still be eligible to begin a mesh implant claim. Talk to our lawyers today for more information on how to begin your claim.

9. My vaginal or rectal mesh surgery was performed at a private hospital – can I still make a medical negligence claim?

Yes. Many rectal and vaginal mesh implant surgeries have been performed in private hospitals and either paid for privately or possibly on referral by the NHS.

Thompsons Solicitors has successfully secured significant compensation in medical negligence claims against private healthcare providers. We are currently representing a group of 50 women in vaginal mesh claims against Dr Dixon, a consultant colorectal surgeon who worked at NHS Southmead Hospital and private Spire Bristol Hospital.

10. Do I have to pay to make a rectal or vaginal mesh claim?

Thompsons Solicitors is always open and transparent about legal fees and we always recommend clients beginning their compensation claim on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. You can learn more about this by visiting our Fees and Payment page or speaking to one of our legal advisors today on 0800 0 224 224.


Thompsons Solicitors’ medical negligence experts have vast experience in supporting clients across the UK in a range of compensation claims, including those who have been injured by mesh implants.

Jacqui’s Story

Jacqui approached Thompsons Solicitors to make a vaginal mesh claim after spending many years in pain following a rectopexy performed by Bristol-based surgeon, Dr Dixon. 

After the birth of her two children in 1992 and 1996, Jacqui experienced bowel problems which she hoped would be cured by the procedure, however, the surgery was unsuccessful and resulted in additional complications, which led to Dr Dixon performing a second procedure, known as STARR. Despite this, Jacqui continued to experience pain in the years after and was eventually forced to seek the advice of a gynaecologist. It was confirmed in 2016 that her suffering was partly caused by the original rectopexy procedure.

Sam’s Story

Thompsons Solicitors’ client, Sam, underwent rectopexy surgery by Dr Dixon in February 2011 to cure bowel problems caused by childbirth. Although the surgery seemed to have worked, she soon started experiencing complications caused by the initial intervention. In November 2017, Sam underwent major surgery to remove the mesh implant inserted during the rectopexy and spent three days in intensive care to recover. 

Sam said: “I have lost my job as a result of having so much time off for sickness and I now have to sell my house because I can’t afford to stay there. The whole ordeal has also cost me my marriage. Anyone who thinks their rectopexy procedure may be causing them issues should seek an immediate opinion from a medical professional, and I urge anyone with these problems to get legal advice from Thompsons Solicitors.”


We understand that beginning a mesh claim can be daunting, but our sympathetic and specialist mesh lawyers are here to listen and help make the process as easy and stress-free as possible for you. We’ve helped hundreds of thousands of people make successful medical negligence claims since our founding in 1921, and we can help you too.

Contact us today for free by calling 0800 0 224 224, requesting a callback, or by completing our start a claim form.