Trans-vaginal tape (TVT) surgery health risks: Factsheet
Following calls from senior doctors for a public inquiry into the use of trans-vaginal tape (TVT), and numerous reports from women who have experienced health problems as a result of the procedure, Thompsons Solicitors is urging women who are experiencing pain or discomfort after receiving vaginal mesh surgery to seek legal advice.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT TVT SURGERY
1. What is TVT surgery?
Trans-vaginal tape (TVT) surgery is a procedure performed on women, usually under general anesthetic, during which a piece of medical mesh is placed under the urethra like a sling to keep it in place.
2. How long does it typically take to recover from TVT surgery?
The recovery period after TVT surgery usually takes one to four weeks.
3. Why do women have TVT surgery?
Women, particularly those who have been through pregnancy or have had a hysterectomy, sometimes suffer with incontinence due to the deterioration of the pelvic floor and the involuntary release of urine during activities such as laughing or coughing can become a problem. TVT surgery is intended to prevent this from happening.
4. Is surgical mesh safe to use?
TVT surgical mesh is widely used, however it can - and does - result in avoidable complications. These complications are often classed as surgical errors and therefore could be classed as medical negligence.
5. What are the potential risks of TVT surgery?
All medical procedures come with some level of risk. According to the NHS, TVT surgery complications can include:
- Bladder perforation
- Bladder infection
- Frequently passing urine
- Vagina erosion
- Bowel and nerve trauma
6. What are the symptoms of ineffective TVT surgery?
The following symptoms have been reported by women suffering with pain after receiving TVT surgery:
- The inability to walk
- Chronic pain
- Bleeding and infection
- Difficulty going to the toilet
- Abdominal and pelvic pain
- Vaginal scarring
- Mesh erosion or protrusion
7. I’m experiencing some of the above symptoms after TVT surgery – what do I do?
If you or a loved one are experiencing discomfort or pain after undergoing TVT surgery, it’s important that you seek medical advice as soon as possible, where a specialist healthcare professional can consider with you whether the mesh implant is the cause of your suffering. You may also want to get in touch with Thompsons Solicitors’ medical negligence lawyers for legal advice about your rights.
8. Are there any organisations campaigning on behalf of people affected by TVT?
Yes. The Sling the Mesh campaign has been established by women with lived experience of the issue, who are campaigning to raise awareness of the risks of TVT and the potential side effects related to this type of surgical procedure. You can contact them and find out more information about the campaign by visiting www.slingthemesh.wordpress.com.
9. Can I make a medical negligence claim for TVT surgery that has caused me suffering?
Yes. If a link between your suffering and the TVT surgery can be proved, then Thompsons Solicitors’ medical negligence specialists can help you begin a claim for compensation today. Over the years we’ve secured hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation for people who have suffered as a result of surgical errors and we can help you too. Don’t delay, call us today on 0800 0 224 224 or fill in our quick, free online Start a Claim form and one of our solicitors will be in touch with you within 24 hours to offer free, confidential advice on whether you have a TVT compensation claim.
10. I had TVT surgery a while ago, but it has caused me pain ever since. Can I still make a medical negligence claim?
As with all personal injury claims, time limits do apply and there are limited exceptions. In medical negligence claims, you have three years from the date you could have reasonably known your pain or injury was caused by medical treatment, to begin a medical negligence compensation claim. For example, if you had your TVT surgery seven years ago, but your doctor diagnosed your suffering within the last three years, you may still be able to make a medical negligence claim. For more information, contact our friendly personal injury lawyers today on 0800 0 224 224.
11. Why should I speak to Thompsons Solicitors if I think I have a claim for TVT?
Thompsons Solicitors is a professional firm which is fully accredited by the Law Society’s Clinical Negligence Accreditation scheme. Thompsons Solicitors’ medical negligence lawyers adhere to best practice at all times and have a significant track record in settling complex compensation claims on behalf of injured patients, or those who have been offered a misdiagnosis. Our teams are highly skilled in this specialist area of law and are already supporting a number of patients affected by the issue of TVT. We appreciate that injured patients may have reservations about talking to others about such sensitive issues, but we are wholly committed to offering a confidential, empathetic and supportive service that allows our clients to feel comfortable when pursuing TVT mesh compensation claims.