More than 800 women are suing NHS for defective transvaginal mesh implants

More than 800 women are suing NHS for defective transvaginal mesh implants
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Over 800 women in the UK are suing National Health Services for shoddy transvaginal mesh implants, many of which have caused women severe pain and damage.

According to IBTimes, close to one in 11 women have reported "painful complications" resulting from the mesh, which is inserted to help people suffering from prolapse or incontinence, often following child birth.

In an interview with the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire program, a patient named Kate Langley recounted being admitted to the hospital 53 times to seek help to relieve the pain resulting from the implant, which she said forced her to resign from her job. One surgeon, she said, told her the mesh had cut through her vagina "like a cheese-wire." 

A close-up of the surgical mesh
Source: 
Beate Panosch/Shutterstock

Other women allege the complications from the mesh have taken a toll on their mental health, or hampered their sex lives. 

Claire Cooper told the BBC program she began experiencing discomfort three years after doctors implanted the mesh inside her, and at first she had no idea where the pain was coming from. 

"I wouldn't at all be surprised if there are mesh-injured women that have taken their own lives and didn't know what the problem was," she said. "I want the procedure banned, I want the material banned."

A government-led study into the use of the implants found that, while "a number of women have suffered serious, life-changing complications following transvaginal mesh implant surgery," there wasn't enough data to draw any firm conclusions about its potential dangers.

Health Secretary Shona Robison defended these findings, saying it wasn't the "government's place" to ban it, according to the BBC

Others too a harder stance on the mesh, with Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale calling on the government to end the practice "once and for all."

"There has been a cover-up and this is a national scandal," she said.