What is the campaign about?

Sling The Mesh logo with thanks to artist Michelle Deyna-Hayward.
Sling The Mesh Campaign. Image: Michelle Deyna-Hayward.
Sling The Mesh Campaign. Image by: Michelle Deyna-Hayward.

Mesh implants are used to treat prolapse, stress incontinence and hernias. It is a permanent plastic implant, used to support weakened tissue but it can fragment, twist, degrade or shrink to slice into nerves, tissue and organs. The plastic material can cause autoimmune diseases and trigger allergic reactions including psoriasis, fibromyalgia, IBS, Lichens Schelorsis, lupus, food allergies and intolerances. Removing it is major surgery. Some women improve, some are worse and some no different. See Completed-Survey-Results-Jan-2020

Mesh was rushed to market using the flimsiest of evidence. New products continue to be approved using a flawed medical device approval system known as equivalence. Long term complications were never captured globally because doctors only asked women if the operation had worked. This means a women could show up in a consulting room  walking with sticks, in chronic pain, lost sex life, can no longer work due to pain, suffering constant infections , yet she will be logged as a success because her incontinence or prolapse is fixed. See this article how mesh became a 4 letter word by Jonathan Gornall. BMJ-article-on-mesh-COIs


2020 News:

September 2020

Petersen2020_Article_NecessaryDurationOfFollow-upTo Hernia Mesh Hernia mesh paper says that without long term follow up, the majority of hernia mesh complications are missed making it look like it is a good treatment option, when in fact patients become more at risk of developing  complications as each year passes.

SLING THE MESH SURVEY 2020 reveals a long list of symptoms suffered by patients after having a mesh implant. The top five most common complications experienced were painful to walk, urinary urgency, painful to sit, severe fatigue and IBS bloating. These were followed by chronic hip and leg pain, discomfort during sex, brain fog, urinary frequency and anxiety.

House of Lords second reading of the Medicines and Medical Devices Bill. Baroness Cumberlege talks on the need to step up patient safety and warns the Government against ignoring her report. Hansard Link

August 2020

Vaginal mesh use is down by a third in Canada

NHS Mesh Sub Registry GroupMesh Sub Registry group

July 2020:

BAUS Podcast on what the scathing Cumberlege Report means for surgeons. Apology needed for  how the healthcare community have failed and harmed women.

Reactions to First Do No Harm Baroness Cumberlege Review

BSUG letter to members LETTER TO RCOG AND BSUG MEMBERS First Do No Harm

Sling The Mesh Response: Justice will only be done when all 9 key recommendations are implemented. Thousands of women and their families have had their lives ripped apart. All of this could have been avoided if proper systems were in place to pick problems up sooner and if medics had listened instead of going into institutional denial for decades. To see the 9 key recommendations read the Press Release here: IMMDS Review report announcement FINAL


PelvicRoar response

HQIP response 

MHRA response

GMC response

BAUS response

RCOG response

RCOS response

POGP response

Independent_08-07-2020_1ST_p1 Front page

The results of the two year review into mesh by the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review is published on July 8, 2020. IMMDS Review report announcement FINAL

First Do No Harm Report 2020

June 2020:

MASTER Trial into men’s mesh slings, for men suffering incontinence after prostate cancer, does not mention the risk of mesh complications.

Surgeons in trial which includes mesh. Why? A PURSUIT Trial with Marcus Drake into incontinence remedies is comparing bulking injections to surgery, including mesh implants. Some of the authors taking part are known for being pro mesh protagonists.

Two days after MHRA issue new guidance saying mesh for incontinence is safe to use because it has a CE mark, their report is taken down. Their web link said a registry will be set up to log mesh complications, but our understanding is that this is not possible to link in to the MHRA reports which in our opinion renders it useless. Surgeons have had since 1997 to do this but never bothered. In addition, the MHRA have taken its flawed York Report offline which was relied on to claim mesh risk was only 1-3%

May 2020: Scottish women to be offered £1,000 for well being. It is not compensation for any perceived wrong doing by the NHS

Baroness Cumberlege announces she will publish the results of the long awaited mesh review in July. The review has taken two years.

April 2020: The independent review into mesh, which began in July 2018, is postponed due to coronavirus

March 2020: Canadian women to receive a share of $21.5 million from J&J

January 30: In California J&J ordered to pay $344 million for its misleading marketing of mesh products. Court paperwork here See p 10-13 for admissions by J&J releasing info on loss of sex life “would kill us”, didn’t want to  release info on mesh removal for fear of “digging own grave” and avoided using databases to capture complications so FDA didn’t learn of negative outcomes and so their products did not look as appealing as those of competitors who were not using databases either.

The story covered in Medical Plastics News

January 15: BBC cover the hernia mesh scandal. More than 100 different hernia mesh used in NHS and none have clinical trial evidence to back it up

Response from the Royal College of Surgeons is that 1 in 10 suffer following mesh for inguinal hernia repair

January 2: First Bard hernia mesh trial due to begin in May

2019 NEWS:

December 12: New Zealand publishes a Mesh Restorative Justice report after talking to 600 patients irreversibly harmed by surgical mesh implants used to treat incontinence, prolapse or hernia. Here is the response from NZ campaigners

December 4: The BMJ launch a global campaign to stamp out conflicts of interest in medicine on the back of the pelvic mesh scandal

November 21: Australian women win landmark case against Johnson & Johnson. They were accused of launching a “tidal wave” of aggressive promotion at doctors, marketing the devices as cheap, simple to insert, and a relatively risk-free way to boost profits.

October 22: The results of around 500 clinical trials run by NHS Trusts remain unreported, costing over £250 million in research waste.

October 14: Queen’s Speech heralds Brexit as an opportunity for Britain to become a world leader in innovation. In other words, drugs and devices that have not ben tested in humans. Innovative or new does not mean good! It simply means new. US want access to NHS in post-Brexit deal.


October 8: The UK’s independent review into vaginal mesh is set to publish in March 2020

September 22: Mesh is like a train with few stops and insufficient evidence to prove long term risks or benefits. International Society FIGO release position statement.

August 16: Snapshot survey of 16 hospitals shows that two hospitals defied the suspension and carried on using it. SEE 1207 2019-BJOG__An_International_Journal_of_Obstetrics_&_Gynaecology

August 8: Paper shows if women are  given fully informed consent on risks vs benefits they would  never choose mesh surgery

July 31: Taiwan calls for ban on vaginal mesh

July 29: Global plastics expert says plastic should not be implanted into humans. Sky News 

Opinion piece from Charlotte Lomas Farley

July 16:  HQIP announce plans for a database to log complications when mesh is used again..It is still not robust enough to capture the data on suffering. HQIP Interim-Surgical-Mesh-Database-Feasibility-Report-FINAL

June 28: Former chief of the FDA, Just two months after leaving his job of regulating medicines and devices, joins global drug giant Pfizer to help them get approval for their products. And so the revolving door continues…

June 14: NZ campaigners told a mesh register to track complications is too expensive

May 31: Hernia mesh complication risk is as high as 37%

May 28: MP Owen Smith gives evidence to the Baroness Cumberlege review. Far too many women, far too young and with conditions that didn’t really require this degree of intervention were given this operation.

May 25: Mesh has been used in the UK during the suspension. A total of 16 mesh slings and 164 suprapubic slings which could be either mesh or non mesh Surgery for urogynaecological prolapse or SUI using tape or mesh M12 suppressed (9)

May 16: Progress update from the UK mesh safety review by Baroness Cumberlege who says mesh isn’t coming back any time soon. “I have been clear that because the conditions required to lift the pause have not yet been met, and that it will clearly be some time before they are, for now and the foreseeable future mesh should not be used to treat stress urinary incontinence either in the NHS or the independent sector. I am pleased that NHS England has reminded NHS Trusts that the pause remains in place.”

May 9: Women hold rallies in London and in Manchester to protest against new mesh guidelines and that a mesh removal service has been stopped after 14 years. You Tube rally video here

May 3: FDA closes a secret filing system that for 20 yrs allowed medical giants to hide reports of patient harm.

May 2: Medical device director steps down from the MHRA amid vaginal mesh crisis,

April 22: J&J is ordered to pay a fine of $9.9 million or face trial for failing to warn of serious risk in its instructions for mesh kits. Fine issued by Washington Attorney General. See the You Tube annoncement.

April 20: India considers stopping pelvic mesh

April 16: The FDA immediately ban vaginal prolapse mesh in USA saying benefits do not outweigh risks.

April 8: STM issue stark warning to NHS Trusts after taking legal advice on the use of mesh.

April 2: Long awaited NICE guidelines publish. Sling The Mesh is deeply disappointed that, nothing has changed since 2003 and are so weak they pave the way for women of tomorrow to be harmed.

Professor Carl Heneghan says  “Campaigners fear the evidence is untrustworthy, biased and too low quality to inform decision making.”

March 15: FDA issue press statement  saying implant materials can cause auto immune reactions.

March 7: Mesh manufacturer Bard (BD) voluntarily withdraws all its urogynae mesh from the UK market.

March 1: Scientific community accepts for the first time that the plastic of mesh implants can act as an adjuvant for auto immune disease and allergies.

Feb 28: House of Lords debate on steps being taken in the UK to improve safety of medicines and devices.

Feb 12: Should vaginal mesh be pulled off the American market asks the FDA.

Feb 12: MP Owen Smith leads a Commons debate on toughening up medical implant regulations.

Jan 23: Surgeon Mohammed Abdel Fatteh of Aberdeen took £100K from a mesh maker but forgot to declare it when writing a study involving a mesh made by them. Abdel-Fatteh spoke at this heavily industry influenced conference in December 2018 where he said the mesh story was an emotional debate led by journalists and MPs. We say that doctors who take money from industry are a blot on medicine’s integrity.

Jan 9: Canadian study of 57,000 women shows patients who need mesh removal are at increased risk of depression and suicidal thoughts. This woman signs papers for assisted suicide

Jan 1: Govt announce plans for better access to physiotherapy for the 1 in 3 mums who suffer incontinence after giving birth.

2018 NEWS

December 20: The UK wide safety review into mesh. Evidence from all parties is published online on the IMMDS website

December 19: Australia announce first specialist treatment centre to open in 2019

December 18:  Evidence presented to the UK wide mesh safety review, led by Baroness Julia Cumberlege, will be published on its website this week

December 13: France issues patient safety monitoring alert for mesh. Meeting to be held on Jan 22

November 27:  Australia surgical mesh is raised from from medium to high risk  by the TGA Therapeutic Goods Administration

November 25: Global reporting team in 36 countries write about how faulty medical devices harm thousands of people globally

November 13: Sling The Mesh talks about the need for better medical device regulation in a conference in Geneva ISOP  where a global task force on medical devices is launched.

October 26: A Scottish Govt report into mesh implants failed women because it had potential conflicts of interest that were never declared or discussed. The whole report was  “ill-conceived, thoughtlessly structured and poorly executed.”

The original Scottish Mesh Report was expected to take six to 12 months. Ultimately it lasted almost three years and, just weeks before it was published in May 2017, three members resigned and branded it a whitewash after key warnings about safety were moved / hidden in the appendices.

October 23, 2018: The world is waking up to the fact there needs to be more transparency and regulation in clinical trials. House of Commons Research Integrity meeting

October 18: BSUG release data that shows TVT mesh has a 15% risk of injuries from the operation alone. That is without taking into consideration the life changing complications we see every day on the Sling The Mesh support page. Yet the BSUG database does not include data on women suffering new chronic pain, UTI, loss of sex life. All they use is form PG-1 which focuses on this – how many Tena Lady pads do you use?

October 11: The BMJ publish a damning article on how mesh was introduced based only on marketing literature from the mesh makers. There was no shortage of  warnings in 2003, but the mesh genie was already out of the bottle and being promoted by manufacturers. By 2002-03 over 4,000 TVT and TOT operations a year were being carried out in England and no registry of procedures was in sight. See NICE 2003 guidance here

October 10: Australian Government issue a national apology to women affected by the mesh implant disaster

October 9:  NICE issue draft guidelines on mesh use for incontinence and prolapse but campaigners say in the Cambs Times that it is too little too late and do not go far enough to protect women. After 15 years of harm they do not say much different to what was advised in 2003.

NICE Draft guidelines NICE (1) Here is a link to the members of the NICE team responsible for putting together the guidelines.

September 21: Oxford publish a paper that blames mesh pain on women suffering anxiety about mesh issues.

September 16: Dubai Health Minister withdraws transvaginal mesh

September 12: Chief Medical Officer for Scotland Catherine Calderwood puts out a statement on mesh suspension.

Scottish mesh suspension Sep 18

September 12: All medical trials should be logged onto a new European tracking system. Along with sponsors. Pending trials should be logged too. The SIMS mesh mini sling trial at Aberdeen University is not on it.

September 6: The Scotsman reports that Eileen Baxter, 75, dies of multiple organ failure, sepsis, perforation of her bowel from an abdominal prolapse mesh, the one surgeons say is safe to use. Vaginally inserted prolapse mesh was banned in December 2017 because NICE guidelines say  the risks are too high. Yet it is the same polypropylene plastic mesh implant, supporting the same organs, sitting in the same vaginal vault once implanted. All prolapse mesh must be banned.

August 22: NHS consultation on how women with prolapse or incontinence should be treated in the future.

August 21: Scottish Government  are called to uphold the mesh suspension amid criticism for  allowing changes to an “independent” report into the plastic implants, made to downplay mesh risk.

July 27: Wales and N Ireland suspend mesh which means a UK wide suspension until NICE guidelines are out in April 2019.

July 24  Vaginal mesh is suspended in Southern Ireland 

July 23: NHS  England sends out advice to hospital medical directors and surgeons on the mesh suspension in three documents.

SUSPENSION  Medical Director and surgeon recommendations.

Mesh Suspension Medical Directors Appendix

Mesh suspension  Medical Director covering Letter

July 17: BSUG publishes its audit from 2014. It took four years to come up with a dataset that is short term, only asks one question, does not capture pain, mesh erosion, constant urinary tract infections and is thus seriously flawed.

July 12: A new newsletter is published by Canadian surgeon Robert Bendavid, outlining the risks of Hernia Mesh

July 11: The British Pain Society put out a statement on the effect on women of suffering mesh implant pain. British Pain Society press release

July 10Sky News break the news that mesh for incontinence is suspended in hospitals across England after Government safety team found it causes life changing and life threatening injuries.

July 5: NICE guidelines into incontinence and prolapse have been pushed back two months from February 2019 to April 2019. The Daily Mail cover the story here. Early guidelines from 2007 are here. 

July 3 The Baroness Cumberlege Review into Mesh, Sodium Valproate and Primodos begins today in London. Follow this link for other dates around England..

June 18-24 World Continence Week. Here at Sling The Mesh our message is loud and clear. Please tell your friends, mums, partners, sisters, aunties and work colleagues to seek treatment. BUT  please do not be too quick to go under the knife for a solution. Try physiotherapy or specially designed intimate trainers to restore the core before considering surgery and fully research the risks of mesh implants also known as tape, slings, bands, TVT, TVTO or TOT. To find out more visit our Sling The Mesh Natural Solutions Facebook page.

Don't be afraid of star jumps. Seek treatment for incontinence but choose natural solutions over surgery.
Don’t be afraid of star jumps. Seek treatment for incontinence but choose natural solutions over surgery.

June 12: Canadian professor says large scale studies needed into the link between surgical mesh and auto immune diseases.

June 7: Plastic Magazine for Europe reports there is no such thing as a medical grade polymer. Manufacturers decide for themselves. A bit like marking your own exam papers.

June 1: Milestone for Scottish campaigners as mesh manufacturers fail in their bid to  get mesh court cases thrown out.

May 21: Australia bring out new patient info leaflets putting mesh surgery as the final option. They say mesh can often not be fully removed,  can cause mental and emotional distress, pain is difficult to treat and women can lose their sex lives. Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare say there needs to be better data collection surrounding mesh problems and better pre operative information for women.

May 18: Cambs Times wins the Making A Difference Award for Sling The Mesh campaign.

May 17 Guardian journalist Hannah Devlin wins Science Writer of the Year award for her story about 1 in 15 vaginal meshes need  removing because of complications.

May 14 CBS 60 Minutes releases a documentary showing plastic surgical mesh should never be implanted into humans because it’s unstable material.

May 13 Male mesh slings are trialled in the UK for  cancer patients suffering SUI after a prostatectomy. Previous research says they only work for 6 in 10 men.  Sling The Mesh says men, who have already suffered the emotional trauma of cancer, and a prostatectomy should not be then exposed to the risk of a mesh implant which can cause life altering, chronic pain..

May 11: Mesh removal surgeon Surgeon Suzy Elneil wins a BBC One Show Healthcare award

May 10 Seven questions on pelvic and hernia mesh to Government from Lord Phillip Hunt 

May 1 Global Mesh Awareness Day.

April 19 Emma Hardy MP leads a three hour debate on surgical mesh in the House of Commons main chamber..

April 17 The Government release its mesh audit and says it is “experimental” data. What does this mean?!

In terms of data analysis,  the term experimental  means based on untested ideas or techniques. In other words they did not validate the data. This is  done by taking a subset of patients and checking the digital with their medical notes to assess the error rate – this could have also generated answers to many other questions.

MP Owen Smith says half of women who need help end up at outpatient clinics suffering complications. and a third end up in trauma clinics. 

An overview of the findings are in this report by Professor Carl Heneghan of Oxford University.

March 28 Australian senate inquiry presents its report. Senator Derryn Hinch said: “This is one of the greatest medical scandals of our history.

“Mesh is a torture device. Women have suffered a physical and  mental breakdown from mesh. Tragically, painfully, dangerously.” mesh destroys the life of women, their partners and families.

“One women said I  can’t believe I went for minor day surgery and am now disabled.” The full copy of what was said is here in this link.

Sling The Mesh reaction to the Australian senate inquiry:

Kath Sansom of Sling The Mesh, whose UK group has more than 5,800 members, said:  “What medics, ministers and new patients considering a mesh implant must realise is this – even if a person has had a successful outcome with no complications it is only good for now. There is no guarantee that it will be good for their lifetime.
“The plastic polypropylene material can go brittle, shrink, twist and curl at the edges after months or even years. It is this that cuts into nerves, tissues, slices into organs and cuts through vaginal walls. It leaches toxins and can cause auto immune problems like fibromyalgia.
“No amount of surgeon skill can compensate for this. It is for this reason that all mesh should be banned.”

March 23 Sling The Mesh releases a documentary made by University media student journalists

March 8 An interesting set of answers recorded in Hansard to 8 questions on mesh by MP Emma Hardy.

March 1 The 4 corners of the UK are represented in a meeting with Lord James O’Shaughnessy at the Dept of Health. Lord O’Shaugnessy promises to get to the bottom and the real picture of the mesh implant disaster.

Feb 22 House of Lords debate Govt review into  three women’s health disasters of Primodos, valproate and mesh implants.

Sling The Mesh says all women who have had mesh are a ticking time bomb. It can take yeas for problems to cut in. One women on our group had it slice through her urethra after 18 years. Average time for problems to begin is three to four years after implantation. Jeremy Hunt says the review will not go into the science of mesh yet this is where the problem lies. Most studies do not use quality of life questionnaires that pick up the devastation of pain, lost sex lives or constant urinary infections (cysitits) . Studies concentrate on if the mesh has “cured” the problem of prolapse or incontinence.

Many studies are short term or they compare mesh to mesh – so of course mesh will come out as a favourable option! Trials should compare mesh to the old fashioned natural tissue repairs.

Additionally many trials have low numbers. One about to be published looks at the outcomes of just 52 women. For our own survey see here

Feb 21 The Government announce a review into three women’s health scandals, mesh, Primodos and valproate, over seen by Baroness Cumberlege“We are delighted that the Government has announced a review into Mesh, Primodos and Valproate. but also deeply saddened that so many women’s and families lives have been shattered by medical devices and drugs that were never tested on humans before being released en masse to women globally. We were the human guinea pigs. These are three huge women’s health disasters. The people who benefited most were the share holders and big CEOs.” 

MP Emma Hardy said in the House: “It’s not just about the training I believe the product itself that is faulty.” Sling The Mesh and campaigners globally agree.

Sling the Mesh founder Kath Sansom said: “If a woman has had a good outcome it is only “for now ” Any woman who has had mesh is a ticking time bomb as the product can shrink or twist years down the line. No amount of surgeon training can counteract that”

“It is wrong that women have had to fight for YEARS to get their voices heard, often being dismissed as mad, hysterical or a minority suffering.  Had men been hurt by drugs or implants on this scale there would be an outcry. Instead we have been left to suffer in silence. Every woman affected by Primodos, Valproate or mesh implants have suffered personal tragedies that can never be compensated for.”

OWEN SMITH – Commenting on the news, Chair of the APPG on Surgical Mesh Implants, Owen Smith,  said:“I am delighted that the government has listened to our concerns about the safety of mesh devices and has agreed to conduct this review. Lessons must be learned from the awful complications many women have experienced since undergoing mesh surgery and proper processes must be put in place to stop this happening in the future.

“The mesh scandal shows what can go wrong when devices are aggressively marketed to doctors and then used in patients for whom they were unsuited or unnecessary. Mesh devices should be seen against that history of medicalisation and miss-selling and should be subject to the most stringent clinical trials before being deployed in surgery.

“The news of a prospective registry is also hugely welcome, and is one of the key things we’ve been asking for. I’m pleased that the government has listened and this registry, together with the recently announced retrospective audit currently being undertaken, will provide us with a better understanding of problems related to mesh.”

“It is a shame however that NICE is still unable or unwilling to bring forward its review into the safety and efficacy of Mesh and that the Government will not suspend Mesh until the reviews have been undertaken, as has happened in New Zealand.”

Feb 14 Researchers announce a new mesh BUT it still uses a plastic base of POLYeurethane, which is plastic.

So far it has only been tested on  chicken embryos. It will add oestrogen, known to increase risk of endometrial cancer. Following the PIP breast implant scandal, this study said polyeurethane should not be in the body: “We recommend research to find a non-toxic, non-biodegradable synthetic material as an alternative to polyurethane”.

Commenting on the announcement that University of Sheffield has developed a new polyurethane mesh, Chair of the APPG on Surgical Mesh Implants, Owen Smith MP said: “Whilst I welcome new interventions to treat stress urinary incontinence and prolapse, I would urge great caution over the use of synthetic materials to treat these conditions. It is crucial that lessons are learnt from the use of polypropylene mesh and the life-changing complications women have experienced since undergoing surgery. This new material must undergo rigorous and strict clinical trials and should only be used if such complications can be ruled out.”

Feb 6 Women from across Britain join a 100 years of Votes for Women rally outside Parliament followed by a question in the House of Lords asked by Lord Phillip Hunt calling for a mesh suspension.

Jan 30 Ministers agree  a full audit into mesh complications in England. This needs rolling out to the whole of the UK. Sky report 

Jan 18 Surgeon Society BAUS update its website to give a full over view of ALL the latest information on mesh risks.

The All Party Parliamentary Group is on January 30.

Oxford Hospitals admit there have been “errors made in the national gynaecological community” in the use of mesh.

Inappropriate surgery, with poor counselling and consent,  poor surgery performed by surgeons who have been inadequately trained in the field,  no mandatory reporting of complications when they occur and poor audit of outcomes.

2017 NEWS

Dec 15: NICE imposes back door ban on vaginal prolapse mesh but no new guidance on incontinence mesh which is the most common pelvic mesh operation in the UK.

Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Surgical Mesh Implants, Owen Smith MP said:

“I’m pleased that NICE have listened to women, looked at the emerging evidence and changed their mind about the risk associated with use of Mesh in treating prolapse, but they should have gone further and followed the example set by New Zealand this week in banning mesh altogether for pelvic operations. NICE now need to take notice of that decision and speed up their guidelines on use of Mesh to treat incontinence. It just isn’t reasonable of them to say they can’t produce that guideline for another 18 months.”

Dec 12, 2017: New Zealand is first country in world to ban pelvic mesh. Read stories on Sky and The Independent

Dec 7, 2017: Professor Carl Heneghan and the BMJ reveal mesh implants have been used in patients without clinical trials.

Nov 30, 2017 Chrissy dies 4 years after a TVT mesh implant for mild stress incontinence. She suffered recurrent urinary tract infections caused by the plastic device . She became resistant to antibiotics used to treat it and died of sepsis.

November 27 NICE to recommend  vaginal mesh to fix prolapse to only be used in research. We say this is surgeon code for do not use. Read the BBC report here:

November 21, 2017: All Party Parliamentary Group think tank on mesh  meet.

 October 18, 2017 Westminster Hall parliamentary debate. The Labour Party calls for immediate suspension of vaginal mesh. MPs will debate the controversial health scandal in Westminster  reports The Guardian.

September 30, 2017: Sling The Mesh features in emotional Canadian TV documentary that asks how safe is mesh? Watch from 12.0 for MP Owen Smith

September 28, 2017: Scottish Parliament Public Petitions committee. Women were “window dressing” for a whitewash report. Surgeon calls for public inquiry and full audit into mesh safety..

September 23, 2017. Landmark report shows 9.8% women suffer incontinence mesh complications in the UK.

September 2017: Sling The Mesh joins Scottish Mesh Survivors to speak at the Australian senate inquiry into pelvic mesh implants.

September 2017: All Party Parliamentary Group APPG into mesh is launched with Owen Smith as chair and Paul Masterson as co chair and 16 other MPs. Surgeon Suzy Elneil and Sling The Mesh founder Kath Sansom are formal advisors.

July 2017 Parliamentary lobby for Sling The Mesh : MP Owen Smith said of the NHS England Mesh Review :  “Mesh injured women will be deeply disappointed by the outcomes of the final  NHS England Review, which seems to have made little progress since its interim report came out over a year ago.

This was an opportunity for the NHS to take a lead and recommend a pause in the use of mesh until we know precisely how many women have been adversely affected by the product. Instead, they appear content to allow mesh to be widely used despite growing, international concerns about its potential ill effects.
The only people pleased with this report will be the medical device companies who marketed mesh so diligently and who now fear mass litigation. Many companies have already taken their mesh
products off the market, that alone should tell us something is not right with these devices.”

Read our press statement here: July 25, 2017: Sling the Mesh statement following English working group report into mesh

July 18, 2017: A Parliamentary lobby was standing room only when MPs heard harrowing stories of how mesh has changed women’s lives  beyond recognition.

MP Owen Smith leads a Parliamentary debate into the controversial operation in September. He will also chair an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) into mesh.

Senior doctors called for a public inquiry saying it is as big as the thalidomide scandal – but with mesh you cannot see the injuries. Read the story from The Guardian and Cambs Times.

Owen Smith MP talks on BBC Good Morning Ulster calling for suspension of mesh implants to tie in with Scotland. Listen at 2:16.

Hernia mesh and vaginal mesh on the BBC Victoria Derbyshire Show. Monday 2 July 2017

Sling The Mesh campaigning to protect mums of the future.
Sling The Mesh campaigning to protect mums of the future.

Surgical mesh is made of polypropylene plastic which can shrink, twist, degrade and cut / erode into nearby tissues and organs causing chronic pain.

It is popular as it is a cheap and quick fix and takes less surgical skill than traditional, native tissue repairs.

It is used to treat incontinence, prolapse and hernias. It is a real fear that if surgeons continue to rely on mesh, traditional surgical skills will die out.

Research carried out by medics at Leicester, Newcastle and Ireland says surgeons are more likely to give women mesh implants because they don’t have the skills to do the tried and tested old fashioned / traditional repairs known as Burch or autologous slings. Read the review here .

Uro Today reports that “The future of surgical care depends on the research we do now. If we don`t address the current shortfalls catastrophic problems like falsified research outcome and bad quality implants and surgical techniques will destroy patients faith and make good techniques disappear.”

If natural repairs fail patient is back to square one. If mesh fails it is a ruined life.
If natural repairs fail patient is back to square one. If mesh fails it is a ruined life.

Sling The Mesh campaign is calling for: 

A full investigation and audit to be carried out into how many women have been adversely affected by vaginal mesh implants and tapes.


A mandatory independent National Register for all new medical devices so patients are  tracked for their lifetime.and problems and trends are picked up immediately.

Physiotherapy to be offered as standard for all new mums after giving birth.


Ensure databases take into account Patient Recorded Outcome Measures

Our aims

Mesh implants are maiming women globally.
Mesh implants are maiming women globally.

Women are calling for an operation with life-changing risks to be banned. If the NHS will not stop mesh altogether then we say it must be  pushed to the third and final option only after a non mesh surgery has failed.

In July 2018 incontinence mesh tapes were suspended across the UK pending the outcome of an independent safety review by  Baroness Julia Cumberlege.

In December 2017 vaginal prolapse mesh was banned.


In May 2017,  Scottish health secretary Shona Robison called for an independent expert to review an independent mesh safety report amid claims that the risks of mesh had been down-played The BBC reports here.

The English Mesh review came out in July 2017. It has been called a whitewash for missing out essential data and not looking at either the safety of the mesh or the way it is implanted.

Sling The Mesh campaign is  headed by regional newspaper journalist Kath Sansom, who had the mesh implant operation on the NHS in March 2015,  to fix problems caused by childbirth.

Following the 20 minute operation she was in agony with pains in her legs, feet and groin, which left her struggling to walk far. She was unable to use tampons due to severe internal burning and spasms caused by the plastic mesh. She has since had the implant removed by a specialist surgeon. Within a week the burning and spasms went alongside most of the leg and foot pain.

Social media has been the key to mesh injured women linking up globally.
Social media has been the key to mesh injured women linking up globally.

Kath discovered other support groups in the UK, America, Australia and Canada and found Facebook groups  with  thousands globally suffering.

Angry at realising she was unwittingly involved in a massive women’s medical disaster, Kath set up Sling The Mesh campaign. It was officially launched In June 2015, 10 weeks after her mesh implant operation.

Sling The Mesh Facebook group now has more than 7,200 members. For  other groups across the world see bottom of page for details.  In England alone, 126,000 mesh tape and mesh patches, have been used in the last 10 years.

Kath Sansom
Kath Sansom

The Mesh implants and tapes are used to fix incontinence or prolapse, often caused by natural childbirth. High impact training, which puts pressure on the pelvic floor, can also trigger problems.

Incontinence is a common problem for high performing athletes. Some suffer from the distressing condition of incontinence or prolapse due to joint hypermobility syndrome, others for no apparent reason, from a  young age.

Kath said:: “There are women in wheelchairs or walking with sticks because of this operation. Others with life-altering chronic pain, on cocktails of high dose medication. Many can no longer work, marriages have broken down and all for a 20 minute, day case operation that was supposed to improve their quality of life.

Lost sex lives

One in seven women in my campaign have lost their sex lives where the mesh has either cut into or inflamed their sensitive tissue. It becomes too painful to try to have personal relationships. Women say they feel as if they have been sexually neutered.

“Overnight I went from a super fit mum of teenagers who did boxing training twice a week, high board diving, swimming, mountain biking and dancing at gigs, to a physical wreck who could just about walk my dog round the park.”

Mesh kits

A TVT mesh Kit
A TVT mesh kit for incontinence

For the incontinence operation a surgeon implants a mesh tape sling.

It is known as a TVT,  TVTO or TOT which stands for tension free vaginal tape.

It can also be called a transvaginal mesh (TVM) or a mid urethral sling (MUS). It is inserted blindly using a set of hooks known as trocars.

For pelvic organ prolapse, surgeons insert a patch of mesh with arm-like pieces to attach it inside a woman’s body. Again using hooks. Vaginally placed prolapse mesh was effectively banned in December 21017 but the same plastic polypropylene material is still being implanted abdominally to support he same prolapse organs.

In the case of SUI mesh it is the only type of surgery we  know of that is performed “blind”. Other operations are performed open where a surgeon can see what they are doing, or using key hole techniques and a camera to guide them.

A pelvic organ prolapse mesh kit
A pelvic organ prolapse mesh kit

Traditional surgery

Traditional surgical fixes for incontinence take up to three hours followed by three to four nights in hospital.

One is called the Burch colposuspension, which is like a hitch and stitch.

Mesh implant surgery - patients are not fully informed of the risks.
Mesh implant surgery – patients are not fully informed of the risks.

The other is an autologous sling, which uses muscle from the stomach wall to make a natural sling.

The incontinence mesh operations take 20 minutes as a day case procedure.The money-saving motivation of mesh is real.


Campaigning by Scottish mums Olive McIlroy and Elaine Holmes, along with journalist Marion Scott, led to former Scottish Health Minister Alex Neill calling for a suspension of mesh implants in June 2014.

Scottish Mesh Survivors website
Scottish Mesh Survivors website

However, after a three year review, a final report was released on March 27, 2017, which says the suspension is lifted because it claims the implants are safe to use under guidance.

The review’s chairman, a clinician and two patient reps resigned amid whitewash claims.


Scottish campaigners have accused the independent review of being a whitewash
Scottish campaigners have accused the independent review of being a whitewash

Missing chapter

The Scottish Independent Review was published amid claims of a whitewash because a whole chapter on risks of this operation was omitted.

Plastic can shrink

No information was included on how the plastic polypropylene material can shrink, twist or degrade and leach toxins.

High risk

No mention was made of how prolapse mesh has been upgraded to a higher risk device in America nor a report included by the FDA – America’s health watchdog body – which says the trocars (hooks) to implant the mesh can cause injuries for up to 40% of women having prolapse mesh or 30% of women having mesh for incontinence. Read the report here.

On campaign groups globally we see women go from healthy lives to disabled - all because they were offered a quick fix using mesh.
On campaign groups globally we see women go from healthy lives to disabled – all because they were offered a quick fix using mesh.

Guesswork surgery

No mention was made in the Scottish Independent Review that this is the ONLY surgery performed blind. The plastic mesh tape sling is inserted by guesswork, a bit like touch typing.

Clean contaminated field

There was no mention in the review that the plastic is inserted through the clean, contaminated, surgical field of the vagina.  That means an area of good bacteria is invaded by a foreign body – a piece of plastic – where it can harbour bacteria causing lifelong urinary infections.

Lies, damn lies and statistics

The review does not explain the statistics used in a report published in the Lancet in 2016.

Disraeli: "There are lies, damned lies and there are statistics."
Disraeli: “There are lies, damned lies and there are statistics.”

The report claims mesh is low risk BUT it uses Hospital Episode Statistics, known as HES data. If a woman presents with a mesh complication to her GP but does not go to hospital for it then she is not included in the HES data. Women given antibiotics for constant water infections or given high doses of pain killers but not referred to hospital, for example, will not be included in the HES.

That means the figures of risk will be VASTLY under reported. Read the flawed study here

Bigger disaster since thalidomide

The mesh has caused so many health problems in Australia that some of the products were de-registered there in November 2014.

Senator Derryn Hinch is fighting vaginal mesh implants calling them the worst medical disaster for women since Thalidomide.

The scandal in the 50s and 60s saw babies born with deformed limbs after women were prescribed Thalidomide as a morning sickness drug with devastating complications.


In the USA more than 100,000 lawsuits have been filed from women who have suffered permanent disabilities .

Leading American surgeon Tom Margolis felt so strongly about the TVT product that he wrote to Scottish Parliament urging them to ban the operation, saying the use of the mesh : “Must stop immediately. The complications from this defective surgical theory and defective material far outweigh the potential benefits.”Read the letter:

Orange netting as mesh implant

The TVT mesh is one of many medical devices, including metal on metal hip implants and the disastrous PIP breast implants that used mattress grade silicone, that campaigners say are too easily approved for use.

The Times report
The Times report

In January 2015, a team of undercover scientists took a piece of fruit netting, used to package oranges, to a regulatory body in Austria and were on the brink of getting a CE Kitemark approval for it, to prove how lax the system is.

Read the full report in The Times.


Kath, whose girls are 14 and 20, decided to have a TVT mesh bladder sling after suffering what many mums are left with after childbirth – mild stress urinary incontinence. She was told it was a minimally invasive, relatively low risk, operation taking less than half an hour.

However, she has since found out what she thought was a body-friendly sling is made from polypropylene plastic mesh – the same material used to make drinks bottles .

Permanent implant

She said: “The mesh is harsh with rough edges as sharp as a razor blade and feels more like the sort of material you would find on a building site not the type of thing to be put near the most delicate area in a woman’s body.”

Removing mesh is like trying to get chewing gum out of matted hair.
Removing mesh is like trying to get chewing gum out of matted hair.

Once inserted the mesh takes about four to six weeks to knit into the tissues.

After that it is like trying to get chewing gum out of matted hair.

Unlike other implants, that are relatively easy to be removed if there are problems, vaginal mesh is designed to be permanent. Surgeons can put it in but those same surgeons cannot take it out if a woman presents with complications.

Living a new normal

There are only a few surgeons in the world who can successfully remove it. Kath had her mesh sling removed by Natalia Price in Oxford in October 2015 and although quality of life has improved she is adjusting to a new normal.

She can no longer put impact on her legs. Even the shortest run, skip or jump will put her on pain medication for days. Before mesh she planned to cycle Snowdon’s gruelling Marin Trail. Now she can cycle for about 10 minutes on flat ground before leg pain kicks in.

Many mesh injured women survive on a cocktail of pain killers.
Many mesh injured women survive on a cocktail of pain killers.

“I was not told that I may suffer horrible leg and pelvic pains or that I would feel like I was being cut by cheese wire inside my body.

“I was not told that this was a permanent device. Some women are on pain killers for life, suffer bloating from the inflammation and go on to develop auto immune diseases like fibromyalgia.

“There are online support forums across the globe with tales of women suffering and crying out for help. When it goes wrong it goes spectacularly wrong and it is not a risk worth taking.

“Few surgeons give women fully informed consent; risks are not properly explained,” she said. “In the world of mesh removals I’ve had a good recovery compared to many others, but even my health has been compromised. None of us ever go back to what we were.”

Human guinea pigs

Woman are the human guinea pigs for a product that was launched on the market in 1996 having only been tested in a few dogs, sheep and rabbits, who cannot speak of crippling pain or lost sex lives.

Women are human guinea pigs. Image: Michelle Deyna-Hayward.
Women are human guinea pigs. Image: Michelle Deyna-Hayward.

Those who support mesh say it is one of the most studied operations in the world.

However, most of those studies are either short term or are run by biased medics, who have previously or still have financial interests within the medical device industry.

Alternatively, they use flawed statistics such as Hospital Episode Statistics (HES).

The HES only record if a woman has been treated for her complications in hospital and does not take into account women suffering pain going back and forth to their GP.


Bias in medical studies unravelled itself in the 2015 Cochrane Review into mesh which looked at 81 different reports.

Out of those 81 , only two were at a low risk of bias. A total of 13 were high risk and the other 66 were unclear.

Read more about the mesh Cochrane Review

Jeremy Vine Show

Sling The Mesh featured on The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 for the lunchtime medical slot which was guest hosted by BBC media editor, Amol Rajan, and GP Sarah Jarvis. Monday January 23, 2017 at 1pm.  Listen here

Sky News

When the campaign launched in 2015 it was featured on Sky News with reporter Charlotte Lomas-Farley.

Sling The Mesh logo with thanks to artist Michelle Deyna- Hayward.
Sling The Mesh logo with thanks to artist Michelle Deyna- Hayward.


AMERICA Dr Raz explains why he will not use mesh implants.

AUSTRALIA Senator Derryn Hinch backs campaigners who are calling for the surgery to stop.

BELGIUM Women have joined forces to fight mesh implants 

CANADA Campaigners are desperate for their voices to be head amid a backdrop of legal cases suing for being maimed.

DENMARK  Doctors advised to call in Danish women who received synthetic mesh implants 

FINLAND Women in a Facebook support group.

ISRAEL  The legal cases are ongoing in Israel.

NEW ZEALAND  Just one of many women suffering after a mesh implant.

NORTHERN IRELAND  Women are fighting to be transferred to England for mesh removal with a specialist who can remove mesh implants if they have complications because nobody in Ireland can do it. So far nobody is listening. to them.

SCOTLAND The eyes of the world are on Scotland where politically they are leading the way by being the first to take the fight to Parliament. An independent review reinstated mesh implants in March 2017 amid claims of a whitewash. Campaigners are now looking into launching a legal challenge.


119 thoughts on “What is the campaign about?

  1. Just how many women had been refused a referral when things went wrong after this surgery, and how many patients records were destroyed. Was any patient told that if things went wrong that these medical devices could not be removed. They are not fit for the purpose and should be removed from the market.

  2. Hi’ ive recently had a complete mesh removal and would like to get involved with this campaign if possible? Sandra

  3. I underwent the operation to have the mesh sling fitted in feb 2013,i have had various problems since then but not realizing it was possibly due to this device untill i read Kaths article in our local paper.
    I have problems with my legs and hands as if in stinging nettles,horrible,
    This operation must be stopped and a new procedure found to help those suffering with incontnence.

  4. I had a vaginal repair with mesh in 2007 and my body started to reject it straightaway but the surgeon refused to take it out until 7 months later by which time my body had grown over it so therefore only a small amount of the mesh was removed and I still have mesh inside my body. The surgeon said there was nothing more he could do for me so I was sent to a pain consultant who told me to go home and live on morphine for the rest of my life and I have been in chronic pain ever since and I take strong painkillers daily. I was told by the surgeon that this was a fantastic new operation and that a expert from Belgium was coming over to assist him but I found out later that the expert from Belgium was not an expert consultant but he was a representative from the mesh company. These operations have to stop.

  5. I know that the comments are about TVT but mesh is used for internal prolapse of rectum. Also used in hernia repair. I had this done for a small internal prolapse of the rectum which resulted in life threatening results and multiple surgeries since. The mesh eroded through rectum and destroyed it, and caused ischemia to the sigmoid colon, I then waited three days before going to theatre as it was thought no problem with the mesh, only to find that the mesh had damaged the left side of the bowel and I had to have a permanent stoma and a trip to ITU. This was explained to me a minor surgery with little to no complications. So far the mesh continues to cause pain and is still eroding through the vaginal wall and twice has been removed surgically. I have been told that at present the bladder has not been effected and no guarantees that in the future more of the mesh will erode through and need more surgery. If you cannot remove the mesh and little can be done and when it does go wrong catastrophically then it should have been more robustly tested and as a company is making vast amounts of money this should not be allowed. I think there have been enough article’s etc. to make some one within the health department to sit up and take notice and ban this mesh from use. Its has wrecked my life and continues to do so and medicine has little sympathy and you are made to feel you are making a mountain out of a mole hill.

  6. I have had tvt op it’s run ed my life I have no control over my bladder and wear big pads wet myself all day and suffer with pain..its awful

  7. Hi Sandra, can you please tell me where you had the mesh removed and which surgeon operated on you. Has the pain totally gone?

  8. I had the TVT operation last August and it didn’t go yo plan. To start with the surgeon nipped a blood vessel during the operation and the only way to stop the bleed was to put a lot of pressure on the pelvic area for 20 minutes. This caused severe internal bruising and 3 days in hospital rather than 1. Once home, I was signed off work for a month but I continuously felt like I had a water infection. In October I had a Cystoscopy where it was discovered that I had mesh inside of my bladder. In February this year, after 6 months of pain and discomfort, I had another operation to remove this mesh. I was told by the surgeon that carried out this operation that I had 7cm of mesh inside my bladder and that it had been there since my first operation. The mesh had not eroded in, it had been wrongly inserted into my bladder. Looking back, with all of the problems that I have had and not forgetting the 2 operations and 2 cystoscopies, I probably would not gave gone ahead. I am a lot better now but just hope that I have no further complications.

    Jane (Bristol)

  9. I went in for a TVT procedure this month. When I came round from the op I was in severe pain on my right side, fluid started leaking from the stitches in the front where they had stitched the tape, I then had blood in my bladder so was rushed back into theatre to have the tape removed as it had damaged my bladder. I have lots of stitches internally and bruising. My surgeon wants to try the op again in 4 weeks but after reading the article in Daily Mail, 7th July, I will certainly not be going in again! Why are they still proformimg this op when things can go so badly wrong? Feel very angry that I have suffered all the pain with no gain and then found out I my have had lucky escape!

  10. I had a TVT operation done by Dr Peaty about 13 years ago it changed my life for the better. I could enjoy all the things I loved doing afterwards with absolutely no leakage. I had absolutely no pain then or since. Not all these operations are failures.

  11. I just happened to come across all the bad information re the Mesh, i’ve had problems from the first day of having the operation in 2007, the day I came home I had a problem sitting down I felt like I was being ripped on my left side inside my vagina everytime I sat down, i went back the following day to have it checked for the consultant to say that he had stiched my skin and it was pulling so he very kindly took a pair of scissors and cut something, you can imagine the pain! all he said then nothing to worry about all will be fine. I have never from that day ever had one single follow up appointment. After the operation my Labido disapeared and has never returned its like someone suddenly switched the switch off and said “thats it no sex for the rest of your life” and im still really painful inside, I miss the relationship i had with my husband so much, he has been so patient all these years, the times i have been to my doctor trying to explain things and being told all looks ok and its prob the coil that the consultant put in at the same time as the operation, I have since had the coil removed, 2 years ago, and hey ho im still exactly the same. I went online today and typed in TVT and was shocked to find all the horrible stories relating to the mesh, and there was me thinking I was alone suffering from this. I was not warned of any of the side effects before hand, if I had I would not have had the operation, my life has been ruined, and my relationship with my husband.

  12. Hi, I had posterior vaginal repair (rectocele) with mesh in 2009. I get pain when opening my bowels and pain in legs when I walk too far. Since the operation I have become ill with what my Dr says is Fibromyalgia, I also have developed autoimmune hypothyroidism. I have many on going symptoms, could they be a reaction to the mesh?
    It was not explained to me at all pre op, though on getting a copy of my notes it states in the Drs letter to my GP that the possibility of erosion etc was fully explained to me!

  13. Hi doreen sorry to hear of your experience im fom australia and have similar problems can i ask what mesh you had mine is tfs the one that has been deregisterd in australia apparently its still being used in other countries

  14. Hi I am shaking reading these comments. I had my op in 2011, I was made to feel it was the gold standard treatment. I was passing out with the pain when I came round, they sent me home after a couple of days and yet I was still loosing so much blood. I have been in for 3 surgeries since after it eroded through my bladder, for my last surgery I was cut from the top of my tummy to my pelvic bone and they still couldn’t remove it all, they said it would do me more harm than good if they tried to get it all out including the anchors. I cannot believe surgeons are putting this mesh into women knowing what the outcome for the majority of us is.

  15. Hi I am looking for a surgeon in the UK to remove the mesh. Has anyone had this done? Was it successful ? Please advise as I am desperate .

  16. I had a tvt-o sling operation in July 2015. I was not fully informed by the gyno. I was rushed into making the decision. I went to see him for a completely different reason that was causing me so much pain I couldn’t think straight. Since day 1 I have had problems. There are NO urogyno’s or gyno’s in Australia who are able to do a full removal. Many Australia women are suffering because of having a mesh surgery. Australian women are left with no choice but to use all their life savings to travel to America for a $40,000us operation. Most of us have no life savings so we are completely helpless. The TGA says not enough evidence, The supplier says it’s the person (gyno, urogyno) perfoming the operation not enough experience. RAnzog says gyno, urogyno suppose to inform patient and careful patient selection. They are all pointing fingers and avoiding the real problem, that women are suffering, lives are destroyed for what….

  17. Sandra, just read you had mesh removal. I have seen sohier elneil in london a few tomes. The last visit was for laparoscopic procedure to see what was going on. I had mesh inserted for POP 3 years ago. It has not worked only made things worse. Just wondered if you had Ms Elneil for your removal. I sincerely hope you are keeping well

    kind regards, Sandra

  18. Hi Jenny, my experience is very similar to yours so o do sympathise with you.

    How is your bladder now, is it back to normal?


  19. My bladder is fine but I have recently found out after going to the hospital for something else that they actually put the tape through my bladder. I am really upset as on the day the surgeon told me it was caused by a spike of the tape puncturing it. I was also told that there’s no way it could of been missed if it was checked properly after fitting. I know there is a risk with this operation but feel they have been negligent and lied to cover their backs. Not sure whether to complain to hospital or just sue which is not something I would normally even consider. Hope you recover well but ask to see copies of your notes as it sounds like they put it through your bladder too?

  20. I have had my mesh removed by Natalia Price and although still recovering (12 weeks) am much better and rarely take pain killers. I would also like to become involved with any campaign to ban the tvt mesh.

  21. Hi kath,
    I saw your interview on sky news, I am a 45 year old male that had an umbilical hernia repair with the use of mesh in 2010, from October last year I started to get unbelievable pain on right side, I was rushed to hospital with suspected appendicitis, I was scanned and proved not the case, since then I have endured two colonoscopy sand various tests, all proven ok.
    I have been in touch with surgeon in the US who removes said mesh for pain. Dr Kevin Peterson.
    I can not get any dr in the UK to believe me or understand the daily pain I am in.
    If you know of any more information I can obtain it would be much appreciated.
    Also if I can support your campaign in any way please let me know.


  22. After going to my Urogynecologist having an exam and Urodynamic testing I was told at the next appt. that I had stress incontinence and would need to have a TVT procedure with mesh and was told it is a 30 min. operation with minor complications. When I started to ask more questions than the dr. wanted to hear, she was noticeably irritated and said that she had some patients who came back and needed an adjustment with the tape and further surgery. After reading much about this tvt procedure I called the office to cancel the surgery and opt for physiotherapy and very happy that I did since we all know our own bodies and don’t wish to make things worse.

  23. A friend of mine gave me the article today that was published in Real People Magazine regarding “Curse of a cure”. I have suffered with my bladder for many years, stress incontinence and urgency. I have been under the care of the hospital trying many things first, like change of lifestyle, less caffine, pelvic floor exercises etc. which made no difference. I had TVT surgery May 2016 which I thought at first was a success in terms of coughing with no leakage etc. but then when I was well enough to resume relations with my partner, I cut him and intercourse was painful for us both. At first I thought my coil had been moved during surgery, so went and had a coil check with the nurse. That appeared to be ok, so she sent me to the doctor, who could feel something “rough”, and sent me for a pelvic scan. Again the coil was in place. I then googled post op complications of TVT surgery and realised that I had every symptom that I was reading from other women… groin pain, painful sex, injured partner etc. I contacted the surgeon secretary and explained and she got me to see the surgeon the next day. On examination the surgeons words were “OH”. She then informed me that id need further surgery, which I had at the end of July, to cut away the middle section of mesh as it was exposed through my flesh. She did this and as there was now no support under my bladder she stitched around my bladder pipe to see how that would work. But its not worked, I examined myself towards the end of August and to my horror discovered that the mesh was exposed again, worse than the first time. So I am seeing my surgeon in 2 days time to see whats next. I presume she is going to remove the mesh and do the surgery via bikini line cut and use skin graft from my stomach to go under my bladder, which was an option originally, but I decided against that as I was told TVT was less invasive and quicker recovery. My relationship is now over, (for other reasons) but the thought of my sex life being taken from me at the young age of 49 is awful, and the pain I get, when standing, walking, sitting etc is unbareable. I have been off work ages and now worrying about my financial situation as well as my mental health, depression and everything else that’s gone wrong – I really would not recommend TVT mesh surgery to anyone.

  24. Hi Jane, my name is Pat and I’m from Bristol. I am going through the similar problems you have after the op and would like to discus this more. If you would like to talk please contact me for my number. Would be much appreciated. Many thanks Pat

  25. Thank you for highlighting this issue, I wasn’t aware of the risks of this operation. It makes me so angry that women are treated this way. So many stories of people being left in pain to “give it time to settle” or some other rubbish. Why are life changing symptoms just dismissed? Why aren’t these women’s voices heard?

  26. I had my prolapse operation January this year using mesh,4 mths later i start with stress incontinence and the prolapse came down once again then a mth later my bladder became a major problem. Then last week I started to suffer knife like sharpness inside my vaginally and couldn’t sit down,it was agony! I went to the Dr’s and was treated for a water infection,today has been horrendous as I feeL so sore down below &smarting too! I used a mirror to have a look and was shocked to see a piece of flesh hanging down between my vagina and my rectum! It’s as if they’d cut my perenium and now I’m so scared what’s happening to me!

  27. Hi Debbie, how are you now, did you have you autologous skin graft sling surgery?

  28. Yes i am suffering. My operation was in August 2016 and trying to get an appointment as quickly as possible.

  29. Have had hysterectomy when I was 40. I am now 65. In the last few years I had prolapse operation which only lasted a couple of years. Was recommended mesh as this would be stronger, a front wall op. Was worse afterwards in bad pain could hardly walk. Was then told my Back wall was needing done. Which Doc said it was not there when he did front wall. I find this hard to believe. I was even worse after this op, was in really in bad pain and had 2 haematome. I now have bowel incontinence. And still am very uncomfortable walking. Have been told there is nothing they can do. I am on Amotriptoline for scar tissue and nerve damage.

  30. I have developed serious problems after I hav had a bladderl lift operation done at the same time as my hysterectomy in 1999. I started to develop chronic UTI’s and vaginitis. My body became allergic to all NSAD painkillers as well as paracetamol , some antibiotics such as penicillin and other things such as dust, mould, grass, gluten and dairy. I have never had any allergies as a child and have been healthy. My body started to really play up with pain in my muscles and joints. Injuries would not heal and I started to get growths in my sinuses, vagina and developed kidney cancer. I have all the symptoms and has not have had an intemet relationship with my hubby for more than 10 years. I have unbairable Pelvic pain and are very tired. A 13 – 15 cm mesh was removed from my female fault area early in December 2015 after by a gynochologist. It has eroded through my cervix and eaten away the neck of my vagina. Since I have had a partial nephrectomy of my right kidney but am in a lot of pain still as it is taking a long time to heal. I am on chronic antibiotics for my immune system is playing up and different infections and inflammation prevents me from stop using it as it becomes worst then. To the point that I have been diagnosed at one point with the resistant MRSA bacteria or super bug. All the use of antibiotics has killed off my good bacteria and I struggle permanently with vaginal thrush and gut problems. Mine is ongoing. I have had my op done in South Africa and lives in Australia now … just don’t know if any one can give advice on if there is a class action in South Africa going or what the chance is that there is an international action?

  31. I’ve had the mesh surgically removed, after dilation (stretching) failed, and an attempt to cut the tape to remove the pressure found that the tape was not in the place it was meant to be. It turned out that my tape had been place too high and too tight, resulting in the need for very painful self catharsis, I was left unable to pass wee and constant pain.
    The removal of the tape has improved my ability to void, but the pain is worse than ever. I cannot stand or walk for more than a few minutes, I have a patchwork Vagina, permanent nerve damage and swelling internally and external. I will never have sex again.
    I am now due operation no 5, having finally found help at UCLH London an MRI revealed that a piece of tape had eroded into my urethra and was not removed in the last surgery. I have been warned that this surgery may leave my bladder unstable and further surgery is likely. I also had to undergo a hernia repair in my bowel, but that has failed and I will require another op to correct.
    I am pursuing the original urologist for damages, he has finally made an offer of settlement but it doesn’t go anywhere near covering my losses.
    I have not been able to take my children out, watch them play sports, enjoy anytime with them that would require me to stand or walk for more than a few minutes.
    I have been working throughout, but had to give up the job I loved after that first op as I physically couldn’t do it. I then went to work in an office, but the stress and worry of operation no 5, got to me and I had a mental breakdown resulting in my being left with real financial hardship, and still the prospect of surgery no 5, the possibility of no 6, and another op to repair the failed hernia.
    I was a fit and healthy mum of 3, I played league netball twice a week, worked as an education assistant on a farm, l had the occasional Tena moment but it was not a problem…. My problems started in 2013, when I had a nasty cough that caused me to leak, I noticed blood in my wee, so went to my GP who referred me to a urologist. He found that I had polyps in my bladder, nothing to worry about he said…. but he said that the leaking would only get worse as I got older. He told me about a simple procedure that would fix it all. God if only I could turn back time, I would never have had the TVT. My life has been ruined. My body has been wrecked and now my mental wellbeing is in a very fragile place.
    I would really like to join your campaign.

  32. Can I ask you; How long did you have your mesh inside? How are things going with you now? I’m thinkibg about leaking, work, sexual life…

  33. I had my TVT implanted in Belfast in 2005 when I was 36. I was told it was a fantastic new simple procedure and the gold standard. I was never told of any possible complications and who was I to question a consultant? 12 years later I had to fly to Oxford and pay to have this rubbish removed from my body. I didn’t have mesh erosion or infection but i was in constant chronic pain and found walking nearly unbearable towards the end. For 10 years I never made the connection to the TVT but after seeing various specialists and having all the usual tests (MRI and X-ray) I came across kaths article in one of the papers. I couldn’t believe it. I tried to get someone to listen to me about it over here but it got me nowhere. I was fortunate that I was able to borrow the Money to fund my removal. I couldn’t face another year of the pain and misery. I feel so sorry for all the women who have been fobbed off, lied to and patronised by some of these so called experts. Yea, there are women who so far have had no issues with this mesh but complications can happen years down the line. As far as I’m concerned even one woman harmed should be enough to stop this procedure

  34. I have been reading all these stories with complete horror.
    I have had 7 big babies and noticed my bladder issues are getting worse as time goes on.
    I had the tests and was advised I could get the sling done any time I wished but wouldnt be able to continue my job (which involves heavy lifting)
    Its got to the point that I want my problems fixed but aside from the sling (which I now would seriously reconsider!) What other options are there for women who suffer these problems?
    If this was happening to men then it would be an outrage. 🙁

  35. Hi Lorraine, Just read about what happened to you & it sounds very similar to me. Can I ask if you had your operation with keyhole surgery ? I had this done & my surgeon keeps telling me I’m the only person he’s done this procedure on thats having so much pain. I had my op done in June 2016. Many thanks if you get to read this x

  36. Hi I had tvt done in Cape Town in Feb and my surgeon has already suggested i have it removed as my body has had a reaction to the mesh. i am now looking for a surgeon to remove the mesh if you know one please let me know, i am looking at travelling to the UK to have it removed.

  37. My problem is not with the vaginal sling, but with mesh used to repair small hernia. Is there a support group for this? I am currently sueing the hospital as op ruined my life. Constant pain, cannot walk or stand for more than a few minutes, even with strong painkillers.15 months of this. Life is not worth living.

  38. I have suffered for nearly 12 years with these implants.
    2004, difficult birth of my son
    2005 – TOT fitted, failed
    2006 – TOT fitted, failed
    2007 – TVT fitted.
    2014 (approx), severe pains, in groin, recurring bladder infections.
    2015- after many trips to doctors had scan to reveal mesh failure and a large sone on my bladder. Removed 28th May 2015
    28th October 2016 – attempt to remove all 3 meshes, reconstructive surgery on my urethra. This left me severely incontinent and I barely left the house for over 5 months.
    13th April – sling made from my own tissue, failed
    Awaiting OP for bulking agent and repair of Bladder prolapse.
    I also have mesh left attached to my bone, which gives me constant pain in my groin and leg.

    This has completely ruined mine and my family’s life.

  39. Oh my god I can’t believe it …i have suffered since having the tvt .i can feel it now ..i have sore eyes I’ve had operations due to bleeding and pain full sex ..pain In right leg …i can’t have a relationship

  40. I had a hysterectomy and sling implant back in 2012. The 2 ops where performed together causing greater risk of voiding. (I was not told this) At no time was I made aware of the risks involved in the mesh procedure. I was left with a prolapse urethra and bowel, pain in my pelvis (which I still have today)and was unable to void for 8 months.I suffered severe UTI’s approx. every 2 wks. I decided to get a second opinion and after various scans was told that my bladder was only half emptying. I under went further surgery to have the sling divided. This helped somewhat but I still get UTI’s and have to strain to empty my bladder/bowel.This has caused my bowel/urethra to prolapse further.
    I can honestly say that I have not felt well since having this sling implant.

    I now run the risks of Mesh corrosion and mesh shrinkage.

    I have spent the last 3.5yrs suing the NHS. This year I was made an offer of settlement, which will not cover the costs for future surgery. Having said this, it has made me feel that I am fighting the cause for Women!

    ‘Ditch the Sling’ Yes please! It was encouraging to see this highlighted in the tabloids recently and that more woman are suing for this barbaric implant!

  41. Also from south africa had a supris sling from coloplast done 2015, since then just problems and more incontinence

  42. More than ten years ago, after my second prolapse was repaired, I was told that if I had a further prolapse, I would be given a mesh implant. I did not like the idea then and when I had my third prolapse this year I was told I would be having the mess implant. I refused this operation. I am still waiting for a different method of repair. I always wondered did I really need a hysterectomy all those years ago.

  43. I have been heavily affected.
    I have developed serious problems after I hav had a bladderl lift operation done at the same time as my hysterectomy in 1999. I started to develop chronic UTI’s and vaginitis. My body became allergic to all NSAD painkillers as well as paracetamol , some antibiotics such as penicillin and other things such as dust, mould, grass, gluten and dairy. I have never had any allergies as a child and have been healthy. My body started to really play up with pain in my muscles and joints. Injuries would not heal and I started to get growths in my sinuses, vagina and developed kidney cancer. I have all the symptoms and has not have had an intemet relationship with my hubby for more than 10 years. I have unbairable Pelvic pain and are very tired. A 13 – 15 cm mesh was removed from my female fault area early in December 2015 after by a gynochologist. It has eroded through my cervix and eaten away the neck of my vagina. Since I have had a partial nephrectomy of my right kidney but am in a lot of pain still as it is taking a long time to heal. I am on chronic antibiotics for my immune system is playing up and different infections and inflammation prevents me from stop using it as it becomes worst then. To the point that I have been diagnosed at one point with the resistant MRSA bacteria or super bug. All the use of antibiotics has killed off my good bacteria and I struggle permanently with vaginal thrush and gut problems. It is ongoing and I fear I have some arthritis niw as well.

  44. Brenda we need to get a class action together like Australia, USA and U.K. If interested please email me at: laeticia_muller@hotmail.com it seems other countries are way ahead of RSA and have given the women way more support!

  45. Has anyone in Scotland had the tape successfully removed?
    Mine has eroded into my urethra and i have been referred to a consultant in Glasgow named Karen Guerrero..only info i can find about her is that she supports the use of these implants and that she has had financial involvement with the manufacturers..
    This does not instill confidence and i am really worried having heard how difficult it is to remove this tape .
    Also does anyone know of a lawyer to contact with a view to suing either NHS and/or the manufacturers?
    thank you and if you care to get in touch please email me…

  46. Hi I am due to have TOT removed and I am stressing…Are there any success stories please?

  47. Hi ..I’ve just read this page and I’m sat here I’m utter shock .ive have had two prolapse repairs and a hernia repair with mesh .the last in 2001. I am in constant pain ,I have severe adhesions in my abdomen and have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia among other things ..how do I go about finding out if the mesh used is to blame ? I live in Wales uk .

  48. Good day, in my case the tape eroded through the cervix and eroded away some of the vagina – was removers (without operation and anaesthetics) in the gynochologist surgery. I never new my ailment were caused by the tape,the list is extensive. Including kidney cancer, allergies, auto immune problems,inflation An infections (chronic) all types sinus, chest, back and other soft tissue, vaginal and UTI leading to pain pain and pain. But mine came out in one piece. I think the tape is easier to remove than the mesh as the mesh allows flesh to grow through it and becomes part of tissue which makes it worst to get out. Don’t know when, if at all my problems will end. On 18 months unpaid sick leave from school where I teach.im very weak at times and tired. Allergic to penicillin, painkillers, iodine and food like gluten and dairy. I’m not surprise any more when I discover an allergic reaction… all due to this foreign material that my body tried to reject and damaged me internally,physically, emotionally and socially. My hands are tied as my operation was performed in South Africa and no one wants to take my legal case for there is no hospital records – it was destroyed after 5 years it is now 15 years later. Australia and America have class actions against Johnson and Johnson but neither want to take me on … even tough it was removed here in Australia. All that I can say to you is Stay Strong!!!! My faith has pulled me through and makes my struggling bare able.

  49. I had my mesh fitting in 1999 and I was a fit 40 year old with prolapses of all sorts but only a dribble of wetting myself. I had problems straight away was getting blisters inside me where it was fitted and then had to have injections inside me as to painful to have sex. Then had water infection for 6 month until I learnt to rock back and forth to go a toilet. Then that same year I had a smear and it change and had to have some of the neck of my womb taken out. As time went on went into have my bladder looked into many times due to infections. In 2004 or 2005 my gynaecologist left the hospital and I had a new one who didn’t know much at all about the sling mesh. I was constantly going to her in pain and very sore inside and it was like sitting on a hard pencil. she put me on antibiotics or months which didn’t work and then took me to see their top gynaecologist in the hospital who felt the piece of mesh that was protruding out of me and very painful to touch. She then said she had someone who could remove that bit, but instead of removing it he pushed it back inside me. I sought out the gynaecologist who first fitted the mesh and he said not to have it removed or touched as no one knew enough about it to remove it where I lived in Essex. I said it’s to late it been pushed back up and he looked in my bladder and it was there but it came down right to my urethra and it is now so sore and the whole of my left side is sore inside and out and it’s like sitting on wire. I can’t walk well without a stick and I am now under ms o’eneil who did a special ultrasound to see where the mesh is and it’s been put back to high and in the wrong place near my groin hence now problem walking sitting , can’t have sex and my bowel is so badly prolapse that it presses on the mesh in me causing my more pain . Constant pain and cry all the time and have put weigh on due to getting down. I use to do mountains and long distance walking before this, now hopple with two sticks in al lot of pain . So scared of having this mesh out as my health isn’t great anymore since this evil thing was put inside me.

  50. Has anyone had a problem with TOT tape. Since 2007 when it was inserted I have had terrible pain. Sometimes a night I cry like a baby. Just moved to a village and registered with a new GP who has diagnosed nerve compression in Alcocks canal. He is going to try a nerve block. Has anybody else suffered like me. Kathleen S

  51. Yes! I have developed serious problems after I hav had a bladderl lift operation done at the same time as my hysterectomy in 1999. I started to develop chronic UTI’s and vaginitis. My body became allergic to all NSAD painkillers as well as paracetamol , some antibiotics such as penicillin and other things such as dust, mould, grass, gluten and dairy. I have never had any allergies as a child and have been healthy. My body started to really play up with pain in my muscles and joints. Injuries would not heal and I started to get growths in my sinuses, vagina and developed kidney cancer. I have all the symptoms and has not have had an intemet relationship with my hubby for more than 10 years. I have unbairable Pelvic pain and are very tired. A 13 – 15 cm mesh was removed from my female fault area early in December 2015 after by a gynochologist. It has eroded through my cervix and eaten away the neck of my vagina. Since I have had a partial nephrectomy of my right kidney but am in a lot of pain still as it is taking a long time to heal. I am on chronic antibiotics for my immune system is playing up and different infections and inflammation prevents me from stop using it as it becomes worst then. To the point that I have been diagnosed at one point with the resistant MRSA bacteria or super bug. All the use of antibiotics has killed off my good bacteria and I struggle permanently with vaginal thrush and gut problems. All this because of the tvt tape

  52. Yes I am from south africa had a supris sling from coloplast,now ended up with bladder reflux,constipation,more incontinent than ever before,low destrutor capacity its painfull at sexual intercourse problems just continue endinglesd

  53. Class actions has been filed against Johnson and Johnson in Australia, UK and USA. We need to find 10 or more to do the same in South Africa

  54. We need any adverse listings or complications regarding these mesh bladder slings in south africa please share and help

  55. I have had TVT mesh since 1999 and awaiting for Ms E’ Neil to remove it . I had problems right from the start would get a blister with pus and then had to have injections inside me as sex was to painful and then I got cystitis for 6 months and lived off antibiotics. Later that year my cells change below and I had to have some of my womb lasered away . My sex was very painful and had lots of checks on my bladder due to pain. Then had to have my womb done with the thing that seals it as my periods were very heavy and they didn’t want to remove it. Then later on my mesh started to erode out of my body and it was like sitting on a hard pencil. My gynaecologist had left my hospital and the new one I had didn’t know what it was it took several years of keep going to the hospital and getting some answers before she took me to see her head gynaecologist and he said it was the mesh and he had removed some from a woman the day before and it took a long time to remove a small piece. she then said she had someone who would remove it so I trusted her. I had the op and instead of removing it he stuck it back inside me. Since 2013 I have had this infected mesh pushed even high and not in the right place stuck back in me. I am now under Ms Eneil and she did me a special untrasound scan and it shows the mesh has been placed to high and now I have problems walking as loads of groin pain and leg pain. I also have lots of infections and sinus problem and chest infections and my joints and so painful and I think it is the mesh that done this. I am now waiting to have this out but very scared. THEY HAVE TO STOP PUTTING THIS IN PEOPLE

  56. No I live in UK and seeing Ms E Neil in London Tvt Sling one of the first in Essex and 12 Consultants watch it on a Sat morning in 1999 even then didn’t know I was being a Guinea Pig.

  57. Hi everyone, Like many of you, I am sat here in shock reading my life!
    I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome type 3 which is a hypermobility type and suffered with 6 hernias since I was very young. In 2009 I had my first mesh surgery on both sides of my groin – well that ruined my life completely! I couldn’t attend school (15 at the time) lost out on most of my GCSE’s, pumped full of drugs, referred to psychologists saying it was in my head, I’d pass out in pain, cry myself to sleep, couldn’t walk, was wheelchair bound (I still use a wheelchair every now and again now because of the EDS) the mesh has just been the most horrendous thing! This year I had surgery to ‘trim’ the mesh as it was interfering with the femoral nerve but it’s still painful now. If they remove the mesh I’ll have another hernia, if they leave the mesh it’ll probably rip out eventually and just cause continuous pain, catch 22. I just saw the ITV evening news of the campaign and I want in!!!! I was told years ago to sue my hospital for ruining my life and didn’t because I didn’t want the bitter feelings to continue, but am I in my right to?
    I’m at a loss!
    Sorry for rambling, I was only going to type a few sentences!!
    Take care everyone.
    Jen x

  58. Hallo there will you be interested in joining a class action against Johnson and Johnson?

  59. Hallo there will you be interested in joining a class action against Johnson and Johnson?

  60. Hi Kathleen, I had the TOT in 2010 and in the last 3 years suffered from chronic UTIs (or that’s what they say) and recently started getting severe pain in my lower abdomen

  61. Hi jackiedee,do you recommend having the mesh removed mine eroded the wall of my vagina they stitched the skin over it .It remains in place but has no use as I remain incontinent

  62. Had a TVT at the age of 25 which I have now been told by 3 separate consultants is unheard of. I wasn’t given another option at the time and didn’t realise the consequences. I’m now 38 and After years of pain the mesh eroded into my vagina and was causing my many infections. I also had urge incontinance caused by the tape being too tight. After having the tape removed I was left with stress/ urge incontinance that is worse than ever. I have had many rounds of Botox that haven’t worked and I’m about to have sacral nerve stimulation as my last chance before a clam cystoplasty which is major surgery, all this before I have even gotten to treating the stress incontinance! Hopefully I will get there and I hope everyone else in this position finally gets some relief and answers

  63. My name is Barbara. I’m from Ireland. I suffered from this in 2010, and have been suffering ever since. I need to have it removed, but I have to fund it myself. If anybody can reply, with info on how to join your organisation. I’m not on Facebook, but I can provide email and phone number.

  64. I wanted to send this to the Sling the Mesh Campaign via email, but couldn’t find one – because this is a lot of information.

    I had my surgery in 2006 in the UK. I’m still suffering despite at least 4 subsequent surgeries to address problems with the tape/ remove it. A firm of UK solicitors recently advised me that I am unable to pursue a claim under English Law because I am statute barred from proceeding against the manufacturers regardless of when I first knew there was a problem with the tape, because the 10 year limitation period runs from the date that the vaginal tape was delivered to the hospital, not from when I became aware that my problems were due to the tape.

    In the USA, lawyers are taking on cases for women, who had the tape fitted from 2005. This is because USA law does not have the same statute limitation period and on the basis that in 2004 a leaked email to drug reps and surgeons from a manufacturer (Efficon a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson) stated that there is major damage linked to the tape, which won’t go away. They knew the mesh contracts and disintegrates. 20.7% of women have mesh erosion after 1 year. (Paraphrased from May 2017 Victoria Derbyshire programme)

    I’ve written to Owen Smith MP (and my constituency MP) outlining my case and because I believe the following issues should be addressed regarding a parliamentary debate in the UK and the Sling the Mesh Campaign to ensure women who have been injured and their lives ruined by these implants can get justice: –

    1) The UK ten-year statute of limitations re: a product liability claim should be waived in cases of vaginal mesh to bring it in line with class actions pending in for e.g. USA – particularly in view of the leaked 2004 memo, and that many women don’t get symptoms for many years, and that adequate records have not been kept by Consultants/ NHS etc of the numbers of women affected by complications. Indeed Northern Ireland is currently undertaking an audit to attempt to establish how many women have been affected. I believe that there is a case for amending the UK 10 year statute limitation for women who have had vaginal mesh fitted, in order that they can seek justice and compensation for their considerable financial losses as a result of loosing their careers, jobs, marriages, and homes.

    2) The UK statute of limitations should also be waived in cases of vaginal mesh re: claims against the NHS and private Consultants re: lack of valid patient consent.

    3) Due to the intimate nature of the complications many women, including myself have not been aware of the developments in the last few years re: issues with vaginal mesh complications. Therefore in the UK we have missed our chance to get compensation for our significant financial and other losses because of the statute of limitations.

    4) In addition, the Menopause causes further delayed problems for women who have had this mesh, in that vaginal atrophy and dryness caused by the Menopause causes problems with the tape – therefore the 10 year statute of limitations bars women from claiming for post menopausal problems which occur more than a decade after the tape was delivered by manufacturers to the hospital where they had their surgery.

    5) Therefore, I believe there is an argument that the statute of limitations for product liability claims in respect of vaginal mesh claims amounts to (indirect?) sex discrimination because of its disproportionate impact upon women.

    6) There should be audits undertaken in England, Scotland and Wales to establish how may women have been affected by complications. The terms of reference for this audit, should not rely on asking GPs/ hospitals/consultants whether or not women have reported complications, because many women were ignorant that the complications were caused by the tape and so were their doctors and consultants! All women who have had vagina tape/ mesh operations should be contacted using appropriately written literature, questionnaires etc in order to gain accurate data and the scale of the problem.

    7) Data on percentages of women experiencing complications in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, USA becomes available. This should be considered/ admissible in court parliamentary debates taking into account the terms of reference for collecting that data.

  65. I’m thelma I Foned a lawyer to day they sed get in writing frm your doc it’s causing probs. I had it fitted about 10 yrs now worked couple month then slowly dwindled year later , double incontinent Uncomfatable legs not write at all swollen difficulty in walkin alway urine infections 4 times a yr swollen belly weight gain no sex life at all after lost partner throght it. Spot on an off belly hernia … dr recoment gastric band. But is that the answer wat about the band

  66. Hi Helen , I had a mesh bladder op twenty years ago and after eight years I suffered terrific pain and bleeding , only after collapsing in work did they take notice of me and I had a camera put inside my bladder , they found that the clips holding the mesh had opened and dropped the mesh and it had grown into my bowel and bladder and the clips had punctured everywhere and a huge growth gphad grown around it all , I was admitted straight away for a surgery to try to clear it and ended up with my bladder being split into four times remove it and a total bladder reconstruction , four hour surgery and 29 days in hospital leaving me incontinent and having to use a catheter , where in Wales are you from as I live there too and perhaps between us we could get a group going .

  67. Jackie, my wife had a TVTO is Antrim in 2006 and is now having horrendous problems.
    Who did you see to get the mesh removed ? Was there any lasting nerve damage ?
    Any help would be really appreciated.

  68. Hi, I’ve had a rectopexy in April this year I’ve had severe pain. I had to be admitted back in to hospital. I’m just about coping with medicine, but the pain is getting worse. I am waiting for results from a MRI. It’s been an awful few months and now I am scared! (UK)

  69. I had this mesh put in in August 2015 I was in pain from when I left the hospital the nurse said it was because I had just had surgery and it needed to settle. I was constantly back and forward for 12 months plus, I felt like there was a chicken wire inside me cutting me, I was given gel to insert and numb the feeling, I had to keep pushing it back up inside myself as it was so painful it felt like it was coming out and cutting me in half, I went to another hospital were I had a rubber coil fitted to help me but the mesh even came through that . I couldn’t walk I couldn’t sit I couldn’t sleep I had to wear loss clothes. my daughter even looked for me and she said she could see it. back to the hospital I went they said it was a stich so they cut it. again it was so painful I cried every day and every night I lost so much time off work my finance suffered. this operation caused me so much stress pain grief and I felt like my life was over. this led to my most recent operation the open culprosuspention and whist having this done the mess was removed. I now feel so much better and feel like a woman again.

  70. Would ‘ Sling the Mesh ‘ contact me at:


    The MESH crisis must be as escalated.

    The recent NHS England Report is inadequate.

    The recent papers by Monga et al show a complication rate of 9.8% ( range 9.6 – 1.0 ) and also that only 27% of the surgeons report meh removals to the MHRA. So the real complication rate may be 20 – 30%.

    The MHRA know there has been considerable under-reporting of complications. Surgeons may fear criticism if they report and especially loss of business in the private sector as TVT/TVTO/Mesh are huge cash cows with many of the operations being done in private hospitals. This scandal is bigger than the Paterson breast scandal which is why it has been reported as the new thalidomide.

    Eastbourne has stopped mesh procedures having previously done a large number of them. It is now a centre for mesh removal. There were previously unjustified claims of few or no complications from mesh!

    Women affected should be aware of the UK Supreme Court ruling in Montgomery which established informed consent in UK law. The decision is effectively retrospective to 1999. It confirms the advice given by NICE on consent where the effects of a procedure are uncertain.

    In 2003, NICE were warned by a member of the Women and Children’s Guideline Review Panel that mesh procedures should only be used as part of informed clinical trials and not in routine practice as there was a lack of supportive data and, in particular, nothing much known about long term complications but that it was well known that experience with older types of mesh often caused marked body rejection. The advice was overturned by those with powerful professional and commercial interests.

    The Mesh advice page on the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists website says it all as such a major warning has never been given before for any procedure. It has to be an admission of a major problem which is ongoing.

    Sling the Mesh has asked for further action.

    I would emphasise that the following must happen:

    Consider a mesh ban – one has to ask whether it is acceptable for an operation for a benign condition, albeit very distressing, is justified with a complication rate of around 1 in 10 ( = ‘ very common ‘ according to the nationally agreed scale of risk ) and that those complications can be horrific when alternative treatments can be tried.

    If mesh is to continue, all women must be fully informed with all the information on the RCOG website. The patient must be given the option to speak with a women who has had major complications and multiple problems and multiple attempts at mesh removal as well as those who are satisfied with the procedure.

    There must be a mandatory National Register of all procedures in the NHS and Private Sector and compulsory reporting of all complications to the MHRA.

    Obviously, medical devices should be subject to the same controls as drugs by the MHRA.

    Private and NHS surgeons websites must give truly objective and balanced information and should not ‘ tout for business ‘.

    There should be a national recall of all mesh patients to assist them and find out about the extent of the problems.

    The recalled patients must be told about the occurrence of much later complication such as pain and mesh erosion so that they are aware and can report the problems to their doctors.

    Product liability must be established for mesh. .

    There must be a national compensation scheme similar to the Paterson breast provisions.


    Patrick Saiorse


  71. I had a tvt at 13!!! Had two tvto at 16 and 18 I believe and I have had nothing but complication and about 6-12 operations to help I could go on and on with the different operations I have had I actually contacted pals and a lawyer who wouldn’t touch my case as it’s too complex

    I would really appreciate this mesh being band I wouldn’t want anyone to go throw half of what I have had done let alone the daily struggle

    If I can help in anyway to get this mesh band please feel free to inform me

  72. I have had this operation and it has left me with a recteseal that can’t be fixed. I’ve had numerous amounts of scans and hospital visits that has left me stressed and worse than I was before the operation


  74. Since I posted a query regarding auto immune responses to the mesh which include thyroid issues, painful joints, hair loss etc alot of people are reporting these conditions which would appear to be related to the body rejecting the mesh. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis after having had the mesh implant despite no markers in the blood. I have had to give up gluten and this has reduced the pain but I cannot see any mention about this being a possible side effect despite lots of similar response to my comment on sling the mesh FB about this – has anyone made the link with this?

  75. The medical profession won’t yet accept the link between Mesh (or other implants for that matter) and autoimmune diseases. I think it is only a matter of time. The amount of people who develop these conditions post mesh implant is astonishing

  76. Watched news itv so pleased things are moveing on well done to all i have had problems since my op as did my daughter kate wood liz barrett

  77. I am “doing my research” and stumbled upon your site after my doctor mentioned that a TVT sling surgery may help my incontinence. After reading all of your stories, I’m not so sure…

    I am 40 years old and have tried physical therapy but haven’t seen much progress. Sneezing, jumping, running, etc are all out of the question without leaking. If you were to do things over again- is there anything else you would recommend or try before this surgery?

  78. I’m am reading all these comments and symptoms with grreat horror and tears and sobbing for 8 or 9yrs years I have been to specialist after specialist with my dr listening sympathetically about my pain and evenually putting me on anti anxiety meds saying my symptoms are the result of long term stress and my body not coping ect ect I have had intense pelvic pain, Auto immune issues, nerve pain muscle weakness, trouble walking after exercise or long days standing i cant barely do anything at all, joint pain leg pain and twitching groin pain , infections, eyes hurt a lot, dizziness, tinnitus and have been feeling like a total hypochondriac but all these thing are real and some of these at least all day every day, when i heard about the mesh sling class action on the radio i started by looking it up as i had this in 2006-7, it was like omg me me me to almost everything and no one has ever suggested this as a cause, I still have to look into it more but for the first time i feel something about my ongoing hideous health problems have a reason!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel like my heart is broken for all the pain this has caused and being told its stress get counseling ect

  79. Like many here, I have also suffered from Mesh injury. 7 surgeries. Fistula, loss job, marriage, life really …..on and on but in the last year, I have developed some lower back pain and severe plantar fasciitis type pain. I am now walking with a cane and never made the connection with mesh. I wonder if it could all be related?

  80. I had a tvt for stress incontinence carried out nearly 20 years ago. Whilst it was uncomfortable in the groin area and down my legs for about six weeks, it was very comfortable after that. I have had no problems with it since then.
    I have also had a vaginal prolapse which was treated with tape, and I have had no problems with that whatsoever. I am very lucky that the surgeon was very experienced.
    Whilst I feel very sorry for the women who have suffered, I am concerned that if the tape is banned then what will replace it? If my tape failed tomorrow then I would have no hesitation in having it replaced, preferably by the same surgeon!

  81. My name is Pamela wilkinson I am going through the same problems with doctors telling me there is nothing wrong with my mesh implant, if so why am I in such pain in my lower back and legs that I have never had before the implant, where can I get help with this? I live in the uk,

  82. In 2006 I had a hysterectomy ,after a pussing scar I saw I private consultant whom said I was allergic to the DVDs tape .i was called in a week later for a second operation ,and a year later a third ,in those days I did sadly not ask any questions ,as I believed Drs where there to make you well ,.After the third op I was sent to a top neurologist whom treated me for trapped femoral and Genito nerves ,which saw me taking ,lyrica ,gabapentin and anithryptiline ,but still had to drag my left leg ,feelings of a glass bottle turning in my bottom and vagina ,no love life ,living in hell .Then 2 years ago I went to my local dr to report a feeling of clips trying to find a way out of my body ,my dr looked at me as a mad women .Two weeks later two long clips came out ,I kept them .I went to see a board of specialists whom admit to the clips coming out of me ,since then little bits of plastic pieces have been coming out ,I have photoed the opening s in my flesh ,after that in Jan 2017 I saw miss Eneil in London ,she saw how extended I am and said I needed to see a guastrologist ,all the specialists
    here look at the floor when they see me ,or cancell me from there list ,I am seeing a guastrologist on Tuesday after over a year wait ,Miss Elneil wanted to help me ,but the Drs refuse to let me have nhs help ,only my neurologist has tried to help me with that ,after all these years I am desperate ,my specialists insist that I have adhesions ,but why are little bits of plastic coming out of me ,and why am I still in constant agony .

  83. Hi Steve. My mother has had the same trouble with UK doctors since have mesh fitted for a hernia. Did you get anywhere with Dr Peterson?

  84. I had the tvt fitted in 2011 after having an hysterectomy for prolapsed uterus. I’ve had serious problems since including severe pain and endless UTI’S . It has effected me so badly now, I’m waiting to hear from a surgeon but to date still waiting. I can’t go out without the fear of desperately needing the loo and have to plan where I go, e.g. walking , I love going for long walks but I need to plan and go places where I know there is access to public loo’s, it’s embarrassing and upsetting. 😢😢

  85. i had the mesh fitted in 2010, at first things were not to bad, then the bladder infections started, after suffering with these for a few years and having internal examination,s and scans i was told nothing was wrong , in other words i was being told stop moaning and just get on with it, but i persisted and eventually i was sent for a internal camera investigation, guess what was found, the mesh had sliced in to my bladder, so i wasnt making it all up was i ????, i had an operation to get the piece removed but to no joy i am still in a lot of pain, i was due to go into hospital on the 17th of january but my operation was cancelled, luckily for me i have been able to get private treatment and am going for my operation on the 23rd february to get the mesh removed, i have to have a autologous sling i am really not looking forward to it, but what choice do i have, i have a great doctor who totally dissagree,s with the mesh, and i trust him, this barbaric surgery has got to stop, i am a member of sling the mesh,and if anyone wants any more information just get in touch.

  86. I had part of mesh removed got hernia and blood transfusion could skin desease from getting it in 8 years if pain and can’t remove the rest cause of tissues grew over Nov bk for more opp in June due to bladder been torn I now we’re nappies pain skin allway in pain life’s hard looking like freak how can they let people go thro this I live in Belfast can’t find counsiling

  87. Hey I am also looking for anyone suffering in South Africa or if there are any support groups.

  88. I am waiting for an initial consultation with Miss Elneil because I have pain in my groin, pain in my bum and also pins and needles down my left leg culminating in my foot. However, the earliest appointment I can get is a telephone consultation mid July. Because I have read that women can end up with permanent problems the longer they have their symptoms I, like everyone else I assume, want to be seen asap. I do not therefore know whether it would be wise to return to the original surgeon for her to cut the tape without removing it with the aim of that relieving the symptoms or whether it would be better just to wait. The last option would be to find someone else but save for going abroad I cannot find anyone else with such a good reputation. Any advice would be gratefully received.

  89. Hi. I had a ventral mesh rectopexy in 2011 and have had to irrigate for the last 4 yrs. I get sharp, knife like shooting pains up my back passage that once subsided leave me with a dull, pulsing ache. I saw my surgeon about this who said it “was a normal side effect”. For the last 4yrs or so I have been presenting to my GP with auto immune symptoms but blood tests have all returned normal. I have chronic dry eyes, Achilles tendonitis and it is painful to grip things. I have been putting this down to the menopause (I am 50). I read your site yesterday after seeing an article on the BBC and now I am wondering if it is the mesh. Is anyone else experiencing similar with rectopexy? Thanks

  90. After the TVT op am in agony my lower back and buttock is in agony and I have no sec life which I was very active before not it’s no exsistant now which is very sad as we where very active before the TVT op!!☹️ I would like to know what pain killer would help me?

  91. I had the vaginal mesh for both frontal and rectal severe prolapse caused by ptviously having a very early hysterectomy. Within weeks of resuming sexual relations it was apparent that there were sharp spikey areas, feeling like paper clips, inside of me. I was told it would take time for the mesh to enbed, but the situation did not improve. From self examination I could feel razor sharp edges. I saw my consultant who was quite dismissive, but eventually I returned for further surgery under anaethetic to remove some of the mesh. I had a further 2 operations to remove the mesh I had lost all confidence in my local hospital and saw another surgeon in Leeds. She was appalled at my condition and after yet another operation she removed most of the mesh and replaced it with an alternative. I am now pain free. In all I had 5 operations and hospital stays.

  92. I had my implant removed earlier last year 2017 , it could not all be removed, my body had absorbed some , and rejected the rest. We’re now in September 2018 , my pain is so bad it affects my every movement, walking sitting lifting, a nightmare that’s very hard to deal with .

  93. Hi l had surgery in 2009 and have constant pain ever since with recurring Iti and pain after sex. I’ve seen my doctor who told me after a examination that my prolapse had returned and there was no mention of the mesh being the problem. I want to know without a diagnosis could l claim that the mesh is the problem. My life is full of discomfort and l take regular pain killers

  94. I had my mesh op in 2006 since that time ive had pain in my back, legs and buttocks… Ive been told that it was sciatica and given painkillers.. and believed what the health professionals were telling me… im now wondering if its down to mesh…… Ive had to give up work in a nursery as my back pain became intolerable… my quality of life has definitely been affected…. i doubt if this mesh can now be removed after all this time…

  95. I am really worried about what I am reading . I am awaiting an Epigastric Hernia repair operation in a few weeks time and have been told that mesh will be used. At the moment I have no pain from the hernia and have a very active life. I love walking and being outdoors. what I have heard from Victoria Derbshire’ programme has really frightened me and make me think seriously about cancelling the operation.

  96. Thank you for the encouragement. I will try and find out if the surgeon will do stitches instead tomorrow, At the moment he is saying the mesh isn’t the mesh that is causing the problems – it is different and licensed by NICE.

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