The dangers of mesh implants

If you’ve watched the news over the past years or so, you’ll likely be familiar with the ‘mesh implants’ scandal that has been plaguing the NHS. Last April, more than 800 women in the UK started legal action against both the NHS and the makers of these mesh implants due to the ‘barbaric’ symptoms that they have been causing.


With the story showing no signs of going away in 2018 – especially with the government recently announcing a review – let’s take a look at the ins and outs of this medical device and why it’s been causing a great deal of controversy.


What is a mesh implant?


Mesh implants are used to treat and repair hernias, which occur when organs or tissue shift out of their usual place and protrude outwards. It is estimated that approximately one in 10 people will experience a hernia. The implants are made of polypropylene which is a type of plastic.


One of the most common types of hernia happens within the groin. Women can experience hernias following incontinence after giving birth or pelvic organ prolapses, and when these women are treated with mesh implants, they are known as vaginal mesh implants.


In these cases, the mesh implant will be insured to act as a barrier and replace the muscle that has been damaged.


What are the problems?


Hundreds of thousands of women have received treatment with mesh implants, and recently it has emerged that many of them have been suffering from severe and painful consequences.


The BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme investigated the issue and found that approximately one in 11 of the 92,000 women who had vaginal mesh implants or other types of mesh implants inserted between 2007 and 2015 had experienced some kind of problem. These problems vary between people, but common complaints have included:


  • Extreme pain
  • Inability to walk
  • Inability to go to work
  • Inability to have sex
  • Mesh becoming visible/protruding through skin
  • Nerve damage
  • Psychological/emotional damage


Why are people taking action?


Many women have been reporting that their GPS have been refusing to listen to their complaints, and it is only recently that the story has been receiving attention. Now that 800 women have come forward to make claims for the suffering they have experienced, more and more may join them.


Making a claim for medical negligence can really help to get a person’s life back on track after they have been affected. It can help to fund private surgery and medical help to correct the problem, or pay for counselling to help with psychological effects, as well as being able to compensate for any loss of earnings.


Hopefully, these claims may push the issue to the forefront of the NHS’ attention and encourage the use of alternative treatments so others don’t suffer.

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