Unnecessary vaginal mesh surgery or mesh removal surgery

Concern over vaginal mesh implants has been a hot topic for the last ten years with repeated calls for a public redress scheme and widespread concerns over patient safety.

Many women have experienced significant health complications following surgery and are now pursuing vaginal mesh compensation claims.

Illustration of implanted vaginal mesh

‘Mesh’ is a term used to describe various kinds of manufactured biological or synthetic implantable devices. It is one option for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.

The mesh is inserted through the vagina to provide support to the tissues in that area. Whilst the implant has been an effective form of treatment for many patients, it has also led to devastating complications for others.

Serious complications

Vaginal mesh extrusion is the most common vaginal mesh complication and occurs when the mesh comes through the skin and tissue of the vaginal wall and becomes exposed. This can cause vaginal bleeding, vaginal discharge, and pain. It can also make intercourse for both participants painful.

Vaginal mesh erosion is another common complication that causes injury to surrounding tissue and organs including vaginal, bladder and blood vessel perforation. This is incredibly painful and often causes recurrent infections.

These complications are life-changing and can require several forms of management.

It can often be the case that vaginal mesh should never have been used in the first place and a claim is brought on the basis that the insertion of the mesh was unnecessary and inappropriate.

The reasons for this include that the prolapse was minor and can be treated differently, the need was not confirmed through testing or conservative management has not been considered.

Inappropriate counselling

Our team are now pursuing claims concerning unnecessary mesh removal surgery. A study published by BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology on 28 May 2021, showed that only a third of women were pain free following removal of vaginal mesh with more than 50% reporting no difference in symptoms.

There are increasing calls to carefully consider the benefit of removing vaginal mesh when inserted. With approximately 20% of all vaginal mesh patients experience complications.

There is a real danger of women being inappropriately counselled about the outcome of major mesh removal surgery, especially where their symptoms are minor, or alternatives not explored.

The meshes are inert and not designed to be removed as they become embedded in the vaginal tissues within 48 hours. You should be counselled on your options for pain management and physiotherapy before a decision to remove the mesh is made.

Considerable risk

Mesh removal surgery comes with considerable risk of an adverse outcome including damage to the bowel, increased pain or disabling new symptoms due to the surgery alone.

In most cases, it is impossible to remove all mesh, yet patients are often inappropriately counselled on the basis that all the mesh will be removed.

If you have experienced issues following vaginal mesh surgery or removal surgery, a member of our specialist team can be available for a free, no obligation discussion to assess your options.

Expertise you can count on

We have recently welcomed Elise Bevan to our team. Elise specialises in women’s health and claims for damages arising from mismanagement in this area.

Elise led a collective action against Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust relating to unnecessary urogynaecology surgery because of the use of vaginal mesh. Elise also successfully represented a group pursuing compensation for inappropriate mesh rectopexy surgery against Mr Anthony Dixon, the Bristol colorectal surgeon.

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