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Patients cry “whitewash” as NHS refuses to halt use of mesh implants

BMJ 2017; 358 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j3603 (Published 26 July 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j3603
  1. Rebecca Coombes
  1. The BMJ

An NHS review of transvaginal mesh implants released this week has been branded a “whitewash” after failing to order a safety review of the devices, which patients say carry unacceptable risks of severe and life altering side effects.

The review, led by NHS England, looked at the use of implants to treat stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and pelvic organ prolapse (POP)—surgery carried out in about 15 000 women every year in England.1

An emotionally charged meeting in parliament last week heard testimonies from a dozen women on how mesh had left them disabled, in chronic and debilitating pain, needing bladders and bowels removed where the mesh had shrunk and sliced into them, unable to have sex, or with psychological problems.2

The implants are subject to an ongoing inquiry in Scotland, where …

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