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Patients harmed by mesh implants address emotional parliamentary meeting

BMJ 2017; 358 doi: (Published 25 July 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j3585
  1. Rebecca Coombes
  1. The BMJ

Women with life changing side effects after transvaginal mesh implants led a call in the UK parliament last week for a suspension of the devices pending a full public inquiry.

The emotionally charged meeting, organised by a shadow cabinet member, Owen Smith, was also supported by doctors, surgeons, academics, and more than 20 MPs.

More than a dozen women testified to how mesh had left them disabled, in chronic and debilitating pain, needing a bladder or bowel removed where the mesh had shrunk and sliced into them, unable to have sex, or with psychological problems. The implants include vaginal mid-urethral tapes used to treat stress urinary incontinence, as well as mesh used to treat pelvic organ prolapse, made of polypropylene.

Since 2006 more than 126 000 women have had mesh implants and tapes for incontinence and prolapse in England. The implants are subject to an ongoing inquiry in Scotland, where mesh for women with pelvic organ prolapse is currently suspended.

A report by a working party set up by NHS England is due to report this week. An initial …

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