Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Hernia mesh complications may have affected up to 170 000 patients, investigation finds

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: (Published 27 September 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k4104

Rapid Response:

Re: Hernia mesh complications may have affected up to 170 000 patients, investigation finds

I am one of the 170,000. I was told the chance of pain following the mesh implant was 5%, not 12 - 30%. My problem is a lack of help and advice to resolve the situation.

Medication does not have much effect so the 'pain clinic' have washed their hands and given up. The surgeons sent me to pain clinic because they didn't want to remove the mesh. Typical 'pass the buck' situation with nobody prepared to state the options and risks now available.

Shortly after my surgery, the NHS Trust issued an 'outcome satisfaction' questionnaire. My dissatisfied response did not result in a follow-up, asking for more details, thus showing that it was a pointless tick-box exercise. My response should have gone straight on to a national statistical database so the (5%, or) 12 - 30% figure could become more accurate and I should have been contacted to gain information regarding the way pain following the implant affects me.

It is not simply cut nerves irritating me - they would have settled by now in the same manner that nerves cut during a caesarean section settle (my wife has had four). The pain is intense after jarring or sudden movement, suggesting it is caused by the nerve endings making contact with a foreign body or a cut.

The whole point of collecting data is to enable a proactive response, not to ignore with the thought 'this is what we always do, so it must be right'. The current system is too stagnated and needs to adjust to the evidence without the need for tv journalism to give it a push.

Competing interests: No competing interests

22 July 2019
John Gough
not fit for work due to pain