Following a review chaired by Baroness Julia Cumbridge, NHS England is putting an immediate halt on mesh operations.

Used as a scaffold to support organs and manage conditions such as incontinence or prolapse, it is reported that more than 100,000 UK women have had mesh fitted. However, many women have suffered agonising pain, life-changing injuries and have been left feeling suicidal following use of the implant. Baroness Cumbridge has said that she is “appalled at the seriousness and scale of the tragic stories”.  

The review was unable to find any evidence to suggest that the use of vaginal mesh, to treat urinary incontinence, outweighed the harm caused to women and Baroness Cumbridge has urged the NHS to stop exposing women to life-changing and life-threatening injuries and to implement greater measures to alleviate risks. The review is also reviewing concerns about a hormone pregnancy test called Primodos and an epilepsy drug called sodium valproate which have both been linked to defects at birth. 

Professor Dame Sally Davies, England’s Chief Medical Officer has said that the mesh will remain as a treatment of last resort for those who have been carefully selected and have discussed the treatment with their consultants.

Although it is unclear how many women have been affected by mesh implants, the Government is currently conducting an audit to gauge a clearer understanding of the position. NICE have also recommended that mesh implants should no longer be used in England to treat organ prolapse. Mesh used in rectopexy procedures has not been included in the temporary suspension.

For further information on this report, please see: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-44763673

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