The BBC have reported that they believe that up to 170,000 people who have had hernia mesh implants in England in the past 6 years could face complications.
Over the previous 6 years approximately 570,000 operations have been performed and the complication rate ranges between 12-30%. Complications are noted to be, in some cases, severe leading to those affected being unable to return to work, walk and in some cases being left feeling suicidal.
One in 10 people develop hernias, the most common treatment is for a doctor to push any bulging tissue back into the body and covering it with a piece of surgical mesh. Currently between 90,000 and 100,000 hernia mesh operations are carried out annually in England. Whilst surgeons currently estimate the current complication rate as 12-30%, mesh has been used in such repairs since the 1990s so the total number who have experienced complications since introduction is thought to be much higher.
Currently the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency continue to back the use of hernia mesh and The Royal College of Surgeons believe that mesh implants are the most effective way to deal with a hernia.
Labour MP, Owen Smith, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Surgical Mesh Implants, said he feared the UK could “potentially have another scandal on our hands”. Mr Smith went on to say that he felt that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency were not doing enough to listen to the experience of patients affected.
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For more on this report please see https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-45604199