“Please help me I feel desperate. Who can I turn to to get relief from the terrible irritation and pain I am experiencing. My husband is very worried about my health mentally and bodily, because I keep telling him the quality of my life is dreadful.”
The government of England has rejected a ban on surgical mesh unlike Scotland that has suspended the use of pelvic mesh since 2014. While an estimated 8,000 women in England have experienced mesh complications, no one is keeping tabs on the actual number of complications. Many women are told instead that their symptoms are due to "getting old."
Like the U.S., there is no active post-approval registry. Adverse events or complications are also not reported by surgeons as Dr. Bendavid enforced in his address to Parliament.
Here is a transcript from the event is recorded in the Hansart here.
"As to my trip in London, it was simply to listen to the presentations and debate led by Emma Hardy who passionately defended the women who were victimized by various surgeries (TVT, TVT-O, POP). She did it eminently well. She had the support of many of the MPs present if not all (it was not easy understanding them all!).
"The last to speak was Jackie Doyle Price, who is the undersecretary of Health but also a Minister of Social Affairs, I understand. She stated that “there was not enough evidence to suspend the mesh” and that hopefully, by Christmas, there should be a report.
"The second session was one led by Owen Smith (MP for Ireland and who smart as a whip and very likable) and Emma Hardy. I spoke and so did Carl Heneghan (Oxford and in charge of Evidence Based Medicine) and a stunning lady who was a urogynaecolological surgeon, Dr. Suzy Elneill, who spoke eminently well and drove the message clearly home.
"The message I brought is that not all complications are being reported. A registry has to be mandatory otherwise there would be no collaboration.
"On that subject, the very same Dr David Urbach published a paper proving how little cooperation can be expected from practicing surgeons and why!
"Also, follow-ups are deceiving since complications reported are too soon and we do know that for procidentia* in women, 50% of the problems may occur by 4 years and 8-10 years would be a far better period to assess all patients.
"In hernia surgery, the invasion and erosion which needs explanation of the mesh and vas deferens is usually after 7-13 years. So that if a young man of 18 is to have a bilateral inguinal hernia repair with mesh (as recommended by the EHS “World Guidelines” … by the time he is 30, marries … he may never have a family if he were to plan on one."
*Procidentia - A medical term which has a similar meaning to prolapse, the falling down of an organ from its normal anatomical position. It normally refers to uterine prolapse, but it may also refer to rectal prolapse. From Latin - to fall forward.
British Medical Journal, Factors influencing the reporting of adverse medical device events: qualitative interviews with physicians about higher risk implantable devices, August 2, 2017
Here is a transcript from Parliament : Surgical Mesh Implants - Hansard Online.