Scottish Mesh Campaigners Blast Official Report Before Parliamentary Committee

Jane Akre
September 28, 2017

Scottish petitioners address health committee, June 2016

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, September 27, 2017 ~ An official report by Scottish medical experts on the pelvic mesh mess in that country, is being called a "whitewash" and Thursday, campaigners, who have resigned in disgust, take their outrage directly to a Parliamentary Committee.

Scotland is once again taking the lead in making public the pelvic mesh mess in that country.

Thursday, mesh-injured campaigners and experts will testify to the Petitions Committee – which allows the public to petition Parliament to make changes that citizens believe is needed.

Listen to the testimony before the Petitions Committee here.

At issue is a controversial final report of the Independent Review of Transvaginal Mesh Implants, issued March 27, 2017, which campaigners call a “whitewash.”

The report indicates mesh benefits outweigh risks in stress urinary incontinence (SUI) procedures, TVT (tension-free vaginal tape) is effective, and the suspension on mesh procedures in Scotland should be lifted.

In June 2013, Scotland became the first country to suspend the use of synthetic mesh to treat incontinence (SUI) and pelvic organ prolapse (POP).

The Petitions Committee will examine what relationship the officials who produced the report have to mesh manufacturers, and why that issue was not made more transparent.

Marion Scott, Daily Record and Sunday Mail, Reporter/ Journalist of the Year 2015

Reporter Marion Scott explains to Mesh News Desk the significance of the committee.

It is hugely influential and has the power to hold inquiries, commission reports, require government ministers and public servants to give evidence and answer questions.

It has the power to recommend changes in many areas and is made up of politicians from all different parties so it is free to do things other committees are not.”

The proceedings will be televised.

Dr. Wael Agur, Scottish urogyn


Urogynecologist, Dr. Wael Agur was an expert brought in to contribute to the official report on the mesh issue in Scotland until he decided to resign in protest last March. He was joined by two patient representatives of Scottish Mesh Survivors, an active group of mesh-injured women.

In his peitition to the Committee, he is critical of the report saying it “allowed the highest risk mesh procedures despite lack of proven benefit over standard non-mesh alternatives.”

There is no reliable evidence on safety and efficacy of these products he adds, and the report does not “adequately warn surgeons and patients against the serious risks associated with transobturator mesh tape.”

He believes pelvic mesh should only be used in exceptional circumstances, due to the risk of “irreversible” damage, reports the Herald Scotland.

Dr. Agur says the final report must reinstate the original deleted Chapter Six in which compares the risks associated with mesh and non-mesh procedures. His conclusions that non-mesh repairs are safer was removed or changed, he says.

The report also does not recommend mandatory recording of all mesh procedures in a national registry in order to keep an eye on complication figures in the future.

Campaigners and Dr. Agul want a continued suspension of mesh procedures in Scotland and a rejection of the official report, which allowed some mesh procedures to be reinstated. The inquiry will ask mesh manufacturers to prove the mesh implants and procedures are safe, and if that proof is not forthcoming, it is unlikely mesh procedures will be reintroduced in Scotland.

Marion Scott, Daily Mail reporter

Scott says, “One thing is for sure. The Mesh controversy is not over. It’s only just beginning here. There is also huge support for Mr. Neil’s international mesh summit.

Scotland is very unhappy with the UK’s medical watchdog (MHRA) which is almost wholly funded by industry.”

The MHRA concludes benefits outweigh the risks of all of these devices if used as intended. Their use continues in England.

Scott adds that a number of politicians want Scotland to have its own watchdog and to be more proactive in protecting patients. That would include requiring doctors to step up reporting adverse incidents, true informed choice, and a device registry mandates reporting adverse events so they can be accurately tracked.

In Scotland more than 400 women are sue the Scottish health boards and mesh makers due to their complications. ##


BBC Radio interviews Marion Scott, September 27, 2017 Starts 8 min in
28/09/2017, Good Morning Scotland - BBC Radio Scotland

The Herald, Vaginal Mesh expert says surgery puts patients at risk in Scotland, September 27, 2017

MND, Scottish Mesh Inquiry Blows-Up, May 23, 2017

The Independent Review of Transvaginal Mesh Implants, published March 27, 2017 is here.

MND, Scotland Calls for International Summit on Mesh Crisis, Sept 26, 2017

MND, Pelvic Mesh Procedures Halted in Scotland, June 2016

MND, Scotland Becomes First Country Suspend Use of Pelvic Mesh, June 2014

Thursday will be petitions committee, submission of Dr.Wael Agur

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