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Teresa Hughes: Demanding Answers and Raising the Profile of Vaginal Mesh Injuries in the UK

Teresa Hughes and police officer, London

Teresa Hughes, 61, a resident of Liverpool, England, and mother of two, has made so much noise about defective vaginal mesh that last year she was profiled in the UK paper, The Daily Mail.

It started:

“Thousands of women have been left severely damaged as a result of an implantable ‘sling’ operation to treat problems following childbirth. As a result the NHS is now facing a crisis on a par with the compensation claims for leaking silicone breast implants in the Nineties.”

In the Beginning

Hughes is one of an estimated 64,000 women living in England who is living with the aftereffects of an implantable plastic sling medical device. After undergoing a hysterectomy and experiencing stress incontinence, something she describes as, “nothing really bad,” Hughes says she was offered a transvaginal mesh tape (TVT) as a treatment. The polypropylene plastic mesh is inserted through cuts in the groin area to place the hammock-like support for the urethra to treat the incontinence.

In April of 2006, Hughes had a Boston Scientific Halo Sling implanted.

“They said I was a candidate for this tape for stress incontinence. That was it, nothing else. There was no discussion as to it being made of polypropylene mesh or that it becomes part of you and embeds itself into the body.”

Was she told about the risks?

“There is nothing on my record and they never mentioned that at all,” says Hughes today.

Right after the surgery she began having problems. She says as she came to, she was hurting, especially on the left groin. Crying from the pain for days, the pain would travel to the calf of the left leg. Hughes describes the pain as a “cheese wire” effect because it felt as though she was being stabbed internally.

After being discharged, the pain continued in the left groin along with a cramp in both legs and pain in the calves of both legs which continues today.

Mesh Complications

Teresa Hughes

Hughes and others have found that no one is monitoring mesh complications either in the U.S. or the U.K. Estimates from studies show complications may run as high as 20 percent in the short run from the mesh disintegrating, migrating, or forming fistulas, to causing a systemic allergic reaction to the polypropylene material. No one has studied the long-term effects.

Hughes returned to her doctor for pain in the groin and leg, then her own general practitioner who gave her quinine tablets. She received a diagnosis of appendicitis, which, it turns out, wasn’t true.

Then in September 2008, Hughes was shown a scan that revealed a mass in the bladder. Her local hospital did a biopsy and in November 2008 she was told she had bladder cancer because something had entwined around her bladder neck. She was asked if her bladder had ever been sewn up? She said she’d had transvaginal mesh tape implanted in 2006 to treat incontinence.

The cancer specialist left the room quickly she says.

It turns out she didn’t have cancer, but it was a foreign body.

Hughes asked the consultant urologist if he would send her for a second opinion; he declined her request.

Hughes asked once again and asked why he wouldn’t help her find another urologist for a second opinion. The consultant urologist replied, “Why should I help you,” she says today. Hughes told him she was in pain and needed help and she told him that she thought it was the transvaginal mesh that was causing her pain in the groin. She asked also to be referred back to the original gynecologist who inserted the mesh sling at the same hospital to have a chat with him about the symptoms she was experiencing. This was declined as well.

So she turned to the internet.

Medical Treatment in England

Hughes receives her medical services under the National Health Service (NHS) of Great Britain. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the government agency responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical devices are safe and effective, not unlike the role of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Under the NHS, the public is not charged for medical services unless they seek out a private consultation.  Patients under the NHS have a right to their own medical records for a fee and also the right to a second opinion.

According to Hughes, the latest NHS figures also show the number of affected women is rising by more than 500 a year, indicating that about one in 20 of the 13,500 operations a year to implant the polypropylene material goes disastrously wrong.

Hughes says after the TVT scandal broke a year ago, government regulators agreed to a safety review of the product, but the results have been delayed.

How is Mesh Approved in the UK?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) allows most medical devices to enter the market with an assurance the device is the “substantial equivalent” of another similar device already being marketed. With the “substantial equivalence” stamp of approval, a manufacturer does not have to conduct clinical trials. The 510(k) notification process (manufacturers notify the FDA), as it’s called, is an honor system where the public and FDA must trust the ethics of a manufacturer not to put a defective device on the market.

Unfortunately, as the public has discovered from defective metal hip implants, defective silicone breast implants, defibrillator leads, and now transvaginal mesh, that hands-off approach to regulation leaves a huge safety loophole that many trusting patients fall through.

To approve a medical device in Europe, a device manufacturer seeks approval through any one of about 70 decentralized “notified bodies” overseen by for-profit firms. Any one of the bloc’s 27 member nations can approve a medical device for market. (See background story here).

Like the U.S., the EU has a hands-off approval process that failed to detect the Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) breast implants, a major health scandal in Europe as the unsuspecting found their leaking implants were filled with industrial silicone.

Now the EU says it wants tougher rules for the approval and post-approval monitoring of medical devices. After that global embarrassment, last September, the EU health commissioner outlined a draft proposal to identify medical devices that might be considered high risk and put them though greater scrutiny.

The European medical device industry lobby, Eucomed, was unhappy with that proposal.

As is in the case in the U.S., the UK does not follow patients with implanted medical devices after their surgery as part of post-approval monitoring. Nor does it register medical devices so any early signs of failure can be more quickly identified.

It was Australia, which does have a device registry, which was the first country to identify a problem with the Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy ASR metal hip, which was recalled from the market because of an early failure rate.

Teresa Hughes

Meshies United Group – UK

To raise the profile on vaginal mesh injuries, Hughes formed the Meshies United Group – UK ( here), and on January 26, 2012, she delivered a petition to the Prime Minister’s residence at 10 Downing Street to ask for help for the women suffering serious complications following transvaginal mesh surgery.

A meeting followed with her Member of Parliament who asked the government to reveal the number of mesh implant and explant surgeries over the last eight years.

The Medicine Health regulator in the UK did not have the answer.

“I am ashamed to live in a country that cannot keep track of serious complications of a medical device that has been implanted and causing so much havoc and ruining thousands of women’s lives and to be told that the Medicine Health Regulator does not know of the statistics,” the petition says.

Her findings which she received back from her representative in Parliament, suggested there have been nearly 3,000 mesh removal operations within the National Health Service hospitals. They do not include Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland, all part of the United Kingdom. Nor do they include statistics on any operations that have taken place in the private health sector.

The Medicine Health Regulator UK showed from 2006-2011, a total of 107 adverse incidents resulting from transvaginal mesh removal complications. No data was collected before the year 2005.

Hughes protests outside hospital

Hughes adds that surgeons are allowed to volunteer an adverse incident or complication event to the MHRA UK. She believes the real numbers are many times larger.

“Many women have lost their jobs their homes and some have lost their husband or partner. Their sex lives have changed forever in fact many women do not have a sex life because of the erosion and damage caused by the mesh.

“Men have also been affected because the mesh has cut their private parts. Some women have died and others wish they were dead because of the amount of pain they are in.

“General Practitioners do not know how to deal with this situation and many women who contact their GP for help are being referred to a mental health team because their lives have fallen apart.

“Would you like to be maimed for life by this barbaric operation? Hughes asks.”

 

Lawsuits in the UK 

In the U.S. most of the more than 10,000 lawsuits filed against nine mesh manufacturers are done so on a contingency arrangement with lawyers. The plaintiff pays nothing unless the lawyer wins her case at trial or she receives a settlement. At that time, she pays a percentage of her award to the law firm that represented her.

In the UK, there is no contingency fee arrangement. In mesh cases, solicitors, as lawyers are called, are asking for money upfront. Hughes says one firm in London, is taking cases but wants £600, close to $1,000 a month to start. Other solicitors turn to conditional fee agreements, where the plaintiff pays nothing if they lose the case but a full fee plus if they win.

“People don’t have that money they lost their job they lost their homes.”

Even with these drawbacks, hundreds of women in the U.K. have come forward to file lawsuits against the four major U.S. manufacturers of synthetic transvaginal mesh.

What incenses her is that doctors still put in vaginal surgical tape every day. She takes calls from women suffering all around the United Kingdom and says doctors are still not telling patients about the serious complications and neither are health regulators.

Hughes has campaigned tirelessly since 2008 to have the Department of Health and the Medicine Health Regulator UK to look into the serious complications of trans-vaginal mesh. On two occasions she demonstrated outside of The Medicine Health Regulator headquarters in London.

At the time she said, “We will no longer suffer in silence anymore. We want answers and we require help and it is about time people sat up and listened to us.”

Hughes is facing more surgery ahead. University College Hospital doctors plan open surgery on her to find the mesh and repair the urethra and bladder neck, but it may take a series of four surgeries. A recent emergency gallbladder removal has delayed her mesh removal surgery.

She has been granted a meeting for November 15, 2012 in Brussels with the Director of Consumer Affairs on behalf of her support group, Meshies United Group UK.

Postscript* Hughes says she is writing a play about the nightmare of mesh. Her brother is a producer in Liverpool.

 

78 Comments

  1. Carmel Berry says:

    Even with all the awful complications of this TVT Teresa is committed to raising awareness by health organisations and the general public about this ‘disaster of our generation’. Good for you Teresa.

    xx

    • Magdalena Espinosa says:

      Hi Carmel, my name is Magdalena and I have been having so much pain with this mesh. My Dr does not want to acknowledge the mesh as causing my severe pain not to mention after intercourse.

      I did file a claim but I want to make sure I get the proper settlement. Can you recommend any advise.

      Thank you

  2. Hello Carmel

    Thank you for your support.

    It is so maddening to think that my instinct was right all along with this mesh tape causing erosion.

    I have been going around with mesh erosion for years and why!

    Because consultants have lied and others have been economical with the truth.

    They are obviously running scared and so they should be, no woman should be left for years with mesh erosion from transvaginal mesh causing havoc in her body, all because because consultants do not want to reveal the truth.

    Teresa xx

    • Ingrid Hardacre says:

      Teresa –

      you a really brave and forward thinking person.Despite feeling so very down and frightened about your own health prospects, you continue to create awareness in the best way you understand. Since the UK is within the EU for some device constraints and research from all over the world is widely disregarded by any inspecting UK. Government Body, it is important that we, in the United Kingdom, knock on EU doors.That is why you are worth supporting with your next steps by going to Ms. Jacqueline Minor, European Director of Consumer Affairs, in Brussels and your regional EU commissionaire, in the near future. Well done and thank you. God Bless you and give you wisdom in all you do.

      I.H.

      • Ingrid

        Thank you for your very kind posting and all that it says.

        I hope that God is looking down and giving many of us hope and some wisdom to carry on the tasks in hand that we face in the years ahead.

        God Bless You

    • kathy cromwell says:

      We need to ALL unite. We need one place to go for help. We need a team of Dr.s that really care to help us. We need direction to guide us as the fear from these health issues we are all having is terrifying.

      Is there a group of Dr. s that will help us?

      Who will take a stand with the FDA to STOP mesh from being implanted in a woman via her vagina ( a non sterile site)

      I worry day and night. What will my future be?

      Does anyone care enough to really help us?

  3. Buzz says:

    Hi,

    The article is not only misleading but also absurd. For a start, there is no contingency arrangement in the UK which guarantees a large stake in the result of the case assuming a win and thus can be an advantageous economic gamble unlike conditional fee agreements which are quite different in the returns offered. It is becoming a bit sad that I have experienced recently so many people who take an attitude these days that unless a lawyer acts for free, they are characterised as greedy. No-one expects doctors, dentists, teachers, nurses to act for nothing and get paid only if the patient lives; the tooth heals, the exams are passed, the beds are made etc. I simply don’t know why the law is seen differently. Occasionally it is a truism that you get what you pay for!

    • Jane Akre says:

      Sorry Buzz but I don’t understand your need for clarification. The article says:

      “In the UK, there is no contingency fee arrangement. In mesh cases, solicitors, as lawyers are called, are asking for money upfront. Hughes says one firm in London, is taking cases but wants £600, close to $1,000 a month to start. Other solicitors turn to conditional fee agreements, where the plaintiff pays nothing if they lose the case but a full fee plus if they win.”

      Agreed it is not contingent but a conditional fee. Do you have further clarification to add? And nowhere does it say lawyers are greedy. In fact, most are hard working and even work for no compensation at times, though that is not a service they can advertise. I’m sure there are lazy lawyers, just like any profession, but I’ve never met one. Thanks for your participation.

    • With regards to your comment above BUZZ this is me Teresa Hughes speaking to you about the above

      I was asked for a £2000 deposit upfront and £600 for over at least 2 years so don’t tell me I do not know what I am talking about I have the papers to prove it.

      Do you want the name of the solicitor and a copy of the paperwork.

      • Cathy Brown says:

        Teresa i am in the us. i have sene a urologist , he says no need to look in my bladder. I hurt , have for a long time. Lost my job last dec. and have no insurance to go have an ultrasound. i have contacted two layers , one says i need to go to dr and have stuff done to make sure its the sling that i had inplanted in sept 2008 in which they recall in oct 2008. i was not told of the recall. what would you suggest i do. Another lawyer is sending me packett. i just want to stop hurting. thank you cathy

      • Buzz says:

        To Jane and Teresa,

        “why should any client who may have the means or insurance cover expect any lawyer to provide advice and service entirely on credit and additionally have to bear all the costs of potential litigation as well? If the case fails, the entire cost is borne by the lawyer and the client, on whose behalf the claim is brought, loses nothing. It seems fair and reasonable that a modest contribution can be made by a client- and it is only a modest contribution when the huge costs involved are calculated. As I said, there is no other professional group nor indeed any person working who is actually criticised for having the temerity to ask for a contribution to the running costs of the enterprise!”

        • lyn says:

          Buzz I dislike your attitude.

          A solicitor had my paperwork for 3 months then informed me she could not help.

          I was willing to pay,

          I will do anything to stop this mesh being put in peoples bodies to which can cause serious harm.

          I live in constant pain, My life has changed for the worse.I was used as a guinea pig.

          Its people like you I find extremeley annoying.

          I take it you are in the legal profession or health profession.

          My personal advice to you is BUZZ OFF.

          Lyn

          • Yes I would like you to BUZZ of also or go and get fitted with some mesh and see what we are talking about.

            We are talking about complications of mesh and the injuries sutained.

    • Caitlyn says:

      Hi Buzz

      You are right in that no-one expects to get a service for free and obviously there is a lot of work involved in preparing a case and seeing it through the legal processes to hopefully a successful conclusion, which, of course, is not guaranteed.

      However, even paying out several hundred pounds is beyond many women’s means which might be hard to understand if you are a top-earning legal professional. So any financial arrangement must be of the type that doesn’t involve more financial loss for the woman. The woman may already be out of pocket from paying for private consultations out of desperation.

      Most women I know are not really that interested in the compensation – they are angry and want some recognition by the hospitals, trusts and manufacturers of the harm that has been caused by this product, and they want the doctors to sit up and take notice as so far they have failed to do so.

      Caitlyn

      • Hello Kath

        I reiterate all what you say.

        To all the manufacturers and surgeons who are inserting this mesh medical device transvaginal tape, please sit up and listen to us women who are suffering please.

  4. Vaginal Mesh says:

    FDA should order a recall of those products which cause women a transvaginal mesh. Go Teressa, you deserve a compensation out of their damage on you.

  5. Liz Reece says:

    Teresa has campaigned tirelessly, despite her pain and fear. She has shown incredibly determination to raise awareness about the devastating complications that arise from mesh. It is remarkable what she has achieved – and we hope that her hard work will lead to the truth being known. Well done, Teresa,

    Liz

  6. Caitlyn says:

    Despite Teresa’s ill-health, she has managed to to raise awareness of the risks of mesh and campaign to hopefully get this horrific product off the market.

    She has had the guts to go out there and tell her story and rattle many cages. There are too many doctors ignoring the serious problems which can be caused by plastic mesh and too many people in positions of authority unwilling to stand up and admit the problem and do something about it.

    Unfortunately, I suspect the MHRA will not issue a medical device alert once their long awaited research commissioned months ago has been published, but will merely advise more and fuller warnings of the risks, careful patient selection and training of surgeons….yes, we’ve heard it all before – none of these is likely to have much effect.

    However, mass litigation here in the UK might make doctors and hospital trusts wake up and listen.

    Please note, the fees quoted above are not the fees I have heard about – as far as I am aware one firm is asking for a much smaller one-off fee to take out insurance in case the ligitation fails.

  7. lyn says:

    I have been in contact with Teresa for 3 years now.

    I am also a mesh sufferer,major surgery,partial mesh removal,some of the mesh cannot be found!.

    I live in constant pain and fear as to where the missing mesh has gone.

    During this time I have done my best in the Bristol area getting word out and supporting other mesh sufferers.

    This surgery has to stop,too many women are suffering terrible complications to which are not explained.

    I would like to add that during all this time of my suffering Teresa has been an absolute star,her hard work at running Meshies United Support Group while being in so much pain amazes me.

    I have never known anyone like Teresa she has determination and guts.

    I cannot thank her enough,she always has time even though her health is not too good to help and support many ladies.

    More to the point she has managed to get awareness out into the media which so many of us have tried to do.

    We all cannot thank her enough.

    Lyn

  8. Christine says:

    Hi Teresa

    Right on, keep going. STOP TRANSVAGINAL MESH

    From

    CANADA

    • Hello Canada (Christine)

      Woman on a mission is what I am.

      We all have to keep going and bring those to justice that have harmed and maimed us for life with such a harmful medical mesh device.

      Best wishes to all overseas in Canada.

  9. Steph says:

    Hi Teresa, Well done on tirlessly campaigning. The MHRA have let its citizens down yet again. There are so many devices that issues were warned yet they carried on allowing them to be inserted into the human body. Well done on standiing up to be heard. I am an ex Pip victim, and know how frustrating it can be to get heard. I wasnt aware the true risks and I feel that the MHRA have failed in many ways to do thier job properly~ I think you have been amazing in your campaign. Well done!t

    • Hello Steph

      As far as I am concerned the Medicine Health Regulator in The United Kingdom are a toothless watchdog.

      They have let down so many people in the United Kingdom by not doing the job that they are all being paid to do.

      Regarding breast implants they did not have a clue as to how many operations had taken place when the PIP fiasco broke out.

      Also regarding transvaginal mesh they did not have a clue as to how many operations had taken place or how many mesh removals had taken place in England let alone the rest of the UK.

      They relied on a member of the public to find out the figures for them and then put them on their MHRA website as if they had obtained them and had known about them all along.

      They need to get their act together and questions should be asked of them in Parliament Westminister London of the people in charge of The Medicine Health Regulator UK who where not doing their job correctly.

  10. What an accomplishment to secure a meeting for Meshies United Group UK at The European Commission.

    We will no longer suffer in silence. We will bring those to justice who have maimed us for life with such a barbaric operation using mesh product that did not have robujst clinical trials.

    Teresa Hughes meshies united group uk

    • Christine says:

      Teresa, you have the greatest courage and tenacity of any woman I have ever met. We women in the UK with mesh problems are SO lucky to have you out there fighting for us.

      You have my never ending admiration and gratitude.

      Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

      Christine

  11. jo says:

    i went to hospital about my heavy periods and ended up having an obtryx tot ,i was not given a leaflet was not told it was mesh and really had no idea what i was letting myself in for but from the day i had the op i wasnt right down there and still am not now , i have had some removed but not all and i dont think it can be removed i been all over for help with my problems , teresa is a fantastic lady and is helping us all with her courage and knowledge , you are an inspiration to us all .

    • Jo

      What you say is so right, you went to find help at your hospital with one problem and came away with another problem.

      A mesh device which you probably did not need, a mesh device which was never explained to you what it was exactly and what it was made of.

      All to often we hear of surgeons adding an extra to one lot of surgery that you go to them with then adding what they call a “Tape” with very little or no explanation.

      This quick fix operation needs to be banned, it is cheap and nasty product that should not have been allowed onto the worldwide market, plus the people who are putting them in have been reading from a manual as to how to perform this operation and practising on a cadavar.

      Talk about DIY!

      • jo says:

        hi teresa

        you are so right when my tape was fitted i was tore tranversley after the surgeon attempting to pass the tape 3 times on my left hand side ,they havent got a clue , and probably dont care as long as they get paid its not good

  12. Linda says:

    Hi Teresa. We have touched base over the phone and I am so happy to work with yet another pioneer who speaks out to stop women from being injured by medical mesh. It is a struggle to keep doing it but by joining hands across the world, we can make the awareness so much stronger and our voices louder. Because I have been writing a blog for two years, I believe that the personal cost to women in health is much higher than 20%. Women in the U.S. are treated the same way as they are in the U.K. They are turned away when they ask for help and literally left to struggle on their own in terrible pain. No one is listening. Most lose the health insurance here in this country after they lose their jobs and often their families. They are then forced to fight against a strong hold system for disability where no one believes the mesh has done this to them. Doctors are refusing to tell the the truth to the system about what is going on, so they are denied. Some women no longer want to live because getting through the day in such pain is worse then any childbirth. One women who is now mesh free, said it is worse than giving birth to her children AND the cancer treatments she went through. I often ask myself how could this happen to healthy women? How can we all be ignored so easily by our governments and our health care professionals? We do not live in third world countries and yet this happens every day.

    By joining hands together across the world we will prevail. THEY must listen to us at some point. We WILL be heard! I stand beside some wonderful women across the world who will hold steadfast and not stay silent. Thank you for speaking out.

  13. Lizzy says:

    Stop and read… just for a minute!! If you are lucky to be in good health.. you take it for granted…a headache you take a pill…. something more the doctor prescribes and the specialist advises and in good faith you trust them! Just like we did. We trusted them to sort out ‘our little’ problem! Now we pay the price, continual pain every day there is no escape. There is no escape from the ‘thing’ they have implanted in us which … as we were told… the solution to our ‘little problem’ has become the nightmare of our days and nights and a nightmare that very few doctors or surgeons can help with! The Pharma companies have lied… they have mislead…. the have maimed all for money! Is this right? Would you want your daughter or wife or sister or mother to be lied to like we have! The mesh needs to be BANNED!! No more women should be lied to. The timebomb has only just started…….

    • Lizzy

      The problem is we did trust these medical professionals with our bodies. From my own experience alone I have never come across so many consultants who have lied about my own condition and other consultants who have been economical with the truth.

      We live with the complications of this mesh each and every day it is always staring at you in the face no respite from it, even after surgery to try to remove it or reconstruct the damaged organs caused by this device there is no getting away from it.

  14. Jilly says:

    I’m sure that Teresa and all who have been brave enough to share their stories and speak out about this hideous product would never have dreamed, a few years ago, that their intimate details would one day be available for all to read. Yet, it only goes to show, the impact that a mesh implant can have on a persons life. The pain is all consuming, debilitating and disabling. Life revolves around how much you can or can not cope with physically each day and around a desperate search for a surgeon able help.

    Mesh sufferers find themselves in a constant battle to regain their health. Some days it feels too hard to fight, but it is the fight that keeps us going and the determination that one day it will be better and justice will be done.

    Thank goodness for the internet and for the wonderful ladies who have spent time and money setting up websites to support and inform. Without them where would we all be, believing our consultants that we are the only one, that the mesh can’t possibly be causing the problems?

    It is disgraceful that still today mesh is being implanted into unsuspecting patients, despite the growing number of adverse events. It has to be stopped and until then we must all do our bit (whatever we can) to raise awareness.

    • Jilly

      I agree with all that you say it is so hard to get by some days because of fatigue alone plus the constant pain.

      How many times have women been told that they are the rare ones with mesh complications. If surgeons had the guts to report all adverse incidents to the proper authority they would know that we are not rare.

      The timebomb has gone of completely all around the globe and Governments and Health Authoritys should now sit up and listen to the patients experience of mesh erosion with this mesh medical device.

  15. Linda says:

    In the U.S.A alone there are thousands of disabled women who had careers. Now they do not have insurance and the doors are closed in their faces. I continue to talk to many and I hear their tears.

    http://teapapers.com/bladdersling/2012/11/mesh-no-insurance

    Who will provide for these women? I don’t have the answer.

    • Linda

      I have read your blog Mesh and “no Insurance” I am so disappointed to learn that women are being left in such terrible circumstances.

      It sounds like a third world country.

      In the United Kingdom we do have Ther National Health Service for treatment although you still have to go on a waiting list.

      The problem that we all have also is that they are hiding this mesh erosion no matter what country we come from “they are in denial” want to cover it up its like taking on the mafia, well put it this way they will not be in denial for much longer when I have finished.

      Thank you for sharing your blog and I hope many women around the world will read it as you are such a credit to the people that you listen to and try your best to help even through your own suffering.

      Love Teresa

  16. Frances Williamson says:

    Keep up the good work Teresa. Some of the horror stories about these devices being fitted are scarey, To find out it has affected and ruined so many peoples lives is scandalous. After reading your website I have advised a few woman who are having propblems to think about not having these devices fitted and have directed them to your website.

    Good luck with your meeting with the director of Consumer Affairs in in Brussels. We are fully behind you;n

    Frances

    • Frances

      Thank you for reaching out to the women who may have been thinking about having one of these operations.

      You have become a saviour for these women they do not know how lucky they have been to have such a lucky escape from all the complications that come with this transvaginal mesh.

      Keep spreading the word and thank you.

      Teresa xx

  17. Jane Akre says:

    It’s difficult to believe that there are already 10,000 lawsuits filed in the U.S. and probably another 10k waiting to be filed according to this lawyer:

    http://meshmedicaldevicenewsdesk.com/featured-articles/mesh-cases-ten-thousand-and-growing/

    How many jumbo jet crashes is that? Why is no one talking about this except “Lawyer advertising”? I find it unbelievable!! Sort of like a huge disconnect possibly due to the discomfort about talking about women’s private parts!? (Right but if it was the latest bikini style worn by a celebrity it would be page one!)

    Whatever you do, please forward these links to everyone you know so they get over their embarrassment and stop turning their backs and join in to raise the profile on mesh injuries!

    • Please evryone send these links around the globe let us keep up the good fight.

      We need more coverage out there, we need people to be aware of this barbaric operation and what it is doing to women both young and old.

      Stand up and let us continue be proud to fight the good fight against transvaginal mesh destruction.

  18. Glenda Guy says:

    Hi I am 50 years old and live in the UK. I had a pelvic organ prolapse repair on 23rd August 2012. I had the bladder sling plus anterior and posterior repair using mesh. I bled heavily for two months (opposed to the 2-4 weeks advised by my surgeon) and was in extreme pain in the vagina and in the buttocks, it hurts my hips when walking upstairs. When I saw my surgeon after 7 weeks for follow-up, he told me I had an infection, prescribed antibiotics and discharged me. I am now 3 months post-op and still in extreme pain, I still bleed from time to time and have awful fatigue. (I had a hysterectomy 9 years ago so not menustration) . I have had an MRI and waiting to see the surgeon to find out what is going on. Having done some internet research, I now fear I am suffering from mesh rejection. I dread the surgeon saying the MRI shows nothing is wrong and I still won’t have any answers or solutions.

    • Liz Reece says:

      Hello Glenda,

      Another mesh story where the risks and potential complications were obviously not explained to you. There are too many of us – it is so wrong.

      Unfortunately the MRI is unlikely to show much or anything that is causing you pain. Labial scans are seldom used but are the best tool to show mesh. However, a skilled and supportive surgeon such as the female urogynaecologist who I saw for a second opinion after TVT agony could feel the problems (and see some of them too) immediately. My story is also on the patient profiles on this site but I have been luckier than most and had the TVT removed in total 18 months ago. My recovery is about 95% – I do everything I used to do although have some minor pain now and then. Nothing compared to mesh misery. I spoke on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour with a consultant who is pro mesh, to raise awareness. I have also written endless letters to various influential bodies – nothing seems to change yet.

      You may need to take action to get a second opinion – and you need someone who knows what they are doing and is aware of mesh problems.

      I do feel for you. Liz

      • Liz has worked so tirelessly in The United Kingdom and has tried her best to help sufferrers and spread the word about the complications of this mesh.

        Well done Liz.

        Teresa Hughes

      • Glenda Guy says:

        Hi Liz

        Thank you for your support and kind words. I am seeing my surgeon tomorrow and at least feel able to ask the right questions.

        Well done for all your hard work in making this problem known, as I knew nothing at all until I started searching the net and found this site. I would never have thought that as a potential problem. Fingers crossed tomorrow will bring some answers.

        Bless you

        Glenda

      • Eri says:

        Hi . Can u please let me know if u had it removed in uk and what dr ?

        Thank u

  19. Glenda

    You need some help and support.

    Please join our support group so that we may help you in any way whatsoever.

    Here is the link

    http://www.meshiesunitedgroup.co.uk

    Teresa Hughes

    • I have been to The European Commission for talks with Director of Consumer Affairs and I find it amazing that they themselves do not even know how many sufferrers are out there in The European Union.

      This shows that around Europe and The Globe we need to put on a united front.

      It was a fruitful meeting which I thought went really well.

    • Glenda Guy says:

      Thank you Teresa, I will do that.

      I am seeing my surgeon tomorrow, thanks to you I now have the right questions to ask him.

      I am in awe of your commitment and dedication as I know how awful you must feel most of the time. You are a legend.

      Bless you Glenda

  20. Damm! The Medicine Health Regulator in The United Kingdom

    Still they deny that we are victims of mesh complications. They still do not recognise how many women are suffering with serious complications.

    Talk about an ostrich burying its head in the sand.

    I could have done a better review myself at less cost to the public purse.

    “Shame on The Medicine Health Regbulator United Kingdom” but one day you will pay for the suffering inflicted upon us by this mesh medical device product and still you chose not to listen to the VICTIMS.

  21. To all sufferers of this vaginal mesh implant you all need to seriously think now about demonstrating in the near future at Parliament UK and The Medicine Health Regulator UK because if you sit back and do nothing proactive it will remain the same status.

    Fight back and take on Parliament United Kingdom and The ridiculous people within the Medicine Health Regulator who cannot see further than their nose.

    I am prepared to march to Parliament United Kingdom and The Medicine Health Regulator UK as ill as I am probably in a wheelchair, and you all need to think seriously about this and about making noises and having your voices heard out there in the public domain.

  22. It would have been wonderful to have had a crystal ball and seen the insight to all of this dreadful mesh.

    But no! we relied on surgeons who have used us as guinea pigs and have lied and covered up the truth and been economical wih the truth also. Played around with our physical and mental health and left us with little or no help.

  23. I am now suffering with constochondoritis an inflammation of the rib cage sternum which is very painful indeed. The inflammation has risen up to the bones in the neck and to the back of the head also

    I have been told it will take several months before it subsides. (Another complications of mesh do you think)?

    I just keep getting one illness after another.

  24. At long last the time has come for me to now have this dreaded mesh removed. It has become a very long journey to have a number of consultants I have seen come out of denial at what part of my problem is.

    Lies and cover up over 6 years.

    It has now come to the stage where there is so much damage which I feel could have been avoided or helped with much sooner.

    I am very angry at the very people who say they are there to help you and who at the same time refuse to recognise that it is the trans-vaginal mesh which is and was doing this damage.

    I do not know what the future hold for me and for many people as we struggle through life each day with so many different illness’s appearing as well as mesh erosion, bladder damage and urethra damage.

    In the United Kingdom this subject with authorities The Department of Health, The Medicine Health Regulator and Consultants in Urology are still glossing over this subject of mesh complications.

    I am now in fear of what this mesh removal the first of many operation which I am going to have is going to do to me.

  25. I thought I would update you all.

    At long last I have had mesh removal in a London Hospital in England which is 250 miles away from my home.

    I have some rather graphic pictures of the damage to my bladder neck and urethra.

    This transvaginal mesh has decapitated my bladder neck and also the urethra there was not much left of it.

    There is a marvellous surgeon in The United Kingdom by the name of Ms. Suzy Elneil at London University College Hospital. This surgeon has been the saviour to many women in The United Kingdom including myself.

    I do not know what state we would all have been in if we had not found her. She is a saint in disguise and I cannot thank her enough.

    We still do not have any lawyers in The United Kingdom to help us with mesh litigation. I wonder why.

    I have some releif from the pulling in the legs and calves, the pains in the groin. But other pain which is nerve damage pain.

    This operation is so Barbaric and to all people around the world if you are offered the operation please say a BIG FAT NO! your quality of life will change forever.

    Teresa Hughes http://www.meshiesunited.co.uk

  26. Can anyone give us any help in The United Kingdom regarding litigation and finding a solicitor lawyer to represent us women.

  27. Amanda Symms says:

    Teresa, I would like to say thank you. I was booked in for this procedure today. Last night I decided to google TVT just to get an idea of how long I would take to heal etc. Fortunately, I stumbled on your campaign and the terrible ordeal you have been through. I rang the hospital at 8am this morning and cancelled, all thanks to you. After reading all of your information, I cannot believe how misinformed I was. No-one has ever mentioned this mesh embedding itself and breaking down. My stress incontinence is very minor, and I owe so much to you for what you have made accessible to others. Due to your selfless actions, you are preventing this happening to others.

    Thank you once again.

    • Amanda

      Thank you for your comments.

      I am so glad that you have made the right decision as I would not like any woman to go through the ordeal of what I and so many others have been through.

      Thank you once again for your kind support.

      Teresa

  28. Connie Gayer says:

    Thanks to all the women that have stood up and spoke up. I had the mesh surgery in 2006 and i am starting to feel complications from this. The doctors had told me that i had the less invasive one done and if the pain wasn’t bad that i should just put up with this. I had told him that having sex was painful and that it felt like someone was using a rasp. i have also experienced hurting in my side. They have put me on hormone cream to keep the bladder wall thick to help with the erosion. I have lately been experiencing lots of rawness and cramping, bloating and gas. Are these signs of erosion?

  29. Connie Gayer says:

    I am very nervous about this but feel i have no choice from the research i have done.

  30. I had mesh removal February 2013 and now I have been told that I have a rare infection called ACIDOVORANS.

    Has anyone else heard of this infection .

    Teresa Hughes http://www.meshiesun itedgroup.co.uk

  31. I posted this petition with the incorrect link before. This is the correct link and I hope that many sufferers around the world will sign the petition for all England Mesh Sufferers.

    http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/the-medicine-health-regulator-united-kingdom-are-failin.html

  32. Connie Gayer says:

    Teresa, who did your removal? Was it Dr. Raz? Was your infection caused from the removal?

    • Connie

      My removal was done in London UK by Ms Suzy Elneil this was after trying to find the right person who would remove the mesh. I was being fobbed off by other surgeons for many years and suffering.

      The infection Acidovoran is widely found in the environment (in water soil etc) it has been reported as the causative organism when central venous catheters become infected.

      According to a microbioligist whilst it is rare it can be treated with antibiotics.

      I do not know how I got this infection.

  33. Having had Acidovoran a rare infection after my mesh removal I am now suffering with Costochondiritis which is inflammation of the chest area.

    The inflammation is causing severe shortage of breath and trying to walk at all is very difficult as I cannot breath very well.

    Has anyone else been suffering with Costocondiritis apparently the cartilages are rubbing together causing inflammation extreme pain and breathing difficulties.

    People with Fibromyalgia which is what I have also are prone to Costocondiritis

    There is no cure just rest but know one knows how long it will last.

    How long is a piece of string?

    The toxins in this mesh with its toxins have an awful lot to answer for.

  34. Wales UK on board as Conway County Councillor Bill Darwin supports mesh injured women

    http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/it-should-be-mandatory-for-surgeons-to-report-mesh-injuries.html

    Every little piece of support helps especially from men

  35. I have been to meet at The Department of Health England for talks. I have been to the European Commission for talks. I have been to see The President of Urology David Richmond in London and The Chairman of Baus Ash Monga. I have been to see Professor Chris Chapple also at Sheffield University Hallam Hospital. I have also had talks with The MHRA UK upon two occasions. These talks have been about what has happened in England and the rest of The United Kingdom including Wales Northern Ireland and Scotland. I have also been to Westminster Parliament for talks with several members of parliament. This is what has been happening in our campaign in England since the year 2008 so it is an on going campaign by seriously injured women and men.

    In all the talks that have gone on all of these institutions have been in denial of mesh injuries. In England the press are very reluctant to public about transvaginal and prolapse mesh injuries so it has been a godsend that Scotland knew of someone in the press who could bring this matter to the forefront.

    It is still a long and rocky road and so much red tape to overcome which does not happen overnight.

    Well done Scotland

    Alex Neil states that he waits for reports from The MHRA UK and Europe well good luck with that one because unless something changes drastically about how these people think about mesh implants we will need a miracle.

    • msm says:

      Thank you so much for all of your efforts! Without your work,there would be little chance that the rest of Europe would bat an eye. I hope they will be forced to address it publicly and it will become known that they have aware of this problem since 2008 and have refused to act. Thanks again!

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