"My experience with TVM "

About: Raigmore Hospital / Gynaecology Raigmore Hospital / Urology

(as the patient),

TVM for Stress Urinary Incontinence

I was fitted with this mesh implant as the best thing since sliced bread in 2009.

By Nov 2013 I felt a hard ridge in my vagina and was told it was the mesh. It has broken loose and had rolled up on itself. Now I had experienced pains in my inner thighs during the past five years but after a scan for deep seated varicose veins was sent away as if I had been faking. Now of course it's obvious it was the tape moving away from their entry and exit points. It is a ticking time bomb.

I can still walk and have sex but one false move could have me in a wheelchair and suffering the constant pain, as the ladies who are petitioning for their use to be banned! DO NOT HAVE ONE. Put up with going to the loo more often until they invent a better device.

You only have one body and no matter how simple this op is said to be it has terrible after-effects. Some ladies's mesh has even disintegrated and is sharp pieces inside their bodies causing immeasurable suffering.

I have been lucky....so far. If I live to be 85 I still have 30 years of wondering if every new day will be the day I wake up and find it's a wheelchair for me.

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Responses

Response from Linda Kirkland, Interim Director of Operations, Raigmore Hospital, NHS Highland

Dear Karen

I am so sorry you are going through this and understand you must be very anxious. Can I ask if you are receiving medical care? Would you like to speak with someone who can discuss options and care with you? My e mail address is linda.kirkland@nhs.net. Please e mail me directly if you would like me to help in any way.

Kind regards

Linda

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Update posted by Karen 2 (the patient)

Hi Linda

Thank you for your response. I have found the Scottish Mesh Survivors Group who have been very helpful in giving me all the information I needed. I find the medical profession unable to understand our predicament as they can only see the 'benefit' of a quicker surgery to get more patients off their waiting lists. Or as has come to light this week that they are funded by the manufacturers of the mesh so are unable to comment on their true thoughts.

I only hope that the group are able to stop one more lady from putting herself at risk before proper trialing has been undertaken. I believe the mesh was used for men's hernias and then one day one doctor in America decided to try it out on a woman for SUI. A Blue Peter moment! No clinical trialling. Unbelievable. It was 5 years before the medical profession realised mine had moved so 5 years is too short a time. As I say, women of the UK/world, you have been warned.

Response from Craig White, Divisional Clinical Lead, Directorate of Health Quality and Strategy, Scottish Government

picture of Craig White

Dear Karen2

I was also sorry to hear what you have been going through and hope you will feel able to contact Linda at NHS Highland to ensure that you have access to all of the expert support and help available.

An Independent Review of surgery using vaginal mesh has been set up by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing. This will look at research evidence and examine adverse incidents and effects associated with this treatment. It will have the means both of identifying and determining the causes of issues where this is possible, and finding and implementing solutions.

An Expert Group, chaired by the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, includes clinicians and patient representatives, has been set up to consider the issue of synthetic mesh implants in more detail. This Group has met three times and has published a patient information and consent leaflet for the surgical treatment of stress urinary incontinence in women.

This Booklet gives detailed information about the synthetic mid-urethral tape procedure and discusses the intended benefits and risks associated with the insertion of mesh implants. The booklet can be accessed at:

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2014/06/2806

The Expert Group is currently developing a patient information and consent booklet for treatment of pelvic organ prolapse. New care pathways are also being developed for management of pelvic organ prolapse and for women presenting with complications.

Discussions are also beginning in respect of the national planning required to reconfigure services to ensure women have access to appropriate clinical expertise and treatment.

Part of the work of the Independent Review is to consider the personal experiences from Scottish women who have had problems as a result of mesh implants. I will make sure that the Deputy Chief Medical Officer arranges for your postings on Patient Opinion to be passed to the members of her Expert Group and that the Chair of the Independent Review is also advised of the details of your experiences.

With best wishes and thanks for raising a matter of such importance,

Yours respectfully,

Craig White

Professor Craig A White

Divisional Clinical Lead, The Quality Unit

Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates

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