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Sunday Mail, Scotland: Implants used to treat bladder problems could be causing agonising health problems

This article published in Scotland’s Sunday Mail newspaper on 24th March 2013 reveals how implants used to treat bladder and prolapse problems could be causing agonising health problems for hundreds of Scots women.

The article by journalist Marion Scott explains how at least fifteen Scots women are pursuing legal advice on compensation claims after enduring agonising side-effects following the surgery.

Shadow health secretary Jackie Baillie has urged for an urgent inquiry into the safety of these pelvic mesh products and is seeking a meeting with Health Secretary Alex Neil to discuss the issue of synthetic implants used in gynaecological surgery.  She argues that there should be testing on implants which should be as rigorous as that for drugs.

The article mentions Dr Tom Margolis, one of  America’s top specialists, who has performed over 150 mesh removals.  He states that vaginal mesh can cause serious complications such as obstructions of the bowel and urethra, nasty infections and major damage to tissue in the vagina, bowel and bladder. He argues that inserting mesh through the vagina, a non-sterile environment, goes against everything surgeons have been trained to do.

The article summarises the five cases of women who have suffered complications from this surgery.

To read more see:

You can leave comments on the newspaper’s website or you can telephone call 0141 309 3239 if you have been affected too, or you can email the journalist:



11 thoughts on “Sunday Mail, Scotland: Implants used to treat bladder problems could be causing agonising health problems

  1. The medical profession, treating mesh implant patients, need to understand that every individual’s good health must be protected.
    For instance, regarding surgical mesh implants, it equates to medical failure, which morally and professionally is unacceptable. When will the MHRA, MPs and government listen to the plight of mesh implant sufferers and protect all patients from harm? I.H.

    Posted by Ingrid Hardacre | March 28, 2013, 7:13 am
  2. I am one of many women banging my head of a brick wall for answers. I have been through an operation to try and get rid of this poison that just wants out of my body

    Posted by cathleen | March 29, 2013, 1:30 am
  3. I have undergone the tvt operation twice now as first time this caused so many infections to me and painfull intercoarse to my husband . Second tape fitted front to back as not all tape had been removed I wasn’t aware of this until second operation was being done doctor told me tape at left side hadn’t been fully removed so she had no option other than to do it in the opposite direction .

    Posted by susan Doyle | April 8, 2013, 9:35 am
  4. I underwent TVT surgery for urinary incontinence in May 2004. Since then I have had terrible pain in my legs and groin pain during intercourse. I have suffered a loss of sex drive also over the last 9 years to the point where my husband feels unhappy neglected. This causes dreadful rows in our once contented marriage. I didn’t know why all of these things were happening to me and I didn’t feel I could speak to any one about it so I have tried to deal with it alone. Then, a few weeks ago, I read an article about TVT surgery and I started to wonder if this was connected to the changes in my body. I was so happy to be offered the surgery because the urinary incontinence I was suffering was very very debilitating. My gynaecologist told me that I was one of the worst cases he had ever seen. He told me 90% of women were cured and never discussed any side effects with me. I’m pretty sure I never asked either. Lamb to the slaughter comes to mind.

    Posted by Elaine purvis | November 15, 2013, 10:34 pm
  5. I had TVT inserted in 2009 at same time as having bladder prolapse repair . After 6 months I started getting UTIs and then excruciating pain when passing urine . I was taken into Hspital and had tape split. Pain got worse and incontinance returned . I then found that when I passed urine that I got a swelling inside my Vigina which i was told was my bladder . I had to push this lump to empty my bladder each time I went to toilet. My surgen didn’t seem to know what to do or what was happening no matter how much. Tried to explain it. Eventually after about a year of putting up with this excruciating pain I was told to self catheterise to see if this would help. It didn’t so I was taken back into surgery to investigate .
    I wasn’t told what the problem was just that it all went well. When leaving the hospital I asked one of the young drs that has advised the catherisation what the problem had been she just said I had had a repair .
    I was never told it was because of the TVT but I’m sure it was.
    Now looking back I don’t know how I managed to suffer all that pain it was worse than childbirth .

    Posted by Pamela | December 29, 2013, 7:02 pm
  6. hi Pamela,

    I really feel for you. I also agree that the pain of TVTs going wrong, and the infections, are far worse than childbirth. Would you consider paying to see your medical notes to find out what had been done in the ‘repair’? Would it be worth knowing whether there was mesh removed? What sort of time did the recovery after your repair take?
    I do hope that you are now in good health?
    Warmly, Liz

    Posted by Liz RH | December 30, 2013, 10:36 am
  7. Hi Pamela

    I am so sorry to hear of your long and difficult journey. I second Liz’s suggestion to get your medical notes. some hospitals get you to pay for them- some don’t . You go through the complaints department to request your notes ( some hospitals vary in their approach) but PALS if you have one in your input centre ,would also help you to get them. The complaint department (or PALS) can arrange for your to get an advocate to come sit with you while you read the notes . the inspection process goes through the complaints department – they will arrange access for to read the notes before you buy or get them. Make use of that facility. As a patient you have the right to request the help of the doctor whom you saw to go through the notes he/she made. You will be surprised what the medical notes will reveal! For a start you might find that the consultant you saw may not be the one who performed your operations either inputting or the subsequent correction operations! You might find that a registrar has done the input and you don’t know how competent he or she was.

    If you find that you cannot cope with getting the notes then see if there is a SEAP or ICAS branch in your area.( don’t know where you live)

    An interesting point was mentioned to me ( I am still receiving treatment!) this doctor asked me if I have ever been back to my inputting consultant/surgeon to tell him and her (in my case) what had happened to me. We are all different in the way we cope – but I did not go back to the inputting centre – as they knew I had complained and went through all the various complaint stages available to a patient.

    If I could advise anyone – I would say – Yes – write to your consultant / inputting centre and tell them /him how poorly you are and how you were not treated well ( if you think that is how it is /was for you – you are entitled to give your account of your journey and how you are now- !) The get your medical notes – you may have to ask the consultants permission to get them? However under the Data Protection Act and the Freedom of Information act you are entitled to see any notes that are held under your name.

    I would also say categorically – that there is no point in going to the Ombudsman – as that is a waste of time – because they really get paid to waste your valuable time! If you have the time – go and see a Solicitor – even if it is just for a free of charge chat.

    I am willing to communicate with you – ask tvt info to make contact with me!

    I H.

    Posted by Ingrid Hardacre | December 31, 2013, 3:29 pm
  8. Dear TVT info please supply my contact details to Pamela if she wishes to make contact with me.

    Posted by Ingrid Hardacre | December 31, 2013, 3:30 pm
  9. Dear Pamela

    I forgot to make you aware that I feel you ought to make use of the website tvt-mum/ petition and give your comments by signing the petition. This is a clear way of making your voice heard that you are one more mesh sufferer.
    Also when requesting your medical notes make sure that they give you the data ( a very small, insignificant label!) of your device – mesh implants are a device – regulated (of sorts!) – like a hip or a knee. It has a serial number and a batch number. This information should be send to the MHRA, who collect adverse incident data. tvtinfo gives the MHRA details on the site.
    Be vocal about your journey – and help to spread awareness to save others to come to harm through this dangerous operation (if done badly – bad surgery!) with a product that is not fit for purpose.
    Hope this helps

    Posted by Ingrid Hardacre | December 31, 2013, 3:42 pm
  10. Hi Ingrid,in a recent post—aimed at a lady called Pamela—-you mentioned contacting the surgeon who operated on her,just wondered if this is something you feel all us ladies who are—or have been—–suffering should do and if so do you mean the consultant that used the mesh ;or in my case ,multiple mesh?

    Posted by carole jarman | January 4, 2014, 5:37 pm
  11. Hi Pamela
    You can get your medical records from the hospital. You can ask for specific records if you just want your gynae records from the surgery or any related appointments or treatment. Contact the medical records department of your hospital. Then you will know for sure what you had done. Or ask your GP for clarification and for copies of all letters eg discharge letters from the hospital.

    Posted by tvtinfo | January 6, 2014, 11:13 pm

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