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Campaign for Change, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), News & Updates

Sunday Mail (Scotland): Mesh operation victim reveals agony in emotional plea to Health Secretary

A woman who has suffered appalling complications following mesh surgery has made an emotional plea in a letter to the Health Secretary which was published in the Sunday Mail on 7th April 2013.

In this third article on pelvic mesh by journalist Marion Scott, we hear the story of Lynn Thyne who suffered unwanted complications as a result of mesh surgery for pelvic organ prolapse and stress incontinence. Lynn describes the agony she endured after she was implanted with the mesh device.  She implores the Scottish Health Secretary, Alex Neil, to instigate a public enquiry into the mesh implant scandal.

In 2008, Lynn had a hysterectomy and bladder lift operation at Southern General Hospital to repair a pelvic floor prolapse which resulted from a difficult birth some years earlier.  She was not told about the use of mesh to support the bladder until after the surgery.  Lynn says that she did not recall her surgeon discussing the mesh or explaining any of the possible complications.  She says that if she had known she was receiving an implant, she would have researched the procedure and considered the health implications.

Within three years, Lynn experienced pain and discomfort and after multiple tests, she discovered that a piece of the mesh had eroded into her bladder.  Although she asked for the entire mesh to be removed, she was told it was virtually impossible to remove it all without causing further damage.  In 2012, Lynn had a procedure to cut a hole in her bladder and remove the part of the mesh which was in the bladder.  The remaining mesh is still in her body and she remains concerned as to what damage it may cause in the future.  (Synthetic mesh can erode into nearby organs and tissue.)

Lynn’s letter describes her feelings of anger that she was not properly consulted on this procedure which has left her with permanent health problems.  She explains how she is alarmed at how difficult the mesh is to remove from the body, sometimes requiring multiple operations.

After reading the recent reports in the Sunday Mail, Lynn was concerned  that her experience is not as rare as previously told.  Lynn also believes many women are reporting what they believe are auto-immune responses to the implant.  Lynn thinks that doctors should be required by law to report on all the possible effects and complications of mesh surgery.  She believes the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) should hold medical manufacturers and doctors responsible for their actions.  Currently, there is no compulsory register for all implants and no compulsory reporting of complications, so it is impossible to know the extent of the problems with these devices.

Lynn reported her case to the MHRA and asked them to investigate, only to be told the manufacturer would carry out the investigation, a situation which Lynn describes as ludicrous.  Any investigations should be independent of the manufacturer, she argues.

Lynn thinks that women have a right to know why this has happened to women and demands a public inquiry.  She says that doctors and manufacturers need to be accountable and an immediate implant register is required.  The system for reporting unwanted effects from this medical implant is not working.  She believes medical devices should be subjected to the same scrutiny as drugs before being marketed.

If you have suffered from this type of surgery and would like to contact Marion, please email her at: m.scott@sundaymail.co.uk or phone her on tel: 0141 309 3239

To read the full Sunday Mail article, please click on link:  http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/mesh-operation-victim-lynn-thyne-1825066

Read opinion page also:  Sunday Mail, Health secretary must take plight of women affected by mesh problems seriously

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Discussion

6 thoughts on “Sunday Mail (Scotland): Mesh operation victim reveals agony in emotional plea to Health Secretary

  1. Thank you for this account on last week’s Daily Record issue highlighting the plight of another mesh victim in Scotland. It is time that mesh victims in England do the same by writing to their MPs and to the Health Secretary to urge for a public inquiry into the mesh implant problems which affect not only women but also men who have mesh related problems following mesh repairs for hernias.

    Posted by Ingrid Hardacre | April 13, 2013, 7:34 pm
  2. This was great journalism – some follow up of the sort of cases that mesh leaves behind. Thank you TVT info for following through, and thank you Daily Record for showing the sort of interest that the English press should show.

    Posted by Liz RH | April 21, 2013, 6:35 am
  3. I feel compelled to point the finger at the MHRA. They have quite clearly failed all mesh victims. They are doing exactly the same as all consultants, surgeons (Trusts!)- Turning victims away by deflecting responsibility in saying that investigations are done by the mesh manufacturers. This is wrong! What possible help would come from an investigation from the mesh manufacturers?

    Much more alarming is the fact that asking MPs to look into TVT, TOT and other surgical mesh concerns, by tabling questions in Parliament and getting a response which clearly shows that some Government sources do not have up-to-date figures. My MP has tabled two questions recently (for which I was grateful, as it showed committed concern from a female MP) Norman Lamb answered these questions and stated figures received from the MHRA which are totally inaccurate. Tvtinfo has kindly passed on published figures supplied by an MP
    Source: Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), issue date 23rd May 2012. Link: https://tvtinfo.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/uk-parliament-statistics-on-mesh-implant-surgery-and-mesh-removals/ This quite clearly shows that incidents figures are and ever were higher than any figures quoted only recently by Norman Lamb MP. It remains for the general public and for mesh victims to inform their MPs, who are, after all, voted in by the public, for the public.

    MPs cannot know everything about everything. Therefore, please get your MP to understand your situation by supplying them with relevant information and asking for a public inquiry ( suggested by people, who have signed on the tvtmum petition) site into this serious situation.

    This has been recognized by eminent consultants in the Urogynea field, such as Mr Marcus Drake. who warns about the impending crisis regarding all mesh implants in his article qouted on this blog site http://www.bjuinternational.com/bjui-blog/midurethral-tape-surgery-for-incontinence-a-possible-victim-of-the-vaginal-mesh-crisis/
    Important message to all mesh sufferers = Report your incident to the MHRA – Be brave and navigate through the bewildering MHRA website or ring them to send you a form to fill in. 020 3080 7080.
    Thank you tvtinfo, for keeping us informed. IH

    Posted by Ingrid Hardacre | May 4, 2013, 11:47 am
  4. I had a TVT fitted approx 5/6 years ago and although at the time was the best thing i had done, i now am now experiencing great pain and continued cystitis issues then i found this tonight:
    What’s the Problem?
    Women are often not told of the long term risks and lack of long term data on the safety of TVT. The surgery is described in the manufacturer’s literature as “safe, effective and minimally invasive”. However, these meshes are causing serious complications in many women. In additional to the usual operative risks associated with gynaecological surgery, the mesh can cause all sorts of problems, such as: urinary retention and bladder emptying problems; urine infections; nerve and pubic pain; painful intercourse; erosion of the material into the bladder, vagina and other organs; infection and abscess; urge incontinence; and foreign body reaction.

    There are studies which show that mesh is not inert and can shrink, degrade and migrate inside the body. Some women have had multiple surgeries to remove portions of the tape which have eroded into the vagina, pelvic tissues or organs, causing pain and infection.

    This device becomes firmly implanted in the body once the fibroblasts have infiltrated the mesh at around 6 weeks. Unlike hip or breast implants, it becomes very difficult and sometimes impossible to remove. Removal can be risky too because it risks further damage to the delicate organs such as the bladder and urethra. Many women have had trouble finding the right treatment to remedy their problems. There are very few surgeons in the UK who are experienced in removing this mesh because it is a very specialised and highly skilled procedure to remove it, yet there are numerous gynaecologists, urogynaecologists and urologists implanting it in hundreds of women up and down the country.

    Posted by susan b | October 7, 2013, 7:16 pm
  5. Thank you , tvtinfo, for keeping us informed. We now know that the long term risks are far more prevalent than first thought, at the inception of using these products about 17 years ago. Thankfully mesh victims have come forward who realized that their health has suffered in many varied ways since their mesh was implanted. We know that men and women are affected through the use of mesh and it’s adverse reactions. Keeping your GP informed by giving them information that is bona fide and well researched and the origin of the information displayed, is the best form of good information. Keeping Marion Scott’s contact details uppermost, is a useful tool. m.scott@sundaymail.co.uk or phone her on tel: 0141 309 3239
    We need more help from the daily papers. PIP implants get more exposure and yet urinary problems get ignored – largely.
    Thank you.IH

    Posted by Ingrid | October 8, 2013, 11:43 am
  6. http://corporateactionnetwork.org/ – helped Scottish and USA groups co ordinate a united fight

    http://www.meshsurgeons.com/casestudy51.php

    And this website shows pictures and videos that clearly describes the complications from TVT, TOT, and mini slings / very helpful –

    Be good to have links on your website

    Posted by Suki Mann | May 21, 2014, 8:29 pm

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