Vaginal Mesh Claims
NHS Mesh Compensation Claims
If you have undergone vaginal mesh treatment and feel that you may have suffered injury as a result, then please do not hesitate to contact our specialist medical negligence lawyers.
Josie Robinson Senior Associate
Table of Contents
What is vaginal mesh surgery?
A vaginal mesh, also known as TVT mesh or pelvic mesh, is simply a synthetic net-like material (made of polypropylene) which is used to replace weak connective tissues or ligaments, suspending the vagina and uterus. The mesh is implanted during a simple operation during which the vagina is opened at the vaginal wall and the mesh is secured in place. The surgery is common in women aged over 50.
Why was vaginal mesh surgery used?
A vaginal mesh is used to treat urogynaecological conditions for stress incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Stress incontinence is a very common condition for women after childbirth and at menopause, with around 20% of women suffering from this condition. Pelvic organ prolapse affects up to half of women who have had children and occurs when a pelvic organ (including the bladder, rectum or uterus) moves out of place. Commonly, this happens when the pelvic muscles are weakened or damaged.
Pelvic organ prolapse can be very life-limiting, making it difficult to use the toilet and causing painful symptoms in the vagina and loss of sensation—the mesh aimed to support weakened organs and repair damaged tissue.
Mesh was used in the UK from the mid-1990s. Data was produced to show that between April 2008 and March 2017, 100,516 patients had a tape insertion procedure for stress incontinence, and 27,016 patients underwent a mesh procedure for pelvic organ prolapse. In the same period, 71,350 had a non-mesh procedure for pelvic organ prolapse.
The initial trials indicated low rates of complication and high success rates. Still, the controversy started to build when there was a body of counter-evidence that mesh wasn’t as efficient as indicated and that there was a higher complication rate, with 1 in 15 women suffering complications warranting removal of the mesh by surgery.
Problems with TVT mesh surgery
There were several cases where patients suffered serious harm from surgery, including mesh erosion/extrusion, such as vaginal scarring, fistula formation, painful sex, bladder infection, bladder perforation, bowel and nerve trauma and chronic pain, usually in the pelvis, back and legs. It was thought to be one of the most shocking NHS scandals of its time, with one of the main complaints being a failure to inform patients of the risk. This included private patients as well as NHS patients.
Following calls from patients and senior professors against using mesh, The Independent and Medical Devices Safety Review recommended that doctors pause using mesh, which was implemented by the government in July 2018, pending a review. The review led by Baroness Julia Cumberlege and the IMMDS (Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety) report entitled First Do No Harm was published in July 2020, and the government finally responded in July 2021.
The review attracted immediate attention, and the NICE Guidelines for Urinary Incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse in Women: management was finally published on 2 April 2019, which is relied upon by medical professionals to date.
While mesh is not banned, it is recommended to be used as a last resort and under very strict supervision for exceptional cases.
Many patients continue to suffer debilitating conditions relating to mesh procedures. More recent statistics support that the rate of complications is as high as 1 in 6 patients.
Vaginal mesh claim client story
Our SG client experienced significant complications following TVT surgery. SG initially sought medical help for urinary symptoms and was advised to undergo TVT surgery. Unfortunately, post-surgery, she suffered a lack of movement in her left leg, among other complications. The case evolved into a civil claim against East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust. Read about the case here.
Pelvic mesh risks are still being ignored
Notwithstanding the reports, reviews, and strict recommendations on how best to treat patients suffering from organ prolapse and stress incontinence, there are worrying reports projecting that the UK plans to become Europe’s key market for pelvic mesh within eight years. New research is being undertaken to support mesh products which are reported to fail to properly account for the risks and appear to exaggerate the benefits.
There are some excellent dedicated mesh online support groups available, with the most well-known website being https://slingthemesh.co.uk
Under English law, medical practitioners must act according to a reasonable body of medical opinion. They are liable under negligence law if they fall below this standard and cause patient loss or injury. Osbornes Law has represented patients in medical negligence actions against private doctors and NHS Trusts in relation to vaginal mesh products.
How can Osbornes Law help me make a vaginal mesh claim?
Osbornes Law has helped many women make vaginal mesh claims. Our expert team of medical negligence lawyers, will use their extensive legal knowledge to help you secure vaginal mesh compensation after suffering a mesh implant injury.
It is important to get expert support as soon as possible after a medical negligence injury. If you have undergone vaginal mesh treatment and feel that you may have suffered injury as a result, then please do not hesitate to contact Josie Robinson who specialises in vaginal mesh claims.
FAQs about Vaginal Mesh Claims
Who can make a Vaginal Mesh Claim?
Any woman who has suffered complications from a vaginal mesh implant can potentially make a claim for compensation. This is the case whether surgery was performed by the NHS or a private hospital.
Osbornes Law has successfully secured significant compensation in medical negligence claims against the NHS and private healthcare providers.
How long do I have to make a claim?
The time limit for making a vaginal mesh claim is three years is within three years of the date you could have reasonably known that your injury was a result of medical negligence. For example, the time period could start following a diagnosis by your GP that mesh is the cause of your problems. This means that, even if you underwent a mesh procedure some years ago and you are only now experiencing complications, you could still be eligible to make a vaginal mesh claim.
The three years can slip by quickly, and delay increases the risk of losing vital evidence. Therefore, we recommend consulting a solicitor, ideally no later than 12-18 months after you became aware of negligence, to avoid the problems caused by delay and to give your claim the best chance of success.
How much compensation can I claim?
The amount of compensation can vary significantly depending on the extent of injury and its impact on your life. Compensation covers general damages for pain, suffering, and loss of amenity, and special damages for financial losses like lost earnings and medical expenses.
Do I have to pay to make a vaginal mesh claim?
Osbornes Law offer a No Win No Fee Agreement. We use the Law Society’s approved Conditional Fee Agreement.
We guarantee that you will not have to pay anything if we are unsuccessful in obtaining compensation for you. If this happens, we are paid nothing.
If your claim is successful, you may have to pay legal fees and expenses out of your compensation, but we guarantee that this will not exceed 25% of the compensation awarded.
Contact us about a TVT Mesh Claim
For a free initial conversation call 020 7485 8811
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The Medical Negligence Team View the whole team
Rob Aylott Partner
Personal Injury Solicitors
Jodi Newton Partner
Ben Posford Partner
Personal Injury Solicitors
Stephanie Prior Partner
Tahsin Choudhury Paralegal
Sophie Cole-Ducker Paralegal