The life-changing impact of mesh implants has been well documented over the last year, culminating in a proposal for a complete ban of mesh procedures for stress incontinence in the UK.
Numerous women have talked about the serious and life-changing complications they have had as a result of the surgery, from chronic pain to bleeding and incontinence.
However, it is not only women that are at risk. Mesh implants have been used in the past to help men suffering hernias and incontinence and, for many, this has led to significant pain. We investigate how men have suffered as a result of mesh implants, and what you can do to get help if you need it.
What Is A Mesh Implant?
Mesh implants are usually of a synthetic material, typically polypropylene (also used to make drinks containers), and are inserted in the rectum in an attempt to strengthen muscle tissue that has been damaged as a result of conditions such as hernias.
Mesh is an intrusive form of surgery that can have a variety of complications, however, it is becoming increasingly clear that men who have been treated were not told about these complications before surgery, nor were they offered less intrusive options.
The life-changing and, in some cases, irreversible complications, include:
- Chronic pain;
- Bowel or nerve trauma;
- Bladder infection or perforation;
- Pain while walking;
- Mesh erosion
How Have Mesh Implants Affected People?
According to an NHS report, it is thought that more than 100,000 people had mesh surgery for stress urinary incontinence (SUI) between April 2008 and March 2017. This is experimental data, however – meaning that many more could have been affected.
There has been a number of reports of people being injured as a result of ventral mesh rectopexy, including many in the South West who were treated by Dr Tony Dixon, who is under investigation following complaints about his practice.
On 10 July 2018, the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review called for an immediate halt on the use of mesh surgery for SUI until various conditions were met. The government has muddied the waters by announcing that mesh could be continued to be used under what they have called “high vigilance programme of restricted practice”. The recommendation is positive, but doesn’t extend to the halting of rectopexy operations, which can and do continue to affect men, as well as women and children, across the UK.
What Support Is There For Men Suffering After Mesh Implants?
For men who have suffered life-changing injuries as a result of mesh implants, help and support is vital for them to try and get their lives back on track. Sling the Mesh offers an online support forum for men affected by mesh implants, and their families, as well as signposting them to events across the country.
Similarly, if you are not happy with the treatment you have received in hospital, campaign groups such as The Patient’s Association and Action for Victims of Medical Accidents can also provide assistance.
Alongside support and advice, if you have been affected by mesh surgery, you could be able to make a compensation claim. You have no more than three years from when you first reasonably understood that your injuries were caused by mesh to make a claim, so it’s important, if you intend to start a claim, to speak to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.
Author Bio: Thompsons Solicitors’ medical negligence specialists are supporting more than 220 people who have suffered complications as a result of mesh implant surgery. If you have been injured by mesh implants, you could be able to make a rectal mesh compensation claim. Contact us today to find out more information.