NHS England this week announced it is putting an immediate curb on mesh operations after safety concerns.
The NHS has accepted the advice of a new review looking at harm reported by women who received the treatment for stress urinary incontinence. Many women say the implants caused them agony by cutting into tissue. Some say they have been left with life-changing injuries.
England’s Chief Medical Officer, Prof Dame Sally Davies, said mesh would remain a treatment of last resort for some: “Carefully selected patients will continue to have access in discussion with their consultant.”
The review found no evidence on the benefits for treating urinary incontinence that would outweigh “the severity of human suffering caused by mesh complications”.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“Use of mesh has left too many people across the UK with crippling and life-changing injuries. Based on the evidence brought forward by the review, it is clear that the pain these operation are causing women across the country is simply unjustified and unneeded.
“It is truly a national scandal and I welcome the change made today by the NHS.”
Baroness Cumberlege, chair of the review board said:
“My team and I are in no doubt that this pause is necessary. We must stop exposing women to the risk of life-changing and life-threatening injuries. We must have measures in place to mitigate the risk, and those are sadly lacking at the moment.
“At this stage in our review we are not recommending a ban, but a halt to procedures.
“The pause can be lifted if certain checks and measures are met by March 2019.”