New battle for patients with lives ruined by implants for bowel problems 

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Sumary of New battle for patients with lives ruined by implants for bowel problems :

  • Jacqui, now 54, finds it hard to walk upstairs or do tasks such as ironing, and has pain all over her body 24/7, like a ‘blanket of fog that never lifts’..
  • ‘Before lockdown, if we went out with friends and everyone got up to dance, it would kill me as I knew I couldn’t because it would cause me too much pain.’ Jacqui, now 54, finds it hard to walk upstairs or do tasks such as ironing, and has pain all over her body 24/7, like a ‘blanket of fog that never lifts’ Jacqui life has been blighted by two operations — one in September 2008 and the other in January 2009 — to fix a post-childbirth bowel prolapse, or enterocele..
  • The first, a laparoscopic ventral mesh rectopexy (LVMR), involved putting flexible mesh along the rectum and attaching it to the base of the spine with metal pins, to raise the bowel and hold it in place — ‘like a sling’..
  • Jacqui had the mesh partially removed in 2016 — and likens what remains inside her to a ‘ticking time bomb’..
  • ‘It already starting to happen, and protrudes into the vaginal vault which causes deep period-like pain.’ Jacqui had the mesh partially removed in 2016 — and likens what remains inside her to a ‘ticking time bomb’ Austin Obichere, a consultant colorectal surgeon in London, says, in some cases, the ‘mesh incorporates with the rectal wall and you find one composite combination of the mesh and the rectum’..
  • The complications of mesh rectopexy can be extremely serious.’ Surgical mesh — also known as tension-free vaginal tape (TVT) or transobturator tape (TOT)— was widely used in the 2000s to treat pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence and rectal prolapse..
  • Following pressure from campaigners, backed by Good Health, vaginal mesh operations were suspended in 2018 in England and, last July, an independent review by former junior health minister Baroness Julia Cumberlege recommended the establishment of seven specialist regional mesh centres to ‘provide comprehensive treatment, care and advice for those affected by implanted mesh’..
  • Crucially for Jacqui, Baroness Cumberlege suggested the centres could treat ventral rectopexy patients alongside those who’d had the more common vaginal mesh surgery..
  • However, Good Health can reveal that while seven have been running since April 1, they are solely for those with mesh inserted for urinary incontinence and vaginal prolapse..
  • Labour MP Emma Hardy, co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Surgical Mesh, says ‘rectopexy mesh-injured patients are the forgotten mesh victims’..
  • Jacqui problems began after ventouse deliveries of both her sons (in 1992 and 1996) led to a vaginal prolapse and hysterectomy in 2001..
  • ‘I was told the surgery would be gold standard.’ But when Jacqui woke from her operation, the bulge was still there..
  • It took about 12 months to settle to a point where I knew how to manage the urges.’ Over the next four years, Jacqui began to suffer the same symptoms many women who had TVT mesh report — pins and needles, numbness in limbs and back pain..
  • Suspecting all her unexplained symptoms might be mesh-related, Jacqui turned to the internet, finding Sling the Mesh, a support and pressure group for women with mesh complications, and read about consultant urogynaecologist Sohier Elneil, and saw her for a second opinion in London..
  • After an internal investigation Ms Elneil told Jacqui that the top part of the mesh ‘was rolled up and rock hard’….

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