The National Institute For Health and Clinical Excellence in U.K. is planning to recommend a ban on vaginal mesh operations for treating organ prolapse.
NICE’s draft guidelines suggest that vaginal mesh should only be used for research and not for regular operations. The suggestion for banning the implant comes after it has been noticed that the mesh cut into the vagina of an operated woman, leaving them in permanent pain and unable to have sex, work, or even walk.
Transvaginal Mesh Implant
Transvaginal meshes are urogynaecological meshes that are used for treating stress incontinence. The condition makes women leak from their bladder while doing impact activities like coughing, sneezing, jumping, and running. It is more common in women who have given birth or at menopause.
Around 20 percent women are impacted sufficiently by stress continence for it to become a daily problem, according to a report. Mesh surgery has a low complication rate for treating incontinence.
The problem arises when meshes are used to treat pelvic organ prolapse in women. It is a condition where a pelvic organ, like the uterus, rectum, or bladder sags and moves out of place in a woman after childbirth due to damaged or weak pelvic floor tissue, ligaments, or muscles.
Problems Related To Vaginal Mesh Operations
“The mesh implant is intended to be permanent but, if removal is needed because of complications, the anchoring system can make the device very difficult or impossible to remove,” NICE has stated. “The evidence on efficacy in the long term is inadequate in quality and quantity. Therefore, this procedure should not be used unless there are special arrangements in place for clinical governance, consent, and audit or research.”
A patient who went through the treatment, Margie Maguire, 41, said that she cannot walk unaided or have more children because of the damage caused by the mesh. She suffers from a chronic pelvic pain daily and needs nine different medications during a pain attack that can last anywhere from two to six hours.
Another patient, Kate Langley, said that she has been admitted to the hospital 53 times to end the pain but the mesh could not be fully removed as it was so near the nerve. The implants have left Langley with nerve damage and permanent pain.
In April, more than 800 women in U.K. took legal action against the NHS and the makers of vaginal mesh implants.
Experts have reportedly said that there are high chances that the National Health Service will act on the recommendation, though there is no compulsion for NHS to act on the findings it gets from NICE. Presently, both NHS and NICE have declined to comment on the developments.