NHS releases figures on controversial vaginal mesh procedures in Suffolk and north Essex

Ipswich and Colchester hospitals have both carried out vaginal mesh or tape removal operations. Pict

Ipswich and Colchester hospitals have both carried out vaginal mesh or tape removal operations. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Twelve women have undergone surgery in Suffolk and north Essex to remove vaginal mesh or tape, new figures reveal.

The experimental NHS Digital data shows Ipswich Hospital and Colchester General Hospital have carried out six removal surgeries each since 2008/09.

The implants are used to treat vaginal prolapse or stress urinary incontinence.

Their use has been thrown into the spotlight in recent months as women up and down the country say they have suffered horrendous complications.

A campaign called Sling The Mesh has been launched.

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The statistics also reveal how many patients were fitted with vaginal mesh or tape between 2008/09 and 2016/17.

Ipswich Hospital has performed 1,790 implants; Colchester General Hospital has done 864; and West Suffolk Hospital has carried out 565.

In February, this newspaper revealed Woodbridge woman Jo Coghill had won a legal case against Ipswich Hospital after being fitted with a mesh by the trust in July 2013.

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Ms Coghill said she was left “traumatised” and endured almost two years of severe pain following the procedure for stress incontinence.

She had the mesh removed by doctors at a private clinic who found it was eroding through her vaginal wall.

Sarah Wealleans, the medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who acted for Ms Coghill, said: “In our work we have seen first-hand the devastating impact that problems with these implants can have on women.

“It’s important that appropriate steps are now taken by the NHS to ensure those who are negatively impacted by their mesh implant are fully supported and treated to ensure the impact on their life is as limited as it can be.”

Health Minister Lord O’Shaughnessy said the figures had been requested to establish a “clearer national picture” on mesh and tape use.

Kath Sansom, founder of Sling The Mesh, said “thousands of women” were missing from the data as it failed to capture private procedures and treatment for pain, as well as the “devastating social and psychological impact”.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has launched a review into how the NHS responds to safety concerns raised by patients about medical devices, including vaginal mesh implants.

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