Woman who lives in constant pain calls for op to be banned

Deborah, left, with Owen Smith and Sling the Mesh's Kath Sansom
Deborah, left, with Owen Smith and Sling the Mesh's Kath Sansom

A woman who lives her life in excruciating pain after a medical operation four years ago, joined other women at Parliament last month in a campaign to get the surgical procedure banned in the UK.

The Sling the Mesh Campaign is calling for an operation using pelvic mesh implants to be banned after thousands of women suffered serious health complications.

Deborah Wood, of Bexhill, underwent an operation in 2013 but after experiencing numerous negative side-effects, including extensive bleeding and extremely painful sexual intercourse, she began the process of having the mesh removed.

She said: “I have had five operations to remove the tape and I still have a small amount of tape and arms left in. I don’t think I can go through anymore operations.

“For the past four years, I have been in chronic pain 24/7. I have nerve damage in my legs – the pain in my legs is constant, they feel like someone is driving red hot glass into my legs. I get a lot of pain in my vagina and my pubic bone. I don’t have any sensation in my bladder so I can’t tell when it is full or empty, I have to use catheters.

“I am now left permanently disabled. I cannot walk very far, I need to use crutches, a wheelchair and mobility scooter. I have just been diagnosed with PTSD and I am now on antidepressants.

“Before all of this happened I was at university getting a degree in photography and had a photography studio. I had to give that all up.

“I am 49 years old and the thought I have to live the rest of my life in pain scares me.”

Deborah travelled to London on July 18 with other members of the Sling the Mesh Campaign to meet with Labour MP Owen Smith, who has set up an All Party Parliamentary Group into mesh surgery.

The mesh patch or vaginal tape, also known as TVT, TVTO and TOT, are used to treat incontinence and prolapse, often caused by childbirth. Politicians called for mesh operations to be suspended in Scotland in June 2014 and in May 2017, Scottish health secretary Shona Robison called for an independent expert to review a mesh safety report. The English mesh review was due out at the end of July 2017.

Deborah added: “The TVT/TOT must stop in the UK. We need to get the public aware to prevent more horrific injuries. This mesh has ruined my life.”

Visit https://slingthemesh.wordpress.com/ for details.