NHS England announces ‘pause’ on use of controversial vaginal mesh implants
Christian Beadell, a senior solicitor solicitor at Fletchers, commented on the news: “This decisive action from Baroness Cumberlege must be welcomed by both the medical profession and the thousands of women who have suffered from the use of vaginal mesh implants to treat stress urinary incontinence.
While not going so far as a ban, the decision to now pause the use of mesh implants such as TVT and TOT until certain steps are taken to mitigate the risks of complications is a balanced approach which also recognises that many woman have had positive outcomes from the use of these devices.
It is vital that from here on, all the agencies, including the Medicine Healthcare Regulatory Authority continue to work together to ensure that the relative risks and merits of these procedures, including pelvic organ prolapse repair, are thoroughly considered.
The use of mesh implants has dramatically reduced in recent years with the growing awareness of the high complication rates and surgeons have started to accept that mesh is not the panacea that it was once thought to be.
The absence of an outright ban means that it is likely that private surgeons could still use mesh, but that in an NHS setting its use will be extremely limited and possibly non-existent.
What is important, however, is that patient autonomy is preserved so that women who have exhausted more-traditional surgical options and are prepared to accept the risks of a mesh repair are able to do so, in a safe environment with an appropriately-qualified surgeon.”