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Vaginal mesh operations should be banned, says NICE

From BBC - November 26, 2017

The health watchdog NICE is to recommend that vaginal mesh operations should be banned from treating organ prolapse in England, the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire show has learned.

Draft guidelines from NICE say the implants should only be used for research - and not routine operations.

Some implants can cut into the vagina and women have been left in permanent pain, unable to walk, work or have sex.

One expert said it is highly likely the NHS will take up the recommendation.

However, the organisation is not compelled to act on findings it receives from NICE.

Both NHS England and NICE declined to comment.

'Life-changing consequences'

In the documents - to be published after consultation in December - NICE said there were "serious but well-recognised safety concerns" and that "evidence of long-term efficacy [for implants treating organ prolapse] is inadequate in quality and quantity".

It added that "when complications occur, these can be serious and have life-changing consequences", but said "most commentaries received from patients reported satisfaction with the procedure".

One woman, Margie Maguire, 41 - told the Victoria Derbyshire programme she cannot have any more children or walk unaided because of the damage caused by the mesh.

"I have chronic pelvic pain on a daily basis and I am on nine different medications when I have a pain attack.

"These can last from two to six hours at a time and is like having a heart attack," she said.

Kate Langley told the programme in April she had been admitted to hospital 53 times to try to end the pain, but - like many women - the mesh was so near the nerve it could not be fully removed.

She has been left with nerve damage and in permanent pain by the implants, giving up her business as a childminder because the pain was so intense.

The surgeon who first examined her, she explained, "could see the [mesh] tape had come through my vagina - protruding through".

The plastic meshes are made of polypropylene - the same material used to make certain drinks bottles - and manufactured by many different companies.

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