NHS England to put immediate curb on mesh operations

NHS England has accepted the advice of a new review looking at harm reported by women who received mesh operations for stress urinary incontinence and is placing an immediate curb on the treatment.

Chaired by Baroness Julia Cumberlege, the review said that it was ‘appalled at the seriousness and scale of the tragic stories’ that the team has heard, with many women reporting implants causing them agony by cutting into tissue and some being left with life-changing injuries.

The health watchdog NICE has already recommended that vaginal mesh operations for treating organ prolapse should largely be stopped in England. A number of Scottish health boards have already stopped using mesh implants altogether, and in Wales the procedures are seen as a 'last resort'.

NHS England says that most patients suffer no ill effects, but it is estimated that more than 100,000 UK women have had a mesh fitted. Professor Dame Sally Davies, England's Chief Medical Officer, said that mesh would remain a treatment of last resort for some ‘carefully selected’ patients.

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