A Pevensey woman whose life is at risk due to vaginal mesh is relieved the surgery has been suspended across the country.
Kate Langley has been campaigning for years for it to be banned after suffering internal injuries and extreme chronic pain because of the so-called ‘non-invasive’ procedure.
Yesterday (Tuesday) it was announced the use of the mesh to treat urinary incontinence has been halted in England with immediate effect.
Mrs Langley said, “I am over the moon that all my and other women’s campaigning has finally paid off. No other women will suffer like I and many have.
“The result is fantastic. We would prefer a full ban rather than a suspension but hopefully that will happen in the future.
“It’s one step at a time. This is a massive breakthrough to stop lots of women getting hurt.
“We have been campaigning for awareness and more and more women have been finding out about it. There were people thinking they were the only ones with this problem.
“I know in Eastbourne hospital people have been offered this even in the last few weeks. It ruins your whole life.”
The mother of two had the surgery in 2012 and said ‘it’s been awful since’.
“It has been a nightmare few years,” she said, “I ended up with agonising pain, I was in hospital 82 times with it.”
She said the problems started very soon after the mesh was inserted, and it felt like contractions.
At first no one could figure out what was wrong then one doctor discovered the mesh had gone through her vagina.
Mrs Langley, who still lives with constant pain, said, “I have had so many major operations in a bid to be well again. I’m left with a piece of mesh close to an artery in an extremely difficult place to operate, if left it may cut through and potentially kill me however the operation is also life threatening.”
Her last hope is a top London trauma surgeon who has won awards for removing bomb shrapnel and may be able to remove the last piece.
The beautician, who has struggled to get back to work, said, “I feel like I was robbed. I haven’t been able to do as much with my kids as I would have liked to.
“Like walking along the seafront. It’s robbed my daughter’s childhood.
“But I’m one of the lucky ones, a lot of women are in wheelchairs.”
“I can’t believe it’s happened to me. It’s one of those things. You have to deal with it don’t you?”
She said if anyone is seeking support they should look up Sling the Mesh. The group which has been campaigning to ban the surgery and has been supporting women affected.
It started out with around 30 people, including Mrs Langley, but has now grown to more than 6,000.
Its founder Kath Sansom said, “This is incredible news and vindication for more than 6,100 members of Sling The Mesh who have been maimed by this operation and then ignored, some for years.
“It is testament to people power. Our members have written, emailed, attended Parliament and lobbied to get this result.
“We now hope Baroness Cumberlege adds rectopexy mesh to the suspension. This is used when patients suffer a rectal prolapse. This is even more taboo and more embarrassing than urinary incontinence. It is vital there is a #metoo on rectopexy mesh.”
As a matter of urgency, women booked in for TVT, TVTO and TOT mesh sling incontinence operations in both NHS and private hospitals must cancel, she added.
To find out more about Sling the Mesh, click here.