St Albans campaigner calls for end to pelvic mesh procedures

Lisa Hunter.

Lisa Hunter. - Credit: Archant

A St Albans woman who suffered debilitating pain after having a pelvic mesh fitted is lobbying Parliament for an urgent suspension of the procedure.

The Sling the Mesh campaign outside parliament.

The Sling the Mesh campaign outside parliament. - Credit: Archant

Lara Edgar, a 42-year-old mum from St Albans, had a TVT (transvaginal tape) fitted at St Albans Hospital in January this year, for mild stress incontinence following the birth of her daughter. She had to have the mesh privately removed in Oxford after it caused her chronic pain.

Alongside other women from the Sling the Mesh campaign, Lara lobbied Parliament on Tuesday, July 18.

She said: “The consultant urogynaecologist explained it was a minor day procedure involving two small incisions and placing some tape under my urethra and that I would be back to normal within one to two weeks.

“Rather than enjoying running without having to worry about any embarrassing leaks, what actually followed was months of debilitating chronic pain.

Lara Edgar outside Parliament.

Lara Edgar outside Parliament. - Credit: Archant

“I’m still in pain but hope to be able to pick my life up again soon.”

The meeting at Downing Street was addressed by Owen Smith MP, who is the shadow Northern Ireland secretary, alongside obstetrician and gynaecologist John Osborne, mesh removal surgeon Sohier Elneil and Sling the Mesh campaigner Kath Sansom.

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Lisa Hunter, 46, from Borehamwood, also had a TVT fitted at St Albans Hospital in January. She initially had a hernia mesh fitted in 2004 which caused her chronic pain, and was given a hysterectomy which doctors believed would fix the problem. The hysterectomy led to stress incontinence, so she had the TVT fitted.

She said: “I feel 12 years down the line that I have a substandard device inside me which is debilitating. Compounded with that I have now got the TVT mesh.

Lara Edgar.

Lara Edgar. - Credit: Archant

“I am on the list to have the TVT removed. I have got to find a consultant who is willing to take the hernia mesh out.

“I feel that I have lost my womb and my uterus through a fishing expedition. I can’t hold down a full time job because of hospital appointments. I have been into A&E because the pain has been so severe.”

There are now more than 2,200 members of Sling the Mesh, which has launched a group action with London firm Wedlake and Bell with QC Elizabeth Ann Gumbel.