Vaginal mesh review: Investigating the true scale of complications

Lisa Few, our physiotherapist with a special interest in woman’s health, recently attended a talk by Consultant Urogynaecologist Miss Elneil who is based at UCLH in London and is one of only 2 consultants in the UK who specialises in mesh implant removal.

It was both really interesting and scary at the same time. Mesh has been universally used for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse conditions that are common post childbirth. However, concerns are growing over the number of women who are suffering with severe complications as a result of the mesh cutting into the tissue around the vagina and bladder. These women are being left in debilitating pain, unable to walk or have sex. Miss Elneil sees first-hand the damage that these implants are causing. What is most eye-opening is that a lot of these patients were never offered physiotherapy as a first line of treatment (NICE guideline 2005 recommend this), perhaps if they had they could have avoided surgery all along. Miss Elneil like many consultants acknowledges that for conditions such as urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse the first line of treatment should be physiotherapy with a Women’s health physiotherapist and quite often that is all the treatment that will be needed. The evidence is really good for Women’s Health physiotherapy. In an ideal world all post natal mums would see a Women’s health physiotherapist but unfortunately quite often women are not being offered physiotherapy and are choosing surgery as a quick fix solution. As we heard this week surgery is not a quick fix solution and although physiotherapy may not be a quick fix, if you adhere to your exercise programme and advice given the results are really positive and life changing. Our advice following this talk is please, please, please go and see a Women’s Health Physiotherapist if you are suffering with symptoms of urinary incontinence or a pelvic organ prolapse. Physiotherapy does work.

You can book a Women’s Health physiotherapy appointment in our Claygate clinic with our Women’s Health specialist Lisa Few by calling 01372 464968