‘THE MESH HAS WRECKED CA­REERS, CON­FI­DENCE AND MAR­RIAGES’

‘Hav­ing sex trig­gers se­vere stab­bing pains’

Good Housekeeping (UK) - - Good Health -

Kate Lan­g­ley, a 42-yearold for­mer re­cruit­ment con­sul­tant from East Sus­sex, had a TVT mesh im­plant fit­ted in 2012 to treat stress in­con­ti­nence af­ter the birth of her se­cond child.

‘My sur­geon de­scribed it as a quick fix: a same-day op­er­a­tion, safer than the “old-fash­ioned” pro­ce­dures they used to do,’ Kate says. But her mesh eroded through her vagina and ure­thra and em­bed­ded in her blad­der. Six years and 50 hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sions later, the irony of this breezy con­sul­ta­tion isn’t lost on her. ‘The pain can hit at any time and, when it does, it can be so se­vere that I’ll call an am­bu­lance. I take a cock­tail of painkillers, sup­pos­i­to­ries and an­tide­pres­sants just to get through the day; I can’t have sex with my hus­band with­out trig­ger­ing stab­bing pains, which can last for weeks. I grit my teeth and smile most days. But the mesh has ru­ined my life.’

Kate’s sur­geon man­aged to re­move the ma­jor­ity of the mesh, but is strug­gling to find a way to ex­tri­cate the fi­nal piece. She be­lieves it’s dan­ger­ously close to ma­jor veins and ar­ter­ies – which, if cut, could be fa­tal – and is cau­tious about re­mov­ing it. She has called on the expert opin­ion of an­other sur­geon, who has won awards for his re­moval of bomb shrap­nel in Syria and Iraq, and who could be Kate’s last hope.

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