London mum ‘unable to walk more than 10 minutes’ after vaginal mesh sliced into her organs

London mum ‘unable to walk more than 10 minutes’ after vaginal mesh sliced into her organs

A London mum says she has been left in “agony” and only able to walk 10 minutes at a time after a transvaginal mesh implant perforated her organs. Anna Collyer, 53, had a transvaginal mesh fitted in 2015 at St. Helier hospital in Sutton – a controversial procedure previously used to treat mild incontinence, a condition that can lead to women leaking from their bladder when doing impact activities such as running and jumping, or when sneezing or coughing.

The mesh is a net-like implant and aims to give permanent support to the weakened organs and to repair damaged tissue. The mesh implants are designed to be permanent, but last April, Anna started to experience severe pain when the mesh cut into her organs leaving her “unable to live any sort of life anymore,” she said.

READ MORE: ‘My one night stand stalked me for 13 years, I woke up to him peering through my bedroom window at 2am’

A vaginal mesh implant, sometimes referred to as a “sling implant”, is a controversial treatment previously given to women who experienced pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence, particularly after childbirth.

Even when doctors partially removed the mesh last June – her symptoms persisted. Anna, who lives in Morden, told MyLondon: “I could feel something sharp inside me. The pain relief tablets were not touching it. I was in agony.

“It’s got to the stage now where 10 minutes is all I can walk, because the pain is excruciating. I have pain in pelvis, groin, hips, back and shooting pains in legs. The level is horrendous. I have to lie down all the time.

“A good day is not being in bed. I just have to lie in the foetal position and not move. Its like a poison. I would rather be wetting myself.”

Anna said she is thankful to her family including husband Gary, 51, for supporting her through the ordeal

Anna said she is thankful to her family including husband Gary, 51, for supporting her through the ordeal

The 53-year-old, who worked as a carer in the same care home for 20 years, had to give up work due to her symptoms and now has to receive significant support from her family – including husband Gary and three children Toby, Adam and Cassie.

Her daughter Cassie said: “She was an active, fun-loving person who was always up for a laugh. It is unfair and saddening she cannot enjoy life as normal anymore.”

Cassie with her Mum Anna who said she is concerned for her Mum's health after deteriorating in recent months

Cassie with her Mum Anna who said she is concerned for her Mum’s health after deteriorating in recent months

The vaginal mesh procedure was once common place in the UK, with more than 92,000 women receiving one between April 2007 and March 2015 in England alone. Early trial data suggested the mesh was effective, shorter procedure with less risks compared to a full open-surgery.

But the treatment was “paused” and The Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review was ordered by the then health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, in 2018 amid mounting safety concerns.

Women told the review team of “excruciating chronic pain feeling like razors inside their body” and felt dismissed when reporting complications including “unacceptable labelling of so many symptoms as ‘normal’ and attributable to ‘women’s problems’”, the report says.

The new review accuses medial professionals of displaying “an institutional and professional resistance” to changing practice. The report concluded that “those harmed are due not only an apology, but better care and support through specialist centres”.

Anna with husband Gary, daughter Cassie and two sons Toby and Adam

Anna with husband Gary, daughter Cassie and two sons Toby and Adam

Anna says doctors never advised her of the complications before fitting the MESH 6 years ago. Anna is on the NHS waiting list to have the mesh removed, but was told she would likely have to wait at least 9 months but it could be up to 2 years – due to the pandemic causing huge delays.

She was referred to The London Complex Mesh Centre ( LCMC ) – an organisation set up in 2021 in response to NHS England’s call for the provision of care for women experiencing complications. Instead of waiting for the NHS procedure, she is fundraising for private treatment, with costs for the surgery ranging from £16,000 to £23,000.

“I am deteriorating,” she said. “I’m terrified of how bad it will get. The meshes can damage organs. Having the mesh taken out is a very risky operation and not enough doctors are trained in how to do it.”

0 GettyImages 1318321182

At MyLondon, we want to make sure you get the latest and greatest from across the capital.

And one way you can do that is by getting the best news, reviews and features from wherever you are straight to your inbox with our free email newsletters.

We have seven newsletters you can currently sign up for – including a different one for each part of London, as well as an EastEnders one for all the gossip from Albert Square, and a London Underground one to keep you up to date on the latest transport news.

The local newsletters go out twice a day and send the latest stories straight to your inbox.

From community stories and news covering every borough of London to celebrity and lifestyle stories, we’ll make sure you get the very best every day.

To sign up to any of our newsletters, simply follow this link and select the newsletter that’s right for you.

And to really customise your news experience on the go, you can download our top-rated free apps for iPhone and Android. Find out more here.

One Scottish MP recently backed a Bill to reimburse women waiting for expensive mesh removal surgery.

A spokesperson for Epsom and St Helier hospitals, where Anna was treated said: “We are sorry to hear Ms Collyer is unhappy with aspects of her care. While patients undergoing this procedure receive a pre-operative consultation, we would welcome the opportunity to meet Ms Collyer if there is further support we can offer.”

The Trust say they are following national specialist pathways for the treatment of this condition

You can donate to Anna’s fundraiser here.

Do you have a health story you think we should be covering? If so, get in touch with [email protected]

Want more from MyLondon? Sign up to our daily newsletters for all the latest and greatest from across London here.

Read More
Read More

Recommended For You