Women who have been severely injured by commonly-used surgical implants have revealed their stories ahead of mass legal action against the manufacturer. The mesh implants hardened, causing terrible injury to the women.
Every year about 1,500 Scots undergo an operation to insert mesh, the implants are commonly used to treat a prolapsed bladder and relieve incontinence, often as a result of childbirth.
Thompsons client 'Linda', who wants her identity concealed, has been told there is nothing doctors can do for her. She is in constant pain. "I'm just in the house all the time." "You can be sitting and you can feel the jagging pain. I can't even carry my washing. My husband has to carry it and if I put my hands up to put the washing on the line, I can feel it jagging." It's actually taken a bit of toll on my marriage."
Another Thompsons client, Shona Trainer, had a mesh implant in 2011 but was back at the doctors three months later because of the pain. "It's constant. Constant from the waist down," she said. Mrs Trainer had surgery four times to try to remove the mesh implant but each time the pain has returned. "You go in thinking that they're competent enough to fix you and right now I'm worse than I was in the beginning," she said.
Studies looking at the safety of mesh implants found varying failure rates, with some finding very low levels of complications but others finding a failure rate of 15% for mesh implants.
Specialist Lawyers from Thompsons Solicitors are pursuing compensation from manufacturers of the implants. "We just want to know why it's not regulated. That's our biggest question," said Lindsay Bruce from Thompsons Solicitors. "Why are we seeing this time and time again in Scotland where it's not being regulated?
"Drugs have a licensing system and it's quite a stringent process to go through but medical devices just do not seem to have that, and something we want to know is, how are these even entering the market to be used on our clients?"