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They run symposia or satellite sessions at these conferences.They fund studies and research into these implants.

Despite these pressures, there are still some doctors who are willing speak out against the widespread use of synthetic mesh, and some who are now recognising the unique and lifelong risks presented by synthetic mesh and are no longer implanting it.Reporting is not made easy because the MHRA ask for the device serial number and model number and this involves the patient applying for their medical records, which is a further barrier and can take weeks/months plus the patient may incur costs.There has been a call for a national registry to monitor the number and nature of complications but the MHRA seem a long way off implementing this.There are few surgeons who are willing to speak out against the tape because it was considered “revolutionary” when it first appeared over 10 years ago with limited data on its long term safety, and it has become so widely used now, being quick and relatively easy to perform compared to traditional surgery.Surgeons might be seen as dinosaurs if they do not use this new technique.Also, there are the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines (CG40 2006) which appear to promote this surgery as the recommended treatment option for stress incontinence : “Retropubic mid-urethral tape procedures…with macroporous (type 1) polypropylene meshes ..

are recommended as treatment options for stress UI where conservative management has failed.

However, these meshes are causing serious complications in many women.

In additional to the usual operative risks associated with gynaecological surgery, the mesh can cause all sorts of problems, such as: urinary retention and bladder emptying problems; urine infections; nerve and pubic pain; painful intercourse; erosion of the material into the bladder, vagina and other organs; infection and abscess; urge incontinence; and foreign body reaction.

Women are often not told of the long term risks and lack of long term data on the safety of TVT.

The surgery is described in the manufacturer’s literature as “safe, effective and minimally invasive”.

There are studies which show that mesh is not inert and can shrink, degrade and migrate inside the body.