A women’s operation has risks that are like a “ticking time bomb” says city councillor

PUBLISHED: 17:11 13 August 2015 | UPDATED: 17:11 13 August 2015

Peterborough City Councillor John Whitby

Peterborough City Councillor John Whitby


A mesh implant used in a women’s operation is like “a ticking time bomb” according to a city councillor who is backing reporter Kath Sansom’s Sling The Mesh campaign.

Kath Sansom has launched a campaign against a gynaecology operation in which a TVT sling is used. Picture: HELEN DRAKE Kath Sansom has launched a campaign against a gynaecology operation in which a TVT sling is used. Picture: HELEN DRAKE

John Whitby, Peterborough city councillor and Kath’s former high boarding dive coach, said: “I have spoken to members of the health scrutiny committee of Peterborough City Council about the Sling the Mesh campaign.

“I spoke to them not only on the health impact on women but also the potential very costly liability that Peterborough and Stamford NHS Trust could be putting itself under if this operation continues locally.

“It is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode,” he said.

“As the former dive coach for Kath I know she was a very active and sporty person until the operation and has suffered immensely as a result of it. I’m shocked by the whole story.”

Sling The Mesh campaign logo Sling The Mesh campaign logo

The campaign is raising awareness about the life changing risks of the TVT and TVTO mesh sling operation which is perofmred to cure incotnience in women suffered after natural childbirth.

It is also calling for the operation to be suspended in England and Wales as it was in Scotland in June 2014.

Campaigners say the risks of the operation are not properly explained and when it goes wrong can leave women in life long chronic pain.

In a meeting at the House of Commons NE Cambs MP Steve Barclay met with the NHS director of episodes of acute care, Professor Keith Willett, and plans to meet again once an interim report into the safety of mesh is released in September.

Cllr Whitby said: “I discovered that a top US surgeon advised the Scottish Parliament that operations should be stopped.

“It’s a growing issue and I suggested that councillors look very closely at the campaign.

“Look at how devastating the PIP implants were. The health risks with this mesh operation are more acute so therefore the liability is much higher.

“From what I can see in this situation the medical profession seem to be closing their ears and they are not listening to the terrible stories of suffering from women and try to blame it on other causes when it goes wrong.

The MHRA said: “As with all medical devices we will continue to monitor their safety and performance and we encourage women to report any adverse incidents to us via our Yellow Card scheme at yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk. Any women who are concerned should speak to their doctor or surgeon.”

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