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Norfolk women back campaign raising concerns over safety of operation

PUBLISHED: 10:13 15 July 2015 | UPDATED: 10:13 15 July 2015

Kate Wood; Picture submitted

Kate Wood; Picture submitted

Archant

A Norfolk mother and daughter have backed a campaign for an operation carried out on women to be suspended after they both suffered painful problems after having the treatment.

Kath Sansom pictured on Sky News.Kath Sansom pictured on Sky News.

The operation, carried out in the region’s hospitals, uses a device known as a TVT mesh sling to cure incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse, a problem that can often be caused by natural childbirth, especially if women have had big babies.

However, there have long been concerns about complications caused by the procedure and last month a campaign called Sling The Mesh, was launched calling for the procedure to be suspended and reviewed for safety.

Kate Wood, a 36-year-old from King’s Lynn, had a TVT inserted in April 2012 and has since had three operations carried out by the same surgeon to try to correct it.

This weekend she travelled to London to have her fourth operation by one of two leading surgeon’s in England who can successfully remove mesh.

The mother-of-two said: “I want to get the word out there that this does not always work out. It can have devastating consequences.

“I was made to feel like I was the only woman suffering but since finding Sling The Mesh I realise it is not just me.

“It has been a nightmare. In 2014 I went to my GP and said this is ridiculous I need help. I can’t run or exercise because it hurts too much. It is beyond frustrating, I used to do fun stuff with my kids and now I can’t.”

In 2010 her mum Elizabeth Barrett, 56, also had the operation done and has suffered with pain. Mrs Barrett is also going to go and See Ms Elneil about possibly having her TVT mesh out.

The campaign was launched by Kath Sansom, an Archant journalist from March, in Cambridgeshire, who has suffered since having the operation four months ago.

Around 40pc of women have the problem after natural childbirth which weakens pelvic floor muscles.

Within a month of launch more than 600 people have joined her Facebook support group with problems of leg pain, hip pain, groin pain and difficulty going to the toilet.

She said some are in wheelchairs or struggle to walk far due to nerve damage or the mesh pressing on nerves.

To find out more about the campaign, visit Kath’s blog at slingthemesh.wordpress.com.

If you have undergone the operation and want to tell your story, contact Kath on 01354 652621 or email kath.sansom@archant.co.uk

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