Leading surgeons blast scandal-hit vaginal mesh procedure

A leading surgeon has launched a scathing attack on the scandal-hit vaginal mesh procedure that has destroyed the lives of thousands of women as being 'like a car crash in slow motion'.

Suzy Elneil, based at University College London Hospital, is one of just a handful of urogynaecologists trained to remove the brittle devices which so often erode into tiny fragments inside women.

But Dr Elneil has revealed to MailOnline she first became concerned that problems would emerge in women given the surgery 20 years ago. However, it's become clear that her claims were ignored.

Her comments have been provoked following the emergence of the widespread damage this controversial surgery has caused in recent months. Some have compared it to the thalidomide scandal and accused NHS officials of attempting to to cover it up.

Calls for a public inquiry have been growing since it became news that at least 800 affected women are suing the health service and device manufacturers - but just two weeks ago Government officials rejected calls for a ban. 

Tireless fights by campaigners have asked for the surgery, which has left thousands of British women suicidal because of their life-changing complications, to be halted until a thorough safety review is undertaken.  

Following cries for the scandal-hit vaginal mesh procedure to be halted, floods of affected women who have had their lives destroyed by such devices have sought legal help

Following cries for the scandal-hit vaginal mesh procedure to be halted, floods of affected women who have had their lives destroyed by such devices have sought legal help

WHAT ARE VAGINAL MESH IMPLANTS? 

Vaginal mesh implants are devices used by surgeons to treat pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence in women.

Usually made from synthetic polypropylene, a type of plastic, the implants are intended to repair damaged or weakened tissue in the vagina wall.

Other fabrics include polyester, human tissue and absorbable synthetic materials.

Some women report severe and constant abdominal and vaginal pain after the surgery.

In some, the pain is so severe they are unable to have sex.

Infections, bleeding and even organ erosion has also been reported

Dr Elneil raised concerns about the operation when she first saw the procedure, which sees a piece of plastic placed into a delicate area, being performed 'blindly' in 1997. She was with her mentor at the time.

She told MailOnline: 'Both of us were unsure about the procedure as it worried us that it was blind in nature, and it involved inserting a piece of polypropylene or plastic using sharp large needles into a rather complex anatomical space.

'It felt like the nature of the woman’s tissue, the nature of the mesh, the anatomical complexity and the blind approach were not issues meant to be considered. We were fearful as we suspected there would be many complications in the future. 

'There is no doubt that we felt as if one was watching a car crash in slow motion taking place in the pelvis. Having removed multiple meshes used for both prolapse and incontinence, it feels that that fear was realised.'

Dr Elneil was invited to join a Government inquiry into the usage of surgical mesh but was dropped from the committee 18 months ago. The report, released two weeks ago, was met with backlash from outraged women.

'THE DAY BEFORE MESH SURGERY I RAN 5K, NOW I WET MYSELF'

A mother-of-five who had a vaginal mesh implant fitted for mild stress incontinence now has to rush to the toilet and has even wet herself on several occasions as a result of the procedure.

Julie Gilsennan, 41, from Liverpool, had an implant fitted on February 1 as she would experience leaking if she coughed, sneezed or lifted something heavy, which was impractical given her job as a paramedic.

Although she can now sneeze without leaking, Ms Gilsennan has been left with an overactive bladder that makes her desperate for the toilet within 20 minutes of drinking.

Previously highly active, Ms Gilsennan even ran 5km the day before having the implant fitted, yet she now struggles to move as she suffers unbearable pain

Previously highly active, Ms Gilsennan even ran 5km the day before having the implant fitted, yet she now struggles to move as she suffers unbearable pain

Previously highly active, Ms Gilsennan even ran 5km the day before having the implant fitted, yet she now struggles to move as she suffers unbearable pain.

The agony has even forced her to quit her highly-challenging career as a paramedic in

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