What is the campaign about?

What is the campaign about?

Mesh implants are used to treat prolapse, female and male stress incontinence, hernias and some breast reconstructions following mastectomy. It is also used in some animal surgeries.

Surgical mesh is a permanent polypropylene plastic implant used to support weakened tissue, but it can fragment, twist, degrade or shrink to slice into nerves, tissue and organs. The plastic material can cause autoimmune diseases and trigger allergic reactions, including psoriasis, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, Lichen sclerosus, lupus, food allergies and intolerances.

Removing mesh implants is major, complex surgery. Some patients improve, some are worse and others see no difference – as found in the Sling The Mesh Survey 2019.

Mesh was rushed to market using the flimsiest of evidence. New products continue to be approved using a flawed medical device approval system known as equivalence in Europe and the 510K system in the US. Long-term complications are not captured globally.

This article by Jonathan Gornall describes how mesh became a four-letter word.

Key objectives

  • Raising awareness of mesh implant risk.
  • Calling for tougher regulations and oversight of medical devices to improve patient safety.
  • Campaigning for the implementation of all nine First Do No Harm key recommendations.
  • A Sunshine payment system for the UK forcing industry to declare all payments made to doctors, researchers and teaching hospitals as outlined in S92 of the Health & Social Care Act 2022.

Latest from Sling The Mesh

  • Groundhog day
    A new study from Amsterdam claims an absorbable mesh containing polyester is safe after testing on just 17 women for two years. The results – classic for the majority of mesh papers – focus on the fix and ignore / downplay the new onset of pain and life-altering complications. Another thing we see a lot in mesh studies is that […]
  • Not everyone gets £1million
    A mother left in debilitating pain and faecally incontinent from vaginal mesh has been awarded a record settlement of at least £1 million. While all medical negligence wins can be seen as a success for the mesh-injured community, this sum is extremely unusual, and considerably higher than what the majority of women receive in settlements. Having run Sling The Mesh […]
  • Toughen up transparency – our letter to government
    Sling The Mesh led a coalition urging the government to toughen up plans forcing industry to publicly declare the millions it gives to the health sector each year. A group of 13 politicians and health organisations signed our letter (see below) criticising the government’s poorly thought out proposals and calls for robust measures to ensure transparency. Pharmaceutical and medical device […]
  • Email Rally: who is funding our doctors voice?
    The mesh scandal must never happen again. Which is why we’re calling on anyone who cares about safe healthcare to get involved in our Sunshine Email Rally. Behind many health scandals lies a hidden world of profits before patient safety, where industry giants give millions to key opinion leaders to help promote their products. Examples include Drs getting paid by […]
  • Sunshine Consultation – why you should care
    Following years of lobbying by Sling The Mesh followed by the First Do No Harm review, the government is running a six-week consultation on the potential for a Sunshine Payment Act in the UK.
  • Mesh – a game of chess
    As we celebrate New Zealand’s suspension of mesh slings for incontinence due to safety concerns, new evidence from Canada published just two days earlier promotes the same product as an effective treatment option.
  • Sling The Mesh in the news: 2023
    News headlines, features and discussion about Sling The Mesh in 2023.
  • Secret payments can skew science
    Sling The Mesh welcomes The Observer’s investigation into the secret millions of pounds poured into healthcare by industry giants, who pay doctors and lobby groups to help promote their treatments.
  • Financial Redress: A report about a report, following a report
    Three years since Baroness Cumberlege published her damming First Do No Harm report and a new report will look into financial redress for women injured by pelvic mesh.
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