April 25, 2018
Europe

Controversial vaginal mesh implants banned

Related Story: 'Catastrophic failure': Women urged to speak up on painful transvaginal mesh implant side effectsRelated Story: 'Depressed, frustrated and angry': How a vaginal mesh implant destroyed a woman's life

Health authorities have banned controversial vaginal mesh implants for use in pelvic organ prolapse.

Key points:

  • Vaginal mesh implants are to be banned for pelvic prolapse and incontinence
  • Patients and women's health groups have hailed the decision
  • Health authorities say the risks don't outweigh the benefits of the implants

It follows many women speaking out to the ABC about how the devices had caused them to be left in chronic, debilitating pain and with recurring infections.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration conducted a review of international evidence and looked at the clinical evidence for the vaginal mesh devices.

"The TGA is of the belief that the benefits of using transvaginal mesh products in the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse do not outweigh the risks these products pose to patients," a spokeswoman said.

Women such as Gai Thompson, who had a mesh device implanted nine years ago, told the ABC the devices had ruined her life.

Authorities said there was also a lack of scientific evidence to justify the risks of so called mesh 'mini-slings' for stress urinary incontinence.

"These products will be removed," the TGA statement said.

Do you know more? Email investigations@abc.net.au

Patients welcome the ban

Gai Thompson, Rebecca Jancauskas and Joanne Boon

Women like Ms Thompson said the ban vindicated the concerns they had raised about the vaginal mesh implants.

"For so many years we've been told there's nothing wrong with us, that symptoms are either in our head or it's not because of the mesh," she said.

"I don't think people understand [there's not] one day from the time it's been put in that we haven't had pain — not one day."

The mesh can only be sold until January 4, 2018.

A class action against mesh manufacturer Johnson and Johnson involving more than 700 women is underway, with legal representatives for the women claiming the pharmaceutical giant did not investigate proper clinical trials on the possible complications of the mesh.

Read the full TGA announcement.

Original Article

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