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Deeside AM backing for Connah’s Quay woman’s drive to warn others about controversial treatment

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An AM is backing a constituent who has joined a national campaign after suffering agonising pain following a controversial treatment.

Maxine Cooper has joined the Sling the Mesh campaign after a procedure she underwent in 2010 to cure stress incontinence caused by childbirth left her with life-changing side effects.

After researching her problems online Maxine came across the Sling the Mesh campaign run by journalist and fellow-sufferer Kath Sansom.

She realised that thousands of women have been affected after having either Tension-Free Vaginal Tape (TVT) or Tension-Free Vaginal Tape Obturator (TVTO) procedures to cure incontinence or prolapse.

The traditional operation for these conditions takes three to four hours whereas TVT and TVTO insertion takes 15-20 minutes and is performed ‘blind’ as opposed to through incision or keyhole methods.

Maxine, 54, from Connah’s Quay, wants to share her story in a bid to make other women aware and to stop the procedure being carried out.

She had TVTO inserted in June 2010 after physiotherapy hadn’t worked and started noticing problems three years ago. Maxine is unable to be intimate with a partner because of bleeding and pain, suffers haemorrhaging, stomach pains and pain down the right side of her body all the way from her shoulder blade.

She is in such severe pain that she has been prescribed strong painkillers and has been unable to go to her work at the Youth Justice Service – which is also causing stress and worry.

Maxine said;

After three years of suffering I realised the mesh could be causing all my problems. I think they want to save money by performing TVT and TVTO, but they’re not because this is causing so many complications.

Over 2,000 women have joined the sling the mesh campaign. I want to get TVT and TVTO banned and to raise awareness. If it wasn’t for the internet I wouldn’t have found Sling the Mesh and other women with the same symptoms as me.

After seeing a gynaecologist Maxine has been referred for a scan and further explorations, which she will have this week.

Whereas surgeons can insert the mesh after a day’s training, only a handful of surgeons can remove the mesh. In cases where it is used to fix prolapse it can be almost or totally impossible as the mesh has fused with organs.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”custom” border_width=”2″ accent_color=”#b50505″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space height=”8px”][vc_column_text][miptheme_quote author=”Maxine Cooper” style=”text-left”]This affects thousands and thousands of women across the UK and has left some in wheelchairs.

How bad is it going to get and how far does it have to go before this procedure gets banned?

Too many women are suffering, they all have the same symptoms – it speaks volumes. It’s barbaric. [/miptheme_quote][/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space][vc_single_image image=”53517″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” css_animation=”fadeIn” css=”.vc_custom_1499129757228{margin-bottom: -06px !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1499129742972{margin-top: -8px !important;}”]Sling The Mesh Campaign. Image: Michelle Deyna-Hayward[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_separator color=”custom” border_width=”2″ accent_color=”#b50505″][vc_column_text]

Maxine is hopeful after securing a much-sought-after appointment with Sohier Elneil, a consultant in urogynaecology and uroneurology.

The consultant has spoken out about her concerns over the procedure and performs 20-30 TVT and TVTO removals a month.

After a campaign in Scotland, the procedure was suspended in 2014, but reinstated in 2017 following a controversial report in which it was deemed safe.

Maxine’s local Assembly Member Carl Sargeant is backing her calls to Welsh Health Cabinet Secretary Vaughan Gething to hold an urgent review of mesh procedures in Wales.

Another problem the campaign is encountering is a lack of awareness among GPs which can lead to symptoms being ascribed to other conditions, making it hard to evidence the extent of the problem.

Carl Sargeant said:

I’ll be asking the health secretary to look into this as anecdotal evidence shows this is a massive problem. Many women are having this procedure without a clear explanation of the risks and are finding their lives drastically changed for the worse.

I hope there will be a review into this, and in the meantime I support Maxine in raising awareness so that other women don’t suffer like she has. I admire her bravery and will back her campaign all the way.

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More about the Sling The Mesh campaign. [icon name=”external-link” class=”” unprefixed_class=””]

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