Karen Sammon from Malvern, near Worcester

Regional sales manager Karen Sammon suffered for eight years before anyone in the medical profession would believe it was her TVT mesh that was making her so ill.

Karen Sammon
Karen Sammon

She is urging women to look at all the facts before having a TVT operation and urges women to only have it as a last resort when all other methods of treating bladder problems have failed.

Mother of one, Mrs Sammon had her operation in 2003.

The 55 year old said: “There wasn’t much knowledge about the TVT then so when I was told it was a simple, safe solution I jumped at the chance.

“However within three months of the operation I had infections and then a gnawing pain in my bladder region which felt like a wire was being tightened within.

“In the following years I  saw lots of different consultants who did loads of investigations. I tried to get somebody to listen to me, knowing I was in terrible pain but I kept being told there was nothing wrong and nothing they could do, or if they did, I could possibly be in a worse situation then I was.

“Despite me being a very positive person it has at times been and is an awful journey.

“Eventually, in 2011, I had a breakthrough when I heard a BBC Women’s Hour programme with a woman talking about her TVT complications.

“I heard it and thought – that’s me! The woman talking about her situation reflected my own. It was unbelievable that someone else was experiencing the same issues as myself.

“After further investigation I learnt that there was a specialists that could remove the tape – Natalia Price in Oxford.

“After requesting a referral I got to see Ms Price and in 2011 an operation went ahead to remove the sides of the tape.  As an independent person I was concerned that if I had the whole of the tape removed I would become incontinent.   Unfortunately the pain continued and it was decided that I would have to take out all the tape.  However at the time of the operation it was cancelled due to low blood pressure and thereafter I became frightened to take the next step.

“In the end I have had to come to terms with the pain and deal with it. I try not to dwell on my situation as if I did I would go crazy.

“I want to say to women, research this operation and the terrible risks that could occur. Is it worth it? Consider the alternatives like good physiotherapy. Only have a TVT as a last resort if you really need it.”

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