Lynne Sharman from Reading, Berkshire

“I was told this was the best thing since sliced bread, give me a new lease of life. It did that alright. My legs hurt terribly, some days I can barely trudge out, intimacy became difficult due to pain. It has had a huge emotional impact on me.

Lynne Sharman.
Lynne Sharman.

“I have more good days than bad since mesh removal but it’s so frustrating. It would be easy to shut yourself away and do nothing as sometimes it takes a real effort to force yourself out when you are in pain.

“For the joy of doing things you love, however, you get on and just accept you will suffer afterwards.

“It has been a physical and an emotional battle.

“I wanted to be able to have fun with my grandchildren, jump on the trampoline, lift them up, laugh, all those day to day things without worrying about leaks so went ahead and had the operation at the start of 2011 – it was the worst decision of my life.

Lynne, who has three grown up children and five grandchildren, used to do voluntary counselling after undergoing all the training and says her knowledge has helped her to learn to accept her new life – a new normal.

But she added: “The emotional impact this operation can have on a woman is devastating.

“I have been maimed in surgery with risks that I was never warned about.

“If I had known this could happen I would never have had it done.”

Lynne had a TVT in 2011. It is supposed to be a day case procedure but she woke in agony and ended up spending three days in hospital instead of being discharged the same day.

“The consultant told me it was nothing to do with the mesh implant. he told me it was because I had drank too much water and my bladder was pulling on my stitches.

“Ridiculous explanation looking back on it but I trusted him at the time.

“He told me to go home and rest and that things would settle down.

“He said tightening would ease off but it never did. It was like something was pulling and not letting go, like a contraction sensation.

“Eight months after the operation I managed a holiday in India that had already been booked way before the mesh implant but I spent many evenings in bed, it should have been a wonderful experience but really I just battled to get through it.

“By the end of 2011 I looked online and found I was not alone. I was horrified to see so many other suffering.”

Two operations

Lynne had part of the mesh removed in 2012 and the rest removed in a second operation in 2013.

She said: “At first i felt better then I started to go downhill. I now have regular myofascial physiotherapy to help release nerves and tissue and that helps.

“But this is not the life I planned. I was told nothing of the risks of this operation, nothing of potential life altering pain. It needs stopping.”

Around 1 in 3 women’ suffer at some point in their lives and the problem is on the rise among younger women who haven’t had babies. This is due to an increase in the popularity of high impact exercise classes and long distance running that put intense pressure on the pelvic floor.

The operation fits a mesh sling to support weakened muscles and nearly 100,000 women have had it done on the NHS in the last decade.

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