The story of Sling The Mesh journalist is used to educate surgeons in a masterclass gynaecology conference

Sling The Mesh campaign logo. Artwork by MICHELLE DEYNA-HAYWARD

Sling The Mesh campaign logo. Artwork by MICHELLE DEYNA-HAYWARD - Credit: Archant

The doctor who performed corrective surgery for campaigning journalist Kath Sansom when a mesh bladder sling caused severe pain and complications used her story at a masterclass training session for other surgeons.

Natalia Price speaking to surgeons at a conference

Natalia Price speaking to surgeons at a conference

Dr Natalia Price, of John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, included Kath’s story when she gave a presentation on how to manage complications and chronic pain following slings implanted in women suffering incontinence.

She also gave her talk at a cutting edge World Congress attended by 2,000 surgeons from across the globe.

Within 24 hours of her masterclass training, a woman on Sling The Mesh Facebook group was contacted by her consultant, who said they had seen the “fantastic presentation.”

The surgeon had previously been anti mesh removal when women suffered complications but having seen the talk they changed their mind, the woman said, and referred her for treatment to Ms Price.

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Kath said: “Knowing that my story has been told to surgeons who are implanting mesh is a good step towards the medical world recognising the real problems which can be suffered by women.

“This is an important training event and I hope the ripple effects will continue in the coming days, weeks and months.”

Ms Price gave a talk on managing mesh problems as part of a masterclass in urogynaecology »

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The two day conference was designed as a practical masterclass to demonstrate commonly used surgical techniques in pelvic floor reconstruction and present evidence for their use.

Dr Price’s masterclass was management of tape complications: chronic pain, exposures and erosions.

After each session there was a round table discussion with the opportunity to quiz the faculty on surgical technique and evidence presented.

Ms Price’s talk was held in the same week that two American states filed lawsuits against Johnson and Johnson saying the company duped doctors into believing mesh was safe, knowing it could cause life long pain and loss of sex lives.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said it was difficult to put into words the “horrific injuries and pain” many women were suffering.

Patients believed they were making informed medical decisions, he said, but that was impossible when Johnson and Johnson was “essentially duping doctors into using their own patients as clinical trials.”

The attorney general for California, Kamala Harris, said as a result of mesh thousands of women were suffering irreversible complications including pain, repeated infections, nerve damage and an end to their sex lives.

J and J denies it did anything wrong and calls the lawsuits unjustified because they say they acted appropriately and responsibly in the marketing of pelvic mesh.

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