Plea for US surgeon to operate on Scots mesh implant victims resisted

The Scottish Government has been accused of lying as victims of the mesh scandal made an emotional plea at Holyrood for help to end their pain.

Scottish Health Secretary Jeane Freeman. Picture: SWNS

They claim only partial removal is offered in Scotland, and that the procedure can leave women with further internal damage.

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In response, campaigner Karen Neil, 52, from Glasgow, said: “We’re being lied to. There are 635 Scottish mesh survivors and we haven’t ­spoken to one who has had a full removal.”

And Lorna Farrell, 53, also from Glasgow, and who is in a wheelchair as a result of her implant and its partial removal, added: “We have been told by consultants that full mesh removal is not possible in ­Scotland because we don’t have the expertise.”

The women had joined Irish mesh campaigner Mary McLaughlin in Holyrood to hear how her life had changed dramatically since she went to the US to have a full mesh removal operation. She said: “I had a mesh implant in 2008 because of stress incontinence following child birth. I had small symptoms for many years but in the last three years I felt as if the life was being sucked out of me. I could barely walk because of the chronic pain. I had been attending hospital in London and they told me they could maybe remove between eight and 11cm which would be a good result.

“I discovered Dr Dionysios Veronikis and his operation through Twitter two years ago. I flew to the States eight weeks ago and he removed 28cm of mesh from me. He repaired my bowel and removed the mesh in the urethra which is what had me screaming like a pig when I was examined before. I’m still recovering but I have no pain in my legs or joints.”

“We deserve the chance to have a better life because that’s what we were sold when we had the implant. They said I’d be a new woman. I’d like to see that consultant now and ask which part of this is the new woman you envisioned?”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “It is the case that full mesh removal in one single procedure – where this is the correct course of action for patients – has already been carried out in NHS Scotland. The procedure is now offered in the Glasgow and Lothian mesh complication service. Health boards are aware that Dr Veronikis has been reported as being willing to visit Scotland. We would be happy to discuss with both boards and professionals funding of additional education and training where a specific need is identified.”