A mum is calling for vaginal mesh implants to be banned after surgery ruined her sex life with her husband.
Ceri Baker says she went from being fit and active to suffering constant pain and discomfort following an operation in March 2017.
She was given a 45 minute procedure that promised to ‘change her life forever’, bringing an end to urinary incontinence.
But now the 43-year-old is unable to have sex with her Peter, her husband of 20 years, without it being ‘extremely painful’, Devon Live reports .
The mum-of-three from Dartmoor can't sit comfortably or do any of the physical activities and hobbies she always previously enjoyed with her children either.
Ceri documents her experiences on her YouTube video channel Vaginal Mesh Story Time .
She's hit out at a decision by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to issue new guidelines paving the way for the implants to be used again after a temporary ban.
“This procedure was sold to me by the NHS as a small, minimally invasive procedure to relieve the stress urinary incontinence which I had developed since having my three children,” Ceri said.
“It was something I did because I was leaking daily and it was annoying and embarrassing, especially when it came to running, carrying shopping and dancing on a night out.
"I was so bad I stopped having fun, but it caused no pain at all and I could in fact lead a perfectly ‘normal’ life, so long as I planned ahead.
“My surgeon said to me ‘this operation changes women’s lives’, and it did, dramatically for the worse.
"I was left in constant pain," she said. "It never went away. The nerve pain was so severe that I needed to take strong nerve blocking medication to function in any normal capacity.
“I was back and forth to my GP and the surgeon, and had steroid injections twice under general anaesthesia.
"It never got any better and I was even considering having a hysterectomy.”
In January the special educational needs coordinator suffered a huge nerve reaction and hasn’t walked for more than 30 minutes or sit comfortably since then.
“It was then I started making the YouTube videos," she said. "I felt I had reached breaking point as I couldn't sit at my desk to work and I felt constantly exhausted, and like I was being gradually poisoned.”
Removing the mesh was the only hope Ceri felt was available to her to achieve ‘any form of normality’, but she had to fund it herself.
The mesh implants are designed to be permanent and during the first weeks after surgery become embedded in the surrounding tissue to provide better pelvic support.
This means surgeons and doctors have to weigh up the risk of damage to nerves and nearby organs, including the bladder and bowel, before agreeing to their removal.
“The NHS waiting time for referral, scans and surgery was looking likely to be over a year away, which is quite frankly a disgrace given the damage they have done to me,” she said.
“I paid for it privately in order to save myself. If I waited a year it is very likely I would have been unable to work or lead anywhere near a normal life.
"I was already struggling to do so and having to spend many days lying on the sofa working from home as I couldn’t sit on a chair for more than 20 minutes comfortably.
“Now, post-removal, I am unable to do anything at all physically and we have had to cancel yet another family holiday.
"I will need three to six months off work to recover and have been told it will be up to two years for full nerve and muscle recovery.
“I am completely exhausted and maintaining good mental health is extremely challenging, especially as I am usually super active physically and mentally.
“My main sadness as a mother is that I am losing precious time with my children again that I can never get back or ever be compensated for.
Ceri, represented by medical negligence specialists Hudgell Solicitors, is currently taking legal action regarding the treatment she received and the impact the vaginal mesh implant has had on her life.
The implants are also currently the subject of an Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review into their use.
Baroness Cumberlege, who is leading the review, said a number of conditions must be met before the use of vaginal mesh could again be considered safe – conditions she says have not yet been met and will not be for ‘some considerable time'.
NICE said the "limited evidence" meant "the true prevalence of long-term complications following surgery with mesh is unknown".
An official at England's Department of Health and Social Care said: "NICE's new guidelines and patient decision aids on managing urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse will help women make more informed choices about their treatment.
"The use of vaginal mesh was paused to ensure that patients receive a high-quality and consistent service.
"Mesh will still be a treatment for some women who understand the risks and following discussions with their consultant."
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