Mesh patients to have option of surgery in England and US
Women who need operations to remove surgical mesh will now have the option of being treated by specialists in England or the US as well as in Scotland.
The Scottish Government has awarded contracts for mesh removal to Spire Health Care in Bristol and the Mercy Hospital in Missouri, USA.
The Mercy Hospital is where the specialist US mesh surgeon Dr Dionysios Veronikis is based.
Surgery and travel costs to either clinic will also be covered, with the contracts expected to start later this summer.
Until recently, surgical mesh was used as an implant for conditions such as urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse after childbirth.
The use of mesh was suspended in 2014 and halted altogether in 2018 after it emerged that a number of women had suffered serious and debilitating side effects.
Those women who have suffered complications are now able to have the mesh removed by specialist surgeons.
The Complex Pelvic Mesh Removal Service was established in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde last year and there is also the option of referral to centres in NHS England, with the two new contracts offering additional options for those who wish to be treated outwith Scotland.
Last month the Scottish Government announced that women who have already paid to have transvaginal mesh removed privately will have the cost reimbursed under a proposed new law, the Transvaginal Mesh Removal (Cost Reimbursement) (Scotland) Bill.
Health secretary Humza Yousaf said: “While mesh removal surgery is available within Scotland on the NHS, these are alternative options for those who feel unable to be treated in Scotland.
“We recognise the pain and suffering of women who have been impacted by complications as a result of transvaginal mesh implants.
“That is why we are absolutely determined to ensure those with mesh complications get the treatment that they want and need.”