Surgical Mesh Implants — [Albert Owen in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:28 am on 18th October 2017.

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Photo of Jeff Smith Jeff Smith Opposition Whip (Commons) 10:28 am, 18th October 2017

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Owen. I congratulate my hon. Friend Emma Hardy on securing the debate and on her powerful speech. I also congratulate my hon. Friend Owen Smith on raising the issue and on forming the APPG to raise the profile of an issue that I confess I knew virtually nothing about until quite recently. I congratulate the many Members who have made powerful speeches explaining the experiences of women in their constituencies.

As I have said, I knew nothing about this issue, but its seriousness was brought home to me when a constituent came to see me. He had had an inguinal hernia repair that developed complications because of the mesh used in the procedure. It left him in agony; he described it as like having a metal plate wedged in his lower abdomen. Eventually, he had to have corrective surgery, but it did not resolve the chronic pain that he suffers. That points to one of the unique aspects of this problem, which is the difficulty of removing the mesh and correcting the initial surgery. He had the mesh removed, but he is still in constant pain. I think that is partly due to the fact that the expertise in removing mesh implants is not really there.