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Patients in appeal to MSPs over implants

Women suffering from the effects of a controversial medical procedure have made an emotional plea for its immediate halt.

Some campaigners were reduced to tears as they told MSPs yesterday of their experiences of tape and mesh implants.

They included one former patient, Elaine Holmes, 49, who recounted how she had needed four operations to remove the mesh, which had been implanted in her body for a leaky bladder in 2011.

Mrs Holmes, of Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire, told Holyrood's Public Petitions Committee the procedure had left her with severe nerve damage and "socially isolated".

She added: "Problems began as soon as I opened my eyes after the procedure," she said. "I've been left with severe nerve damage.

"It affects every aspect of my life because I rely on my husband for personal care, it's affected my health, my family, friends, I'm no longer active."

About 11,000 women in Scotland have had the implant procedure which aims to deal with prolapse and incontinence.

But up to one in five implants can go wrong and some doctors are said to be in denial about the dangers and consequences. There have been reports of infections and the mesh contracting, cutting through organs making it difficult to safely remove.

Committee convener David Stewart said: "This is one of the most compelling petitions we have had before us. We heard moving and indeed heart-breaking evidence from the petitioners and the committee was united in its determination to address the issue."

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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