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  1. ITV Report

Hundreds of patients recalled over pelvic floor operations

File photo of a surgeon Credit: PA

Almost 200 hospital patients have been recalled amid concerns over pelvic floor operations carried out by a Birmingham gynaecologist.

Dr Angamuthu Arunkalaivanan, who worked at City and Sandwell Hospitals, continued to use a synthetic mesh in his surgeries after it had been withdrawn as a treatment by health chiefs in 2009.

It has been linked to complications including infections and incontinence in some patients.

Now Sandwell and West Birmingham Trust, which runs the hospitals, has asked 191 of Dr Arunkalaivanan’s surgery patients to make an appointment with a senior gynaecologist to discuss their treatment.

“It is our understanding that the Trust is looking specifically into Dr Arunkalaivanan’s continued use of a synthetic mesh during surgery for pelvic organ prolapse. Despite the Trust’s decision to stop using it in 2009 following concerns about its long-term effectiveness, it appears he carried on doing so."

"This is quite a routine procedure and so the numbers affected could be significant. It is to the Trust’s credit that it has initiated this recall, but it will be of immense concern to all those patients who have been treated by him.”

– Clinical negligence specialist Ian Cohen

“The procedure is a recognised treatment for patients for whom other treatments have not worked."

“When it became apparent that this procedure was being carried out more frequently than expected, the Trust acted to review the care of each patient who had this procedure.”

– Sandwell and West Birmingham Trust spokeswoman

In 2013 the National Institute for Clinical Excellence said using the mesh should not be used as a first treatment. Later, the use of the mesh in the operation was totally banned in Scotland.