Calls for mesh surgery to be banned in Wales

Pauline is suffering with the negative impact of surgical mesh. Credit: ITV News

Sixty-year-old Pauline Inch from Barry says a surgical mesh she has in her stomach is leaving her in constant pain and "slowly killing her".

Pauline had the mesh inserted to support her stomach muscles after a routine operation went wrong.

But now it's embedded in her bowels and is cutting into her nerves and organs. Surgeons have told her it's impossible to remove.

Pauline Inch talks to Alex Hartley about her chronic pain from surgical mesh. Credit: ITV Wales

She is now calling for the mesh procedure to be banned in Wales.

Alexandra Hartley has Pauline's story:

What is surgical mesh?

Surgical mesh is made of polypropylene plastic - the same material used to make plastic bottles. It can shrink, twist, degrade and cut or erode into nearby tissues and organs, causing chronic pain.

What's it used for?

It is used to treat incontinence, prolapse and hernias.

Why is it used?

It is popular as it is a cheap and quick fix and takes less surgical skill than traditional, native tissue repairs. It is also strong and provides a longer term solution.

Surgical mesh Credit: ITV

Pontypridd MP Owen Smith is behind a campaign for change and organised a special meeting with mesh patients at Parliament last month.

He says there should be improved regulations and a possible ban on mesh procedures.

Today, the Welsh Government said it would set up a working group to address the issues.