Mesh Rectopexy: Do I have a claim?

A number of patients have had bad outcomes after mesh rectopexy surgery – a way of treating rectal prolapse. Learn about prolapse, the treatment, and how to make a claim after rectopexy complications below.

WHAT IS RECTAL PROLAPSE?

The rectum is the lowest part of the large intestine. When it becomes loose within the body, it can telescope through the anus.

It is most likely to happen when straining, however can happen during other activity, such as walking. Prolapse can be uncomfortable. It can also be embarrassing. Some people find their quality of life restricted too.

The condition is not common. It affects less than 3 in every 100,000 people. Most are adults, and it affects women more than men. Most women with the condition are over 60, but men with the condition tend to be younger, on average around 40 years old.

HOW IS RECTAL PROLAPSE TREATED?

Many people do not need treatment. However, where treatment is needed, it requires surgery (‘rectopexy’). There are various types of operation possible. Some go through the abdomen and some through the anus, and one recent type of operation is mesh rectopexy.

The aim is to put the rectum back into its normal position by moving it away from the back wall of the vagina (in women) or prostate (in men).

WHAT IS MESH RECTOPEXY?

Mesh rectopexy is keyhole surgery (laparoscopy) for external rectal prolapse and was first done in about 2004. The surgeon will make several small incisions and insert tools and a camera.

Mesh rectopexy is also performed for women with a rectocele (bowel bulging into the vagina). In this case,  mesh is stitched to both the front of the rectum and attached to a bone at the bottom of the spine (the sacrum).

IS MESH RECTOPEXY SAFE?

All surgery has risks. However, the advantage of keyhole surgery is that, because the incisions are small, recovery times are quick. There is less risk of bleeding and infection than with open surgery too.

Mesh was thought to be a very good and successful alternative to other types of repair. However, recently, a number of patients have complained of significant pain from the mesh. This may be because the mesh was not put in correctly or because it has moved (migrated) from where it was originally placed.

Poor outcomes may not have been foreseeable when mesh rectopexy was first done in about 2004. However, by 2014 there was evidence that a number of patients were suffering pain.

In recent news, a surgeon has been stopped from carrying out mesh rectopexy and the GMC is carrying out an investigation as the patient claimed she was unaware of potential rectopexy complications

MESH RECTOPEXY: DO I HAVE A CLAIM?

Some people who have suffered poor outcomes may be entitled to claim damages. This may be either because their operation was done negligently or because they were not properly advised of ventral rectopexy complications.

If you are concerned about your surgery and would like advice, please get in touch with our bowel and bladder damage solicitors who will be happy to talk it through with you.