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Vaginal mesh implant a nightmare according to the victims

Photo: Vaginal mesh victims front Senate inquiry
Recipients of vaginal mesh implants have given personal accounts to a Senate committee in Sydney.

A woman who has suffered crippling pain from a vaginal mesh implant has told senators of the "living nightmare" her life has become.

NSW woman Gai Thompson is one of a dozen women to appear before a Senate inquiry in Sydney on Monday.

"I've been praying for almost ten years that someone would take notice of what's happened to me," Ms Thompson told AAP after giving evidence.

"So many women have gone back to their surgeons to be told there's nothing wrong and it's all in their head, so to be finally given a voice after so long is amazing."
The women are among 800 involved in a class action lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, claiming the vaginal mesh implants have left thousands in pain.

Ms Thompson received a mesh implant nine years ago in a bid to repair her damaged pelvic floor.

However, Ms Thompson says just three years later she approached Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration to warn of a looming disaster involving the device.

While the particular mesh implanted into Ms Thompson - Prolift Pelvic Floor Repair System by Johnson & Johnson - has been taken off the market, there are still surgeons in Australia who are implanting vaginal mesh in women.

"While I'm speaking to you now I can guarantee there is a woman in a Sydney hospital somewhere having mesh put inside her and not realising," she said.

Ms Thompson told the inquiry of severe complications she's suffered since the surgery including excruciating and chronic pain, losing three pints of blood, multiple auto-immune diseases and the inability to have sex.

"When the doctor told me I would no longer be able to have sex with my husband, he said there was more than one way to skin a cat," Ms Thompson told AAP.

Having visited thirteen different surgeons in Australia, Ms Thompson is yet to find one willing to remove the permanent mesh implant.

The Senate inquiry into the devices is being spearheaded by Victorian Senator Derryn Hinch, who has described the mesh as "one of the greatest medical scandals and abuses of mothers in Australian history".


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