A LEADING Tory peer is visiting Southampton next week to meet victims of pelvic mesh implants.

Many women say the plastic implants caused them agony by damaging tissue - and some claim to have been left with life-changing injuries.

A review chaired by Baroness Cumberlege is speaking to people across the UK who have suffered serious complications.

The former junior health minister said: “I have been appalled at the seriousness and scale of the tragic stories we have heard from women and their families. We have heard from many women who are suffering terribly. Their bravery and dignity in speaking out is deeply moving, and their sadness, anger, pain and frustration at what has happened to them and others has been compelling.”

The Southampton meeting will take place at the Best Western Chilworth Manor Hotel next Tuesday<AUG 14> at 2pm.

Baroness Cumberlege will talk to woman whose lives have been changed “beyond repair” following the operation, often performed to treat conditions caused by having children. The mesh has also been used in hernia and bowel repairs, resulting in horrific complications for men as well as women.

Campaigners include Denise Shaw, of West End, who is urging as many people as possible to attend the two-hour session. Describing her own ordeal after having a mesh inserted in 2002 she said: “I was told it was a simple procedure with no risks. After 16 years of battling I finally found a surgeon in London to remove it.“Unfortunately the procedure for removal is not so simple. It’s been described as like ‘removing chewing gum from hair’.”

The net-like fabric acts as a scaffold to support organs such as the bladder, keeping them in the right place to help manage incontinence and another condition called prolapse.

About 75,000 women in England had the procedure, known as TVT, between 2006 and 2016. One in 15 have now had the implant removed.

As reported in the Daily Echo, the use of surgical mesh has recently been banned until the risk of injury is reduced.

Baroness Cumberlege said: “We strongly believe that mesh must not be used to treat women with stress urinary incontinence until we can manage the risk of complications much more effectively.

“My team and I are in no doubt that this pause is necessary. We must stop exposing women to the risk of life-changing and life-threatening injuries.”

The ban has been welcomed by Kath Sansom, founder of a campaign group called Sling the Mesh.

She said: “This is vindication for more than 6,100 members of Sling the Mesh who have been maimed by this operation and then ignored, some for years.”