Tag Archives: Destroying

‘It’s just soul destroying’: when pelvic surgery goes wrong

“Nobody wants to talk about toilet function at the best of times,” says Jacqui Shaw. “It’s just one of those topics people, especially ladies, want to keep to themselves.”

But after two operations for bowel problems left her with permanent and debilitating complications, she has decided to speak out.

Shaw, 50, had difficult deliveries with both her children, in 1992 and 1996, each time requiring ventouse. As a result of internal damage, she was having trouble going to the toilet and eventually went to see a local doctor in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

He told her he knew of a Bristol-based surgeon, Anthony Dixon, with an international reputation for pelvic repair. “I thought I’d struck gold,” she said. “I thought: ‘I’m so lucky I’ve got this insurance that covers me.’”

Shaw travelled to Bristol and Dixon recommended a procedure known as a rectopexy, in which a mesh would be inserted to support the tissue around her rectum. She recalls him reassuring her that he had performed the same operation on a family member. “That made me think … you must be quite confident, it must be really good,” she said.

After the operation at the Spire Bristol hospital, Dixon visited her in recovery, told her that everything had gone well and then, she said, threw some polaroids on to her bed, saying: “There you go, would you like to see your insides?”

“He also said: ‘It’s a shame you didn’t see me earlier as you wouldn’t have needed [a] hysterectomy if you’d come to see me first,” she said. “For all he knew I might have wanted more children. It was just a bit odd.”

The surgery was unsuccessful: it hadn’t resolved her bowel problem and she was now also experiencing severe pain. When she contacted Dixon he suggested further surgery, a Starr procedure, which she said was portrayed to her as “a tweak” to the surgery she had already had.

“I thought: ‘I don’t want another operation. I have two children,’” she said, but added that she felt she had no choice, having come this far.

She describes the operation, in 2009, as “horrific” and far more invasive than she had been prepared for. “There’s nothing written on my notes about complications or anything,” she said.

“When I came home, I had the feeling of being in the middle of passing a motion,” she said. “The pleasure-pain-type funny feeling. I had that constantly, 24/7, for weeks and weeks.”

During the years that followed, she has continued to have pain as well as a “pulling sensation” in her tummy and feelings of numbness that prompted doctors to test her for MS and stroke. And her bowel issues were never fully resolved.

Eventually, she sought the advice of a gynaecologist who concluded that the original rectopexy mesh was at least partly to blame. A year ago, Shaw had most of the mesh removed – although some was embedded in her bowel and bladder and could not be extracted. Her surgical notes state that the implant had “rolled up on itself creating almost … a rod of tissue”. The removal relieved the “pulling” feeling, but she still suffers ongoing pain.

Shaw says her husband has been “brilliantly” supportive, but she considers herself lucky to have a marriage strong enough to have survived. “The lack of a physical relationship, emotionally that’s really difficult and some blokes wouldn’t put up with that,” she said. Her health problems mean she often has to take time off work at short notice, and she says she has only been able to carry on working because she runs a family business.

Reflecting on her experience, Shaw says she is angry that she does not feel she was fully informed of known complications of the surgeries she underwent. She believes that procedures such as the Starr should be, if there is a place for them, the “very last port of call”. And she says she has found it very difficult to trust others since her experience of complications after being treated by Dixon. “It’s just soul-destroying. It messes your head up something crazy,” she says.

‘It’s just soul destroying’: when pelvic surgery goes wrong

“Nobody wants to talk about toilet function at the best of times,” says Jacqui Shaw. “It’s just one of those topics people, especially ladies, want to keep to themselves.”

But after two operations for bowel problems left her with permanent and debilitating complications, she has decided to speak out.

Shaw, 50, had difficult deliveries with both her children, in 1992 and 1996, each time requiring ventouse. As a result of internal damage, she was having trouble going to the toilet and eventually went to see a local doctor in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

He told her he knew of a Bristol-based surgeon, Anthony Dixon, with an international reputation for pelvic repair. “I thought I’d struck gold,” she said. “I thought: ‘I’m so lucky I’ve got this insurance that covers me.’”

Shaw travelled to Bristol and Dixon recommended a procedure known as a rectopexy, in which a mesh would be inserted to support the tissue around her rectum. She recalls him reassuring her that he had performed the same operation on a family member. “That made me think … you must be quite confident, it must be really good,” she said.

After the operation at the Spire Bristol hospital, Dixon visited her in recovery, told her that everything had gone well and then, she said, threw some polaroids on to her bed, saying: “There you go, would you like to see your insides?”

“He also said: ‘It’s a shame you didn’t see me earlier as you wouldn’t have needed [a] hysterectomy if you’d come to see me first,” she said. “For all he knew I might have wanted more children. It was just a bit odd.”

The surgery was unsuccessful: it hadn’t resolved her bowel problem and she was now also experiencing severe pain. When she contacted Dixon he suggested further surgery, a Starr procedure, which she said was portrayed to her as “a tweak” to the surgery she had already had.

“I thought: ‘I don’t want another operation. I have two children,’” she said, but added that she felt she had no choice, having come this far.

She describes the operation, in 2009, as “horrific” and far more invasive than she had been prepared for. “There’s nothing written on my notes about complications or anything,” she said.

“When I came home, I had the feeling of being in the middle of passing a motion,” she said. “The pleasure-pain-type funny feeling. I had that constantly, 24/7, for weeks and weeks.”

During the years that followed, she has continued to have pain as well as a “pulling sensation” in her tummy and feelings of numbness that prompted doctors to test her for MS and stroke. And her bowel issues were never fully resolved.

Eventually, she sought the advice of a gynaecologist who concluded that the original rectopexy mesh was at least partly to blame. A year ago, Shaw had most of the mesh removed – although some was embedded in her bowel and bladder and could not be extracted. Her surgical notes state that the implant had “rolled up on itself creating almost … a rod of tissue”. The removal relieved the “pulling” feeling, but she still suffers ongoing pain.

Shaw says her husband has been “brilliantly” supportive, but she considers herself lucky to have a marriage strong enough to have survived. “The lack of a physical relationship, emotionally that’s really difficult and some blokes wouldn’t put up with that,” she said. Her health problems mean she often has to take time off work at short notice, and she says she has only been able to carry on working because she runs a family business.

Reflecting on her experience, Shaw says she is angry that she does not feel she was fully informed of known complications of the surgeries she underwent. She believes that procedures such as the Starr should be, if there is a place for them, the “very last port of call”. And she says she has found it very difficult to trust others since her experience of complications after being treated by Dixon. “It’s just soul-destroying. It messes your head up something crazy,” she says.

‘It’s just soul destroying’: when pelvic surgery goes wrong

“Nobody wants to talk about toilet function at the best of times,” says Jacqui Shaw. “It’s just one of those topics people, especially ladies, want to keep to themselves.”

But after two operations for bowel problems left her with permanent and debilitating complications, she has decided to speak out.

Shaw, 50, had difficult deliveries with both her children, in 1992 and 1996, each time requiring ventouse. As a result of internal damage, she was having trouble going to the toilet and eventually went to see a local doctor in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

He told her he knew of a Bristol-based surgeon, Anthony Dixon, with an international reputation for pelvic repair. “I thought I’d struck gold,” she said. “I thought: ‘I’m so lucky I’ve got this insurance that covers me.’”

Shaw travelled to Bristol and Dixon recommended a procedure known as a rectopexy, in which a mesh would be inserted to support the tissue around her rectum. She recalls him reassuring her that he had performed the same operation on a family member. “That made me think … you must be quite confident, it must be really good,” she said.

After the operation at the Spire Bristol hospital, Dixon visited her in recovery, told her that everything had gone well and then, she said, threw some polaroids on to her bed, saying: “There you go, would you like to see your insides?”

“He also said: ‘It’s a shame you didn’t see me earlier as you wouldn’t have needed [a] hysterectomy if you’d come to see me first,” she said. “For all he knew I might have wanted more children. It was just a bit odd.”

The surgery was unsuccessful: it hadn’t resolved her bowel problem and she was now also experiencing severe pain. When she contacted Dixon he suggested further surgery, a Starr procedure, which she said was portrayed to her as “a tweak” to the surgery she had already had.

“I thought: ‘I don’t want another operation. I have two children,’” she said, but added that she felt she had no choice, having come this far.

She describes the operation, in 2009, as “horrific” and far more invasive than she had been prepared for. “There’s nothing written on my notes about complications or anything,” she said.

“When I came home, I had the feeling of being in the middle of passing a motion,” she said. “The pleasure-pain-type funny feeling. I had that constantly, 24/7, for weeks and weeks.”

During the years that followed, she has continued to have pain as well as a “pulling sensation” in her tummy and feelings of numbness that prompted doctors to test her for MS and stroke. And her bowel issues were never fully resolved.

Eventually, she sought the advice of a gynaecologist who concluded that the original rectopexy mesh was at least partly to blame. A year ago, Shaw had most of the mesh removed – although some was embedded in her bowel and bladder and could not be extracted. Her surgical notes state that the implant had “rolled up on itself creating almost … a rod of tissue”. The removal relieved the “pulling” feeling, but she still suffers ongoing pain.

Shaw says her husband has been “brilliantly” supportive, but she considers herself lucky to have a marriage strong enough to have survived. “The lack of a physical relationship, emotionally that’s really difficult and some blokes wouldn’t put up with that,” she said. Her health problems mean she often has to take time off work at short notice, and she says she has only been able to carry on working because she runs a family business.

Reflecting on her experience, Shaw says she is angry that she does not feel she was fully informed of known complications of the surgeries she underwent. She believes that procedures such as the Starr should be, if there is a place for them, the “very last port of call”. And she says she has found it very difficult to trust others since her experience of complications after being treated by Dixon. “It’s just soul-destroying. It messes your head up something crazy,” she says.

‘It’s just soul destroying’: when pelvic surgery goes wrong

“Nobody wants to talk about toilet function at the best of times,” says Jacqui Shaw. “It’s just one of those topics people, especially ladies, want to keep to themselves.”

But after two operations for bowel problems left her with permanent and debilitating complications, she has decided to speak out.

Shaw, 50, had difficult deliveries with both her children, in 1992 and 1996, each time requiring ventouse. As a result of internal damage, she was having trouble going to the toilet and eventually went to see a local doctor in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

He told her he knew of a Bristol-based surgeon, Anthony Dixon, with an international reputation for pelvic repair. “I thought I’d struck gold,” she said. “I thought: ‘I’m so lucky I’ve got this insurance that covers me.’”

Shaw travelled to Bristol and Dixon recommended a procedure known as a rectopexy, in which a mesh would be inserted to support the tissue around her rectum. She recalls him reassuring her that he had performed the same operation on a family member. “That made me think … you must be quite confident, it must be really good,” she said.

After the operation at the Spire Bristol hospital, Dixon visited her in recovery, told her that everything had gone well and then, she said, threw some polaroids on to her bed, saying: “There you go, would you like to see your insides?”

“He also said: ‘It’s a shame you didn’t see me earlier as you wouldn’t have needed [a] hysterectomy if you’d come to see me first,” she said. “For all he knew I might have wanted more children. It was just a bit odd.”

The surgery was unsuccessful: it hadn’t resolved her bowel problem and she was now also experiencing severe pain. When she contacted Dixon he suggested further surgery, a Starr procedure, which she said was portrayed to her as “a tweak” to the surgery she had already had.

“I thought: ‘I don’t want another operation. I have two children,’” she said, but added that she felt she had no choice, having come this far.

She describes the operation, in 2009, as “horrific” and far more invasive than she had been prepared for. “There’s nothing written on my notes about complications or anything,” she said.

“When I came home, I had the feeling of being in the middle of passing a motion,” she said. “The pleasure-pain-type funny feeling. I had that constantly, 24/7, for weeks and weeks.”

During the years that followed, she has continued to have pain as well as a “pulling sensation” in her tummy and feelings of numbness that prompted doctors to test her for MS and stroke. And her bowel issues were never fully resolved.

Eventually, she sought the advice of a gynaecologist who concluded that the original rectopexy mesh was at least partly to blame. A year ago, Shaw had most of the mesh removed – although some was embedded in her bowel and bladder and could not be extracted. Her surgical notes state that the implant had “rolled up on itself creating almost … a rod of tissue”. The removal relieved the “pulling” feeling, but she still suffers ongoing pain.

Shaw says her husband has been “brilliantly” supportive, but she considers herself lucky to have a marriage strong enough to have survived. “The lack of a physical relationship, emotionally that’s really difficult and some blokes wouldn’t put up with that,” she said. Her health problems mean she often has to take time off work at short notice, and she says she has only been able to carry on working because she runs a family business.

Reflecting on her experience, Shaw says she is angry that she does not feel she was fully informed of known complications of the surgeries she underwent. She believes that procedures such as the Starr should be, if there is a place for them, the “very last port of call”. And she says she has found it very difficult to trust others since her experience of complications after being treated by Dixon. “It’s just soul-destroying. It messes your head up something crazy,” she says.

‘It’s just soul destroying’: when pelvic surgery goes wrong

“Nobody wants to talk about toilet function at the best of times,” says Jacqui Shaw. “It’s just one of those topics people, especially ladies, want to keep to themselves.”

But after two operations for bowel problems left her with permanent and debilitating complications, she has decided to speak out.

Shaw, 50, had difficult deliveries with both her children, in 1992 and 1996, each time requiring ventouse. As a result of internal damage, she was having trouble going to the toilet and eventually went to see a local doctor in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

He told her he knew of a Bristol-based surgeon, Anthony Dixon, with an international reputation for pelvic repair. “I thought I’d struck gold,” she said. “I thought: ‘I’m so lucky I’ve got this insurance that covers me.’”

Shaw travelled to Bristol and Dixon recommended a procedure known as a rectopexy, in which a mesh would be inserted to support the tissue around her rectum. She recalls him reassuring her that he had performed the same operation on a family member. “That made me think … you must be quite confident, it must be really good,” she said.

After the operation at the Spire Bristol hospital, Dixon visited her in recovery, told her that everything had gone well and then, she said, threw some polaroids on to her bed, saying: “There you go, would you like to see your insides?”

“He also said: ‘It’s a shame you didn’t see me earlier as you wouldn’t have needed [a] hysterectomy if you’d come to see me first,” she said. “For all he knew I might have wanted more children. It was just a bit odd.”

The surgery was unsuccessful: it hadn’t resolved her bowel problem and she was now also experiencing severe pain. When she contacted Dixon he suggested further surgery, a Starr procedure, which she said was portrayed to her as “a tweak” to the surgery she had already had.

“I thought: ‘I don’t want another operation. I have two children,’” she said, but added that she felt she had no choice, having come this far.

She describes the operation, in 2009, as “horrific” and far more invasive than she had been prepared for. “There’s nothing written on my notes about complications or anything,” she said.

“When I came home, I had the feeling of being in the middle of passing a motion,” she said. “The pleasure-pain-type funny feeling. I had that constantly, 24/7, for weeks and weeks.”

During the years that followed, she has continued to have pain as well as a “pulling sensation” in her tummy and feelings of numbness that prompted doctors to test her for MS and stroke. And her bowel issues were never fully resolved.

Eventually, she sought the advice of a gynaecologist who concluded that the original rectopexy mesh was at least partly to blame. A year ago, Shaw had most of the mesh removed – although some was embedded in her bowel and bladder and could not be extracted. Her surgical notes state that the implant had “rolled up on itself creating almost … a rod of tissue”. The removal relieved the “pulling” feeling, but she still suffers ongoing pain.

Shaw says her husband has been “brilliantly” supportive, but she considers herself lucky to have a marriage strong enough to have survived. “The lack of a physical relationship, emotionally that’s really difficult and some blokes wouldn’t put up with that,” she said. Her health problems mean she often has to take time off work at short notice, and she says she has only been able to carry on working because she runs a family business.

Reflecting on her experience, Shaw says she is angry that she does not feel she was fully informed of known complications of the surgeries she underwent. She believes that procedures such as the Starr should be, if there is a place for them, the “very last port of call”. And she says she has found it very difficult to trust others since her experience of complications after being treated by Dixon. “It’s just soul-destroying. It messes your head up something crazy,” she says.

‘It’s just soul destroying’: when pelvic surgery goes wrong

“Nobody wants to talk about toilet function at the best of times,” says Jacqui Shaw. “It’s just one of those topics people, especially ladies, want to keep to themselves.”

But after two operations for bowel problems left her with permanent and debilitating complications, she has decided to speak out.

Shaw, 50, had difficult deliveries with both her children, in 1992 and 1996, each time requiring ventouse. As a result of internal damage, she was having trouble going to the toilet and eventually went to see a local doctor in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

He told her he knew of a Bristol-based surgeon, Anthony Dixon, with an international reputation for pelvic repair. “I thought I’d struck gold,” she said. “I thought: ‘I’m so lucky I’ve got this insurance that covers me.’”

Shaw travelled to Bristol and Dixon recommended a procedure known as a rectopexy, in which a mesh would be inserted to support the tissue around her rectum. She recalls him reassuring her that he had performed the same operation on a family member. “That made me think … you must be quite confident, it must be really good,” she said.

After the operation at the Spire Bristol hospital, Dixon visited her in recovery, told her that everything had gone well and then, she said, threw some polaroids on to her bed, saying: “There you go, would you like to see your insides?”

“He also said: ‘It’s a shame you didn’t see me earlier as you wouldn’t have needed [a] hysterectomy if you’d come to see me first,” she said. “For all he knew I might have wanted more children. It was just a bit odd.”

The surgery was unsuccessful: it hadn’t resolved her bowel problem and she was now also experiencing severe pain. When she contacted Dixon he suggested further surgery, a Starr procedure, which she said was portrayed to her as “a tweak” to the surgery she had already had.

“I thought: ‘I don’t want another operation. I have two children,’” she said, but added that she felt she had no choice, having come this far.

She describes the operation, in 2009, as “horrific” and far more invasive than she had been prepared for. “There’s nothing written on my notes about complications or anything,” she said.

“When I came home, I had the feeling of being in the middle of passing a motion,” she said. “The pleasure-pain-type funny feeling. I had that constantly, 24/7, for weeks and weeks.”

During the years that followed, she has continued to have pain as well as a “pulling sensation” in her tummy and feelings of numbness that prompted doctors to test her for MS and stroke. And her bowel issues were never fully resolved.

Eventually, she sought the advice of a gynaecologist who concluded that the original rectopexy mesh was at least partly to blame. A year ago, Shaw had most of the mesh removed – although some was embedded in her bowel and bladder and could not be extracted. Her surgical notes state that the implant had “rolled up on itself creating almost … a rod of tissue”. The removal relieved the “pulling” feeling, but she still suffers ongoing pain.

Shaw says her husband has been “brilliantly” supportive, but she considers herself lucky to have a marriage strong enough to have survived. “The lack of a physical relationship, emotionally that’s really difficult and some blokes wouldn’t put up with that,” she said. Her health problems mean she often has to take time off work at short notice, and she says she has only been able to carry on working because she runs a family business.

Reflecting on her experience, Shaw says she is angry that she does not feel she was fully informed of known complications of the surgeries she underwent. She believes that procedures such as the Starr should be, if there is a place for them, the “very last port of call”. And she says she has found it very difficult to trust others since her experience of complications after being treated by Dixon. “It’s just soul-destroying. It messes your head up something crazy,” she says.

‘It’s just soul destroying’: when pelvic surgery goes wrong

“Nobody wants to talk about toilet function at the best of times,” says Jacqui Shaw. “It’s just one of those topics people, especially ladies, want to keep to themselves.”

But after two operations for bowel problems left her with permanent and debilitating complications, she has decided to speak out.

Shaw, 50, had difficult deliveries with both her children, in 1992 and 1996, each time requiring ventouse. As a result of internal damage, she was having trouble going to the toilet and eventually went to see a local doctor in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

He told her he knew of a Bristol-based surgeon, Anthony Dixon, with an international reputation for pelvic repair. “I thought I’d struck gold,” she said. “I thought: ‘I’m so lucky I’ve got this insurance that covers me.’”

Shaw travelled to Bristol and Dixon recommended a procedure known as a rectopexy, in which a mesh would be inserted to support the tissue around her rectum. She recalls him reassuring her that he had performed the same operation on a family member. “That made me think … you must be quite confident, it must be really good,” she said.

After the operation at the Spire Bristol hospital, Dixon visited her in recovery, told her that everything had gone well and then, she said, threw some polaroids on to her bed, saying: “There you go, would you like to see your insides?”

“He also said: ‘It’s a shame you didn’t see me earlier as you wouldn’t have needed [a] hysterectomy if you’d come to see me first,” she said. “For all he knew I might have wanted more children. It was just a bit odd.”

The surgery was unsuccessful: it hadn’t resolved her bowel problem and she was now also experiencing severe pain. When she contacted Dixon he suggested further surgery, a Starr procedure, which she said was portrayed to her as “a tweak” to the surgery she had already had.

“I thought: ‘I don’t want another operation. I have two children,’” she said, but added that she felt she had no choice, having come this far.

She describes the operation, in 2009, as “horrific” and far more invasive than she had been prepared for. “There’s nothing written on my notes about complications or anything,” she said.

“When I came home, I had the feeling of being in the middle of passing a motion,” she said. “The pleasure-pain-type funny feeling. I had that constantly, 24/7, for weeks and weeks.”

During the years that followed, she has continued to have pain as well as a “pulling sensation” in her tummy and feelings of numbness that prompted doctors to test her for MS and stroke. And her bowel issues were never fully resolved.

Eventually, she sought the advice of a gynaecologist who concluded that the original rectopexy mesh was at least partly to blame. A year ago, Shaw had most of the mesh removed – although some was embedded in her bowel and bladder and could not be extracted. Her surgical notes state that the implant had “rolled up on itself creating almost … a rod of tissue”. The removal relieved the “pulling” feeling, but she still suffers ongoing pain.

Shaw says her husband has been “brilliantly” supportive, but she considers herself lucky to have a marriage strong enough to have survived. “The lack of a physical relationship, emotionally that’s really difficult and some blokes wouldn’t put up with that,” she said. Her health problems mean she often has to take time off work at short notice, and she says she has only been able to carry on working because she runs a family business.

Reflecting on her experience, Shaw says she is angry that she does not feel she was fully informed of known complications of the surgeries she underwent. She believes that procedures such as the Starr should be, if there is a place for them, the “very last port of call”. And she says she has found it very difficult to trust others since her experience of complications after being treated by Dixon. “It’s just soul-destroying. It messes your head up something crazy,” she says.

‘It’s just soul destroying’: when pelvic surgery goes wrong

“Nobody wants to talk about toilet function at the best of times,” says Jacqui Shaw. “It’s just one of those topics people, especially ladies, want to keep to themselves.”

But after two operations for bowel problems left her with permanent and debilitating complications, she has decided to speak out.

Shaw, 50, had difficult deliveries with both her children, in 1992 and 1996, each time requiring ventouse. As a result of internal damage, she was having trouble going to the toilet and eventually went to see a local doctor in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

He told her he knew of a Bristol-based surgeon, Anthony Dixon, with an international reputation for pelvic repair. “I thought I’d struck gold,” she said. “I thought: ‘I’m so lucky I’ve got this insurance that covers me.’”

Shaw travelled to Bristol and Dixon recommended a procedure known as a rectopexy, in which a mesh would be inserted to support the tissue around her rectum. She recalls him reassuring her that he had performed the same operation on a family member. “That made me think … you must be quite confident, it must be really good,” she said.

After the operation at the Spire Bristol hospital, Dixon visited her in recovery, told her that everything had gone well and then, she said, threw some polaroids on to her bed, saying: “There you go, would you like to see your insides?”

“He also said: ‘It’s a shame you didn’t see me earlier as you wouldn’t have needed [a] hysterectomy if you’d come to see me first,” she said. “For all he knew I might have wanted more children. It was just a bit odd.”

The surgery was unsuccessful: it hadn’t resolved her bowel problem and she was now also experiencing severe pain. When she contacted Dixon he suggested further surgery, a Starr procedure, which she said was portrayed to her as “a tweak” to the surgery she had already had.

“I thought: ‘I don’t want another operation. I have two children,’” she said, but added that she felt she had no choice, having come this far.

She describes the operation, in 2009, as “horrific” and far more invasive than she had been prepared for. “There’s nothing written on my notes about complications or anything,” she said.

“When I came home, I had the feeling of being in the middle of passing a motion,” she said. “The pleasure-pain-type funny feeling. I had that constantly, 24/7, for weeks and weeks.”

During the years that followed, she has continued to have pain as well as a “pulling sensation” in her tummy and feelings of numbness that prompted doctors to test her for MS and stroke. And her bowel issues were never fully resolved.

Eventually, she sought the advice of a gynaecologist who concluded that the original rectopexy mesh was at least partly to blame. A year ago, Shaw had most of the mesh removed – although some was embedded in her bowel and bladder and could not be extracted. Her surgical notes state that the implant had “rolled up on itself creating almost … a rod of tissue”. The removal relieved the “pulling” feeling, but she still suffers ongoing pain.

Shaw says her husband has been “brilliantly” supportive, but she considers herself lucky to have a marriage strong enough to have survived. “The lack of a physical relationship, emotionally that’s really difficult and some blokes wouldn’t put up with that,” she said. Her health problems mean she often has to take time off work at short notice, and she says she has only been able to carry on working because she runs a family business.

Reflecting on her experience, Shaw says she is angry that she does not feel she was fully informed of known complications of the surgeries she underwent. She believes that procedures such as the Starr should be, if there is a place for them, the “very last port of call”. And she says she has found it very difficult to trust others since her experience of complications after being treated by Dixon. “It’s just soul-destroying. It messes your head up something crazy,” she says.

‘It’s just soul destroying’: when pelvic surgery goes wrong

“Nobody wants to talk about toilet function at the best of times,” says Jacqui Shaw. “It’s just one of those topics people, especially ladies, want to keep to themselves.”

But after two operations for bowel problems left her with permanent and debilitating complications, she has decided to speak out.

Shaw, 50, had difficult deliveries with both her children, in 1992 and 1996, each time requiring ventouse. As a result of internal damage, she was having trouble going to the toilet and eventually went to see a local doctor in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

He told her he knew of a Bristol-based surgeon, Anthony Dixon, with an international reputation for pelvic repair. “I thought I’d struck gold,” she said. “I thought: ‘I’m so lucky I’ve got this insurance that covers me.’”

Shaw travelled to Bristol and Dixon recommended a procedure known as a rectopexy, in which a mesh would be inserted to support the tissue around her rectum. She recalls him reassuring her that he had performed the same operation on a family member. “That made me think … you must be quite confident, it must be really good,” she said.

After the operation at the Spire Bristol hospital, Dixon visited her in recovery, told her that everything had gone well and then, she said, threw some polaroids on to her bed, saying: “There you go, would you like to see your insides?”

“He also said: ‘It’s a shame you didn’t see me earlier as you wouldn’t have needed [a] hysterectomy if you’d come to see me first,” she said. “For all he knew I might have wanted more children. It was just a bit odd.”

The surgery was unsuccessful: it hadn’t resolved her bowel problem and she was now also experiencing severe pain. When she contacted Dixon he suggested further surgery, a Starr procedure, which she said was portrayed to her as “a tweak” to the surgery she had already had.

“I thought: ‘I don’t want another operation. I have two children,’” she said, but added that she felt she had no choice, having come this far.

She describes the operation, in 2009, as “horrific” and far more invasive than she had been prepared for. “There’s nothing written on my notes about complications or anything,” she said.

“When I came home, I had the feeling of being in the middle of passing a motion,” she said. “The pleasure-pain-type funny feeling. I had that constantly, 24/7, for weeks and weeks.”

During the years that followed, she has continued to have pain as well as a “pulling sensation” in her tummy and feelings of numbness that prompted doctors to test her for MS and stroke. And her bowel issues were never fully resolved.

Eventually, she sought the advice of a gynaecologist who concluded that the original rectopexy mesh was at least partly to blame. A year ago, Shaw had most of the mesh removed – although some was embedded in her bowel and bladder and could not be extracted. Her surgical notes state that the implant had “rolled up on itself creating almost … a rod of tissue”. The removal relieved the “pulling” feeling, but she still suffers ongoing pain.

Shaw says her husband has been “brilliantly” supportive, but she considers herself lucky to have a marriage strong enough to have survived. “The lack of a physical relationship, emotionally that’s really difficult and some blokes wouldn’t put up with that,” she said. Her health problems mean she often has to take time off work at short notice, and she says she has only been able to carry on working because she runs a family business.

Reflecting on her experience, Shaw says she is angry that she does not feel she was fully informed of known complications of the surgeries she underwent. She believes that procedures such as the Starr should be, if there is a place for them, the “very last port of call”. And she says she has found it very difficult to trust others since her experience of complications after being treated by Dixon. “It’s just soul-destroying. It messes your head up something crazy,” she says.

‘It’s just soul destroying’: when pelvic surgery goes wrong

“Nobody wants to talk about toilet function at the best of times,” says Jacqui Shaw. “It’s just one of those topics people, especially ladies, want to keep to themselves.”

But after two operations for bowel problems left her with permanent and debilitating complications, she has decided to speak out.

Shaw, 50, had difficult deliveries with both her children, in 1992 and 1996, each time requiring ventouse. As a result of internal damage, she was having trouble going to the toilet and eventually went to see a local doctor in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

He told her he knew of a Bristol-based surgeon, Anthony Dixon, with an international reputation for pelvic repair. “I thought I’d struck gold,” she said. “I thought: ‘I’m so lucky I’ve got this insurance that covers me.’”

Shaw travelled to Bristol and Dixon recommended a procedure known as a rectopexy, in which a mesh would be inserted to support the tissue around her rectum. She recalls him reassuring her that he had performed the same operation on a family member. “That made me think … you must be quite confident, it must be really good,” she said.

After the operation at the Spire Bristol hospital, Dixon visited her in recovery, told her that everything had gone well and then, she said, threw some polaroids on to her bed, saying: “There you go, would you like to see your insides?”

“He also said: ‘It’s a shame you didn’t see me earlier as you wouldn’t have needed [a] hysterectomy if you’d come to see me first,” she said. “For all he knew I might have wanted more children. It was just a bit odd.”

The surgery was unsuccessful: it hadn’t resolved her bowel problem and she was now also experiencing severe pain. When she contacted Dixon he suggested further surgery, a Starr procedure, which she said was portrayed to her as “a tweak” to the surgery she had already had.

“I thought: ‘I don’t want another operation. I have two children,’” she said, but added that she felt she had no choice, having come this far.

She describes the operation, in 2009, as “horrific” and far more invasive than she had been prepared for. “There’s nothing written on my notes about complications or anything,” she said.

“When I came home, I had the feeling of being in the middle of passing a motion,” she said. “The pleasure-pain-type funny feeling. I had that constantly, 24/7, for weeks and weeks.”

During the years that followed, she has continued to have pain as well as a “pulling sensation” in her tummy and feelings of numbness that prompted doctors to test her for MS and stroke. And her bowel issues were never fully resolved.

Eventually, she sought the advice of a gynaecologist who concluded that the original rectopexy mesh was at least partly to blame. A year ago, Shaw had most of the mesh removed – although some was embedded in her bowel and bladder and could not be extracted. Her surgical notes state that the implant had “rolled up on itself creating almost … a rod of tissue”. The removal relieved the “pulling” feeling, but she still suffers ongoing pain.

Shaw says her husband has been “brilliantly” supportive, but she considers herself lucky to have a marriage strong enough to have survived. “The lack of a physical relationship, emotionally that’s really difficult and some blokes wouldn’t put up with that,” she said. Her health problems mean she often has to take time off work at short notice, and she says she has only been able to carry on working because she runs a family business.

Reflecting on her experience, Shaw says she is angry that she does not feel she was fully informed of known complications of the surgeries she underwent. She believes that procedures such as the Starr should be, if there is a place for them, the “very last port of call”. And she says she has found it very difficult to trust others since her experience of complications after being treated by Dixon. “It’s just soul-destroying. It messes your head up something crazy,” she says.