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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is meant by Urogynaecology?

Urogynaecology is a field of gynaecology subspecialising in the diagnosis and treatment of bladder and pelvic floor problems in women. Bladder problems include all types of urinary urinary incontinence, infections, and other troublesome symptoms. Pelvic floor problems include prolapse of the pelvic organs such as the uterus or vagina, and perineal problems that can occur after childbirth.

 

Where do you see private patients?

I see private patients at both the Cambridge Nuffield and Spire Cambridge Lea Hospitals. Both hospitals have full facilities for consultations, investigations and treatments, and are fully equipped for all surgical procedures.

 

Do I need a referral from my GP to see you?

If you have Private Health insurance you should first request a referral to see me from your GP. Most insurance policies require a referral from your GP. In other cases it is not necessary for you to see your GP for a referral. However it can be useful to involve your GP as they may be able to provide helpful information about your medical history and any medication you are taking.

 

Will you see me for a second opinion?

I am happy to see anyone for a second opinion. Many of the patients I see are referred to me from other consultants or from outside of the Cambridge region. I see a lot of women for second opinions in my NHS practice, where I run a tertiary clinic for women with complex or refractory problems. If you would like to see me for a second opinion it is useful for you or your GP to provide as much information with you as possible, including letters, reports and scans.

 

Can you advise me about the use of vaginal mesh or tapes?

Yes - I have extensive clinical experience of the use of mesh in surgery, including the treatment of women who have experienced complications secondary to mesh. I have experience in the medicolegal aspects of mesh operations and have been appointed as an expert witness in the USA to give advice about the use of mesh in vaginal surgery. I have also advised the Scottish government about the use of vaginal mesh. There has been a lot of recent press coverage concerning the potential risks of using vaginal mesh for the surgical treatment of stress incontinence and prolapse. For many women, the use of mesh is appropriate and the benefits outweigh any risks provided that the right type of mesh is selected for the surgery. However this can be a complex area to discuss, and often requires a highly individual approach. If you would like to discuss any concerns, or see me for a review, please book an appointment via my PA. Please see the links at the bottom of this page for further information on the use of mesh in vaginal surgery.

 

Can I claim from my health insurance?

This may be possible in many cases but it is essential you refer to your Policy and to telephone them directly before you attend for a consultation. In most cases insurers will require a direct referral from your GP.

 

How do I make an appointment?

You may request that your GP sends through a referral. Alternatively, you may prefer to contact my PA Gabriella White directly, by telephone on 01223 312775 or by email info@markslackgynaecologist.org.uk

 

USEFUL LINKS

Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (RCOG)

British Society of Urogynaecology (BSUG)

International Urogynaecology Association (IUGA)

Wellbeing of Women (WoW)

The Bladder and Bowel Foundation

The Continence Foundation

The International Painful Bladder Foundation

 

Statements on the use of mesh in surgery

 

AUGs Position statement on the use of mesh in surgery

RCOG statement on the MHRA report on mesh

MHRA 2014 summary of the evidence on benefits and risks of vaginal mesh implants

MHRA statement of the use of vaginal tapes for stress urinary incontinence

MHRA statement on the use of vaginal mesh for pelvic organ prolapse

Department of Health statement on the use of mesh and vaginal tapes

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