Weston man left in ‘chronic pain’ 16 months after hernia surgery
PUBLISHED: 17:00 14 March 2018
A Weston-super-Mare man has been left in ‘chronic pain’ 16 months after an operation means he is unable to work anymore.
Keith Devine, who lives in Queens Road, had worked in the public sector for 22 years, but found out his contract at Crown Commercial Services would not be renewed when he was in hospital recovering from a hernia operation.
The mesh material used during surgery has caused Keith excruciating pain, which ‘gets worse by the day’.
He said: “Before the operation, people would have described me as a healthy and fit 56-year-old, since then my life has been completely ruined.
“I have to wake up three times per night due to the pain so I never get a good night’s sleep.
“My appetite has been completely destroyed, I lost 10kg in the two weeks after the operation and I now suffer from panic attacks.
“I used to play and coach tennis and squash, now I struggle to walk up and down a flight of stairs.”
Mesh is the NHS’ ‘recommended method’ for hernias, and is used on tens of thousands of patients every year, according to its website.
However, research conducted by Sky News found there are no guidelines from the UK health watchdog National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on the use of mesh for treating hernias.
The operation was undertaken privately in London, and Keith is considering taking legal action after suffering ‘severe damage’ to three vertebrae in his spine.
Keith has to take a cocktail of drugs daily to combat his pain, taking 12 tablets a day of co-codamol, highly-addictive opiate oxycodone, which is normally given to patients on end-of-life care, and amitriptyline, a strong anti-depressant and sedative.
Keith hopes his story will inspire others with similar issues to come forward.
He explained: “There are two surgeons who broke ranks to reveal there is a 50 per cent patient success rate.
“If the error factor was one per cent then I would accept the fact I had just been unlucky, but a one in two rate is not acceptable.
“I want to generate interest for people who have gone through similar problems to speak up and not suffer in silence.”