For the folks who can’t believe I have to fly all the way to California for surgery… I just heard of a woman and her husband who sold their rental home and bought an RV so they can drive to California (from Oklahoma) to see the same doc I’m going to (Dr. Raz). This other poor woman can not sit, so she can’t fly… and after 11 years (you heard me, ELEVEN YEARS) of surgeries and deteriorating health…. this was the only way they could think of to get her some help.
Sounds unbelievable, right? People can’t even believe me when I tell them I’m flying from NY to CA. Can you imagine what this other couple has been through? Well, believe it. Can you say “desperate”? Yes, “desperate” is a good word to describe women who have complications from mesh. Desperate because the doctors you once trusted, won’t or can’t help you. Desperate, because you get bounced from doctor to doctor, and told one wrong thing after another while your health gets worse and worse… along with your financial situation, and quality of life.
Now, this other woman’s case may be extreme… and maybe my case is also not the norm… and maybe for many mesh is NOT a problem. That does not change the fact that there ARE many women that DO have complications… serious complications… life altering complications with no easy answers for treatment.
Even the FDA warns that complications are “NOT RARE”. Something no-one mentioned to me before my surgery that I wish they had.
Another thing no one tells you is just how difficult, if not impossible, it will be to get any real help if you DO have those complications. All most doctors offer is denial… or ignorance on the matter. If/when you finally find a doctor who will correctly diagnose that the mesh is causing your problems, they usually only offer to do partial removals that often wind up making things worse, bringing on even more surgeries and damage. They often say it’s impossible to remove the mesh, that it will only cause more damage. What they SHOULD say, is that it is impossible for THEM to remove it, because there are only a handful of experienced doctors doing full mesh removals. Specialists, like Dr. Raz, that most other doctors will not refer you to when you present with complications. Women wind up being the guinea pigs for a product that never should have been put on the market in the first place, and then again for partial mesh removal procedures by inexperienced doctors. Lawyers blame the manufacturers, or the FDA. Meanwhile, many doctors just keep putting mesh into women left and right.
It still boggles my brain. How is this possible? Such major problems, from such a minor surgery? Yes, all surgeries have risks… but, this is ridiculous. Especially when there are alternatives (usually not offered), like using your own tissues, etc., and the seriousness of the risks are not explained. The fact that it is is all so avoidable is what makes it so horrific to me.
If you’re still reading – thanks for reading… This isn’t a topic I’m sure most really want to hear about.. or something I really like talking about, but I feel like I need to do whatever I can to warn others, and just get the word out about mesh complications and mesh removal surgery.
I not only went to UCLA, but I went three times. Once for my consult in August 2012. Once for my pre-op tests and actual mesh removal surgery in December. Once again for a follow-up in March. While traveling from NY to CA for surgery was not ideal or easy, I would do it all again. Dr. Raz is an amazing surgeon, and I still feel like this was what I needed to do. It is a shame there are not better options closer to home. It is also a shame they are even still using mesh and causing these kinds of problems. No, that is more like a crime than a shame.
Click here for more information and pictures from my trip to UCLA
- Pictures and More Information from my trips to UCLA
- Dr. Shlomo Raz
- Finding the Right Doctor for Surgical Mesh Complications
- Why I Went All the Way to UCLA for Mesh Removal Surgery
- Searching for Docs Experienced with FULL Mesh Removal, and/or NON-Mesh Repairs
- Partial vs. Full Mesh Removal Surgery
- Upstate NY Support for Mesh Complications
- Mesh-Injured People: NOT rare. NOT going away. NOT getting SUPPORT!
- It’s NOT enough. We need help!
- Are you a GOOD mesh? Or a BAD mesh?
- Were you told that you were the “only one”?
- FDA warns there is NO evidence that mesh provided any greater clinical benefit than non-mesh surgeries
- Top 10 Things to Know About Mesh BEFORE Having Surgery for POP or SUI
- Links to many other articles, blogs, support groups, and resources on the bottom of this blog