Adding my two cents to the mega mesh mess surrounding transvaginal mesh complications…

Do surgical repairs using mesh last longer than repairs using your own biological tissue?

Many women are being told that it does (last longer), and that if they don’t use mesh, they will be back on the (operating) table for more surgery within 1-5 years.    Is this true?

Well, it’s not true according to the FDA, which put out a warning in 2011(www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm262752.htm) stating:

“The FDA also conducted a review of scientific literature published between 1996 and 2010 comparing mesh surgeries to non-mesh surgeries. The agency review suggests that many patients who undergo transvaginal POP repair with mesh are exposed to additional risks, compared to patients who undergo POP repair with stitches alone. While mesh often corrected anatomy, there was no evidence that mesh provided any greater clinical benefit than non-mesh surgeries.”

You can also do a search in Google Scholar, for example, and easily pull up articles like this one:

“Long-term outcomes of vaginal mesh versus native tissue repair for anterior vaginal wall prolapse” (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00192-013-2043-9)

where it concludes:  “The use of mesh for anterior prolapse was associated with an increased risk of any repeat surgery, which was driven by surgery for mesh removal. Native tissue and vaginal mesh surgery had similar 5-year risks for surgery for recurrent prolapse.”

And, this is a recent article that pulls from several reputable sources stating:

There is no evidence that transvaginal repair to support the top of the vagina (apical repair) or the back wall of the vagina (posterior repair) with mesh provides any added benefit compared to traditional surgery without mesh. While transvaginal surgical repair to correct weakened tissue between the bladder and vagina (anterior repair) with mesh augmentation may provide an anatomic benefit compared to traditional POP repair without mesh, this anatomic benefit may not result in better symptomatic results.”…. http://www.wspa.com/story/22640292/noted-surgeon-talks-to-lawyersandsettlementscom-about-alleged-transvaginal-mesh-complications

Then, there’s Linda Gross, who recently won her first battle with Johnson and Johnson, and reportedly had 18 subsequent unsuccessful revision procedures following the initial surgery. She has described her life after surgery as a “living hell” and has characterized she and thousands of other women as “guinea pigs” to the vaginal mesh maker. Unfortunately, she is far from alone, and there are currently over 20,000 law suits filed against several mesh manufacturers.

So, where are the studies that show repairs with mesh last longer and are better than using your own biological tissue?   Why are women still being told mesh repairs will last longer by those who are “pro mesh”??   Seriously.  I’d like to know.   So, if you have a study or article that shows this, please post. Thanks.

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Categorised in: Mesh Complications, Pelvic Organ Prolapse

3 Responses »

  1. The FDA states mesh for POP has not been proven to last longer? POP is a very broad diagnosis and mesh repair is a very vague surgery. Mesh has been used for almost 50 years in the body for hernia repairs and the same complications have happened as are happening in the vagina. The hernia tries tio push out, the mesb yrues to hold it in and sometimes tissues break through and tear open onto the mesh. Look up Inguinal hernia repair, incisional hernia repair, ventral hernia repair complications.
    Remember, no one has to have their pelvic prolapse ( herniation of their ebital organs and tissues) repaired. Hey push them back in, where a rubber dougnut in their vagina to hold them up, or stay off their feet so gravity can not pull stuff out. That is their choice. But if they want a repair surgically whether mesh is used or just stitching to weave your own mesh, complications can and do occur as well as the repair can be too tight or too loose and the problem can reoccur. Your surgeon is working with tissue that is stretched and strained and weighted down already and is not normal and is notgoing to heal properly in some cases. Your body is not a car that a part can just like the one broken can be found to replace the broken one. Maybe one day using stem cells doctors will have a perfect replacement part grown to fit each individual. Until then we are stuck with 70-80% success for hernia repairs. (POP is pelvic organ prolapse is hernia of the uterus bladder rectum into the vagina then out the vagina if severe or left untreated)
    Separately there is urinary incontinence which means leaking urine on yourself requiring a pad or depends all the time. (Or a diaper or pull-ups for adults) There are 2 reasons people leak urine as an adult. Either it because of prolapsed bladder and a squirt comes out with strain, laugh, cough, sneeze, exercise; or a squirt comes out whenever it wants to as a result of bladder spasms caused-by nerve problems to the bladder typicallyfrom long standing prolapse and tgere is no cure currently for this neurogenic cause. There are meds that calm it down but they have many side effects most wimen will not tolerate. So if you are peeing on yourself enough to wear pads or diapers then there are surgeries called the slings..tapes..or stiches called Kelly stitch, anterior repairs ysing stitches to weave a mesh under the bladder and urethra to replace the proper angle and support. Again all these surgeries have complications and only 70-80% success. No one os making a person elect a surgery. Surgery is only an option and it is not perfect as again there is no perfect part replacement. So you can live withyoyr problem, pelvic muscle toning (squeezing Kegel muscles or stimulating them with electrical shocks),
    weight loss, no smoking so no
    coughing, avoid vaginal childbirth so no vaginal muscles are torn, try alternative medicine ( meditation, accupuncture), or try an anatomical repair with stitches or mesh by surgery. All require work at getting better and none are 100% or guarantee all will be fixed with all guarantee it will take time and effort with sacrifice and pain to improve. Doctors did not make your body have problems. Doctors offered a solution. Not THE solution. Only YOU can decide to try a solution and work to improve. Lawyers get half the winnings on your law suits so they have much to gain by creating hostility between doctors and patients. I beg you to never gave a doctor try to help you that you do not see as a han being trying to help you. That is what a doctor is.
    Doctors do not work 90 hours a week trying to hurt people. NONE of them do. America better wake up because as more dictors burn out and less people go into medicine and more people demand free care and more lawyersbankrupt the system, the government will have to take over so Americans can get any basic healthcare ie Obamacare. The next step is overnment hospitals that lawyers never sue because there is no money to be made for them. This is coming and only Americans can decide to take responsibility for their health and choose doctors they trust and work to get well (even if it takes 6 surgeries!) or they will not and America will soonbe a third world country with our aging infrastructure and cortupt oblivious politicians as our industries all move out the US and the US gov’t in debt without income to pay for all the social benefits Americans want ( healthcare free, retirement, disability, unemployment, ?) who wil pay for this? China might, Mexico might. Russia might. Japan may be interested. Think about it.

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    • Hello again. I just responded to your other comment on the “Searching for Doctors” post (https://meshmenot.wordpress.com/2015/01/06/searching-for-docs-experienced-with-full-mesh-removal-andor-non-mesh-repairs/)…..

      You have said a lot in this comment… and I am thankful to have your input. Seriously. I wish more medical professionals would engage… too many will not even remotely discuss this. Patients are literally turned away from their offices as soon as mesh is mentions. Too many are not reporting complications… they are DENYING there are any.

      A lot of your views are what many of us have heard from other doctors that still use, or promote mesh. I know about hernia mesh and how that is also causing problems, and the types of problems/reasons why people get mesh in the first place. I am coming at this as a patient… not as a lawyer, or a medical professional. But, I have learned an awful lot about mesh these last 4 years… More than i would ever want to have known. But, I sure wish I had known one tenth of the basics – because if I had, I would NOT have chose to have surgery for SUI. I don’t think most people would. I am sharing links to actual resources – like the FDA warnings, and studies. Not just sharing my own experience or opinions.

      I don’t think anyone expects their doctor to be perfect. And, the doctors are not the ones being blamed in most cases – certainly, not by me. I believe mesh, itself, is a faulty product. I do wish doctors would start paying more attention to all the complications… and, not keep promoting the use of something that they can not treat if/when it goes wrong. I do not understand how so many doctors can still be telling patients that they are the “only one” when they present with problems… when, there are so many of us. (https://meshmenot.wordpress.com/2015/03/27/is-it-your-doctors-fault-if-you-have-mesh-complications/).

      But, just so everyone knows, the doctors are NOT the ones being sued in all those lawsuits. There are over 100,000 lawsuits, against 6 different MANUFACTURERS for a myriad of mesh products for SUI and POP. It is the manufacturers being sued. Manufacturers like Johnson & Johnson that are literally making BILLIONS on mesh. The lawyers are making out too, yes. Everyone is making out – except for the patients… because if you think we are all crying wolf and getting rich – think again. Most I know have lost EVERYTHING… their jobs, their insurance, their homes, their health, their sex lives, and relationships… and most have NOT collected a dime. Most can not even afford the surgery and treatment they need, and many do fund-raiswers, etc. (See https://meshmenot.wordpress.com/2015/10/22/are-you-sick-and-tired-of-lawyer-ads-about-mesh/)

      I have no doubt that everyone needs to make their own choices…. and if they decide on surgery – there are ALWAYS risks. HOWEVER, it would be nice if they could make those choices based on ALL the facts. Not down-played risks, and filtered BS that comes from the salespeople for the manufacturers. How can anyone make an educated decision, if so many doctors are still saying what you are saying – that the risks are so low, etc. (see: https://meshmenot.wordpress.com/2015/11/28/doctors-promoting-new-mesh/) Ugh. The FDA warnings go on about how surgery with mesh has the ADDED RISKS of mesh erosion, etc. These are huge extra risks, that most people do not fully understand. If you want to know more on what mesh erosion can do – talk to some of the many people in support groups like “Mesh Problems” (https://www.facebook.com/groups/meshproblems) to get just a little idea.. and/or see this post: https://meshmenot.wordpress.com/2015/11/26/notenough/

      I started this blog because when I wanted to share what I WISHED I would have knew BEFORE I had surgery. Things my doctor was NOT telling me. Things like the FDA warnings, and that the product used in me (Monarc TOT sling) WAS one of the many products with tons of reported lawsuits and complications, AND how transvaginal mesh was not even properly tested before marketing because of the 510K process…

      I hope anyone considering mesh will read the following links… along with your comments, etc:

      https://meshmenot.wordpress.com/top-10-things-to-know-about-mesh-before-surgery-for-pop-sui/

      https://meshmenot.wordpress.com/2015/05/31/are-you-a-good-mesh-or-a-bad-mesh/

      https://meshmenot.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/fda-warns-there-is-no-evidence-that-mesh-provided-any-greater-clinical-benefit-than-non-mesh-surgeries/

      For anyone who DID get mesh… and IS dealing with complications… I hope they will not read comments like yours and feel like it is their own fault. It is NOT their fault.

      https://meshmenot.wordpress.com/2015/11/25/its-not-your-fault/

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