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

Dr. Shlomo Raz

This man saved my life! He did what others told me was not possible. I have so much respect and admiration for him.

This man saved my life! He did what others told me was not possible. I have so much respect and admiration for him.

I talk a lot about Dr. Raz in this blog. Probably because I feel like he saved my life. You will find his name mentioned repeatedly throughout this blog, and my MeshMeNot Facebook page.  I created a photo-album in Facebook, where I have a lot of information and talk about my travels all the way from NY to CA to go to him for full mesh removal.  This was after a local UroGyn expert doctor told me that was impossible.  I mention that he no longer uses mesh, and how difficult that is to find in a doctor.   But, I figured it was about time I gave him his own page on my blog – so here it is.

Unlike many other doctors who are now doing mesh removal, Dr. Raz does not have a big, self-promoting website boasting of his services and patient testimonies.  Perhaps he should – but it doesn’t seem to be his thing.

He has a typical faculty page on UCLA’s website, where it says:

“Shlomo Raz, M.D. joined UCLA in 1975 and oversees the Division of Female Urology, Reconstructive Surgery and Urodynamics.”

“During the past 28 years at UCLA, Dr. Raz has been committed to the highest standard of care of patients with urologic conditions affecting the lower urinary tract. He is a definite authority and one of the most prominent physicians in the field of female urology and urologic reconstructive surgery.”

And lists his contact info as:

Shlomo Raz, M.D.
UCLA School of Medicine
200 UCLA Medical Plaza, Suite 140
Los Angeles, California   90095
Phone:  310-794-0208
Fax:  310-794-0211
Web Page (https://www.uclahealth.org/provider/shlomo-raz-md)

Many doctors in this field seem to know of him.  Some know him for being very vocal against the use of mesh, and don’t seem to appreciate that.  Many others seem to highly respect him, and many even trained with, or under, him.  Yet, it doesn’t seem that hardly any doctors are actually referring their patients to him for full mesh removal when they present with complications.  At least none of the women I talked to were, and I know I was not.  Instead, most patients are only offered partial removals and pain management.  Even worse, many are just turned away, and told that the mesh is not even the problem.  Yet, women are still finding out about Dr. Raz.  His reputation seems to travel near and far from his own patients testimonies on blogs and in support groups (and many of those are listed on the bottom of this blog).  My hope is that this blog, and now this page, might help others find Dr. Raz and learn more of him, as well.

Dr. Raz is considered one of the few experts, if not THE expert, when it comes to mesh complications. I have talked to countless other women who also went to Dr. Raz and had nothing but good things to say.  The only complaint I have heard when it comes to going to Dr. Raz, is that the wait to see him is often long and difficult.  He literally has women traveling from all over the place to see him.  I consider myself very fortunate to say that I know him, and that he was my surgeon for mesh removal. I would recommend him to anyone suffering from mesh complications.

In time, I hope to be able to feature other doctors who do not use mesh and are doing full mesh removals as well.  If you are one, or know of any, please let me know.

There is an article about Dr. Shlomo Raz, called,  Shlomo the Mesh Slayer, by Stewart R. Albertson , dated January 2013, he talks a lot about the Monarc sling, which is what I had (and Dr. Raz removed).  In this article, he mentions:

“Dr. Raz says in a Monarc removal surgery he has to cut through delicate structures including muscles and bone. There are five muscles he must cut through to remove the Monarc mesh—namely, the gracilis, the adductor longus, the adductor magnus, the obturator internus, and the obturator externus.

Dr. Raz says he’s done at least 11,000 vaginal surgeries in this career, and that the mesh removal surgeries are the most difficult he’s ever performed….”

Other Featured Articles & Info on Dr. Raz:

=========Full Article: http://www.pharmalawpost.com/2013/01/24/shlomo-the-mesh-slayer/

Shlomo the Mesh Slayer

By Stewart R. Albertson on January 24, 2013
Posted in Discovery, Product Liability Litigation, Vaginal Mesh Litigation

I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Shlomo Raz last year when I took his deposition in one of my vaginal mesh cases. I felt like I was meeting a rock star. Previously I read many articles by Dr. Raz, and even tried to hire him as an expert witness in my cases against the vaginal mesh companies. I was told that Dr. Raz does not do expert testimony for either side in the mesh litigation, but he would appear for deposition if he treated patients who were now part of the mesh lawsuits.

I was “lucky” enough to have a client that had seen Dr. Raz on several occasions for mesh complications from the Monarc Subfascial Hammock manufactured and sold by American Medical Systems, Inc. Dr. Raz performed two mesh removal operations on my client. Previously my client had the Monarc surgically implanted in March 2008 at the Loma Linda University Medical Center. She endured significant pain for several years after the implant surgery before finding Dr. Raz. After she found Dr. Raz, he performed two difficult removal surgeries to surgically remove the Monarc mesh.

I was interested in what Dr. Raz had to say about vaginal mesh, so I set his deposition, which he appeared for on December 13, 2011. The pertinent portions of Dr. Raz’ deposition follow below:

Dr. Raz stated that in the last six to seven years he has done 350 surgeries related to vaginal mesh complications. Of these 350 surgeries 15 to 20 percent of them involved the Monarc Subfascial Hammock that is manufactured and sold by American Medical Systems, Inc.  Dr. Raz testified that the synthetic mesh causes a chronic infection in the patient that will not stop unless all the mesh is surgically removed.  He said that in some patients the chronic infection would not begin until two to three years after the mesh was implanted. But the chronic infection can begin soon after surgical installation as well.

He also said the implant procedure for the Monarc involved two long needles (called trocars) that are used to punch two holes on either side of the patient’s vagina as part of the Monarc installation. According to Dr. Raz the trocars penetrate nerve dense regions on either side of the patient’s vagina. Over 10 percent of Dr. Raz’ patients had pain from these needles passing through nerve dense regions.  Dr. Raz says extensive dissection of the vaginal tissue is required to remove the mesh, because the mesh is a permanent implant.

Dr. Raz says he does not use the Monarc in his own patients, and never would. His reasoning is that the Monarc is a permanent implant and very difficult, if not impossible, to surgically remove if the need arises. Dr. Raz likes the option of reversing a surgery if he needs to.

Dr. Raz prefers his method of treating stress urinary incontinence with a retropubic sling that can be easily reversed if required. Dr. Raz stated that his retropubic sling patients have much better outcomes than patients who get a sling from a medical device company, such as the Monarc.  Dr. Raz says in a Monarc removal surgery he has to cut through delicate structures including muscles and bone. There are five muscles he must cut through to remove the Monarc mesh—namely, the gracilis, the adductor longus, the adductor magnus, the obturator internus, and the obturator externus.

Dr. Raz says he’s done at least 11,000 vaginal surgeries in this career, and that the mesh removal surgeries are the most difficult he’s ever performed.  Dr. Raz said that complications from vaginal mesh are significantly under-reported.  Dr. Raz says that of the mesh complications he treats, he believes he can be successful in helping 70 percent of these women. But the remaining 30 percent will endure pain for the rest of their lives. Dr. Raz stated that for these 30 percent of women “the pain will always remain usually at a level that is quite high and is not curable completely; it stays as a chronic neuropathy.”

I was impressed with Dr. Raz. He appears to be well into his seventies but has the work ethic of a young intern. Dr. Raz is the chief of pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery at UCLA, and has been for more than 35 years. You can find out more about Dr. Raz at his UCLA webpage.

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Categorised in: Doctors Who Don't Use Mesh, Featured Doctors

20 Responses »

  1. Once again I thank you from the deepest part of my soul.  I was just in the process of gathering more information on Dr. Raz since I finally made my first step in planning on making the journey out to Ca to see him.  Then you put a smile on my face because you provided some of the information that I was thinking about so now I can check that off my list.  Like you this journey is not just about us because both you and I feel the pain of the other ladies that had a large part of their lives affect in an extreme negative way.  It might take me a year or two in order to follow through; however, it is a plan and a glimmer of HOPE!

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  2. I’m a mess..pain infection stabbing issues so needed morphine bleeding

    Over 5 years

    Marlee Simms
    Marleesimms@yahoo.com

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  3. I had mesh implanted Oct 2010 , for a rectocele and a entrocele. . I have suffered from pain, bloating and now they say I have auto immune disease. I just went to the doctor yesterday and she did a biopsy on lichen sclerosus . I tried to talk to her about the mesh and she told me that I must have had the auto immune before , she said that is probably what caused the prolapse although I had a hysterectomy when I was 24 . I tried to make her see that my systems were the same as everyone eles that had mesh but she disagreed and wants me to get an ultra sound on Friday to see why Im in pain . I showed her the articles on trans vaginal ultra sounds and she told me that there was no one in our area that could do that. I just cried and cried in her office and she was not willing to even conceder that the mesh was the problem. this is the seventh doctor I have seen . they all make me feel like I am a baby and I am making things up. I just feel so despondent. I am deing and no one cares.

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    • I’m so sorry you are being treated like this… But I’ve lived it, and know a lot of others who have too. Seems like most docs still will not admit/realize it’s the mesh, until there’s absolutely no way to deny it (which is usually if/when it’s visibly coming thru vaginal wall)… But mesh can cause so many problems other than vaginal erosion. They are wrong. Please try to get to one of the few experts that regularly deal with mesh complications. They will tell you the truth & can actually help you.

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  4. I had mesh surgery in 2009i started having problems around a year and a half after and in 2 years after I started getting a chronic rash on my face and head I’ve been to every dr I know and they all tell me it’s ok I i.e. Have rash on my entire body my legs hurt all the time and I have a hard time sleeping shooting pain also in my groin area and feet and now I have a hard lump in my vagina area I’m so disgusted and I’m about to go crazy besides being mad about the whole thing I made an appointment neither dr Raz’s associate in June I’m desperate for help

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    • Rosetta,
      Thanks for the update. I am SO glad you are going to Dr. Raz’s associate soon. May I ask which one?
      Unfortunately, many tests do not detect mesh, and many doctors do not recognize or acknowlege mesh complications. Especially the autoimmune type problems you describe. Even if/when they do, many doctors do not know how to remove mesh, or repair without it. That is why it’s important to get to one of the specialists that deal with mesh complications if at all possible. If you haven’t already done so, please check out this article, and the links at the end: https://meshmenot.wordpress.com/…/finding-the-right…/

      Please hang in there, and keep us posted. ❤

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  5. What happens to the 30 percent I am so scared to have the operation I don’t want to be one of the 30 percent. Please some one help me I have made an appointment with Dr Twins in Tucson AZ has any o.email heardent of him he studied with Dr Razor Thursday uclass in California.

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  6. You have worked hard and deserve commendation. Your article or “blog” about Dr. Raz and UCLA was excellent! I NEED removal of two inguinal hernia patches and repair without mesh. Does Dr. Raz do inguinal surgery for a man? A great lead for those searching for a removal and repair specialist. You might want to include Dr. Kevin Petersen of Las Vegas. The “no insurance surgery” if you can pay it without insurance. Is there one that will accept payment through that Veterans Administration’s “Choice” for veterans VA outsourcing?

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  7. Hi Deb! I have had 12 bladders surgeries personally performed by Dr. Raz in my lifetime so far. I also owe my life to him. At least the quality of life. The urologists in Vegas literally gave me catheters and pain pills with refills to get me to shut up. Dr. Raz resolved the problem and I was in great shape living a normal life in no time. Now, ten years later I am scheduling an appointment to visit my old friend Shlomo…. I am so happy to hear others feel the same way about him that myself and my family do. Thanks for sharing, Jaime

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Trackbacks

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