Is it the mesh? Or where and how it is placed? What about hernia mesh? Or implanting a surgical mesh through the abdomen to correct prolapse? Is it just the vaginally placed mesh that is causing all the problems?
Not that my opinion counts for much, but for what it’s worth? No. I can’t believe it’s just TVM (transvaginal mesh) that is the problem.
I (now) know far too many people with all kinds of mesh, including hernia mesh, that are also dealing with horrific complications. All one has to do is visit the “Fighters and Survivor’s group“, or even many of the comments on this blog, to hear first-hand that they too are dealing with mesh erosion, and all the pain THAT brings. They too suffer similar fates of chronic pain, major infections, and multiple surgeries that completely disable and change their lives. Not only that, but many of them also can’t even get a lawyer to take their case. (Not that most of those WITH cases are really getting anywhere, or will. Still, some are making huge waves.) Their terrible, first hand stories, some complete with graphic photo’s of their scars and surgeries, are really all the evidence I need to convince me that it is NOT just vaginally placed mesh that is the issue.
So, the old, “hernia mesh is fine, it’s the transvaginal mesh that is the issue”, no longer holds water for me. I believed it when I first started researching things in 2012 (after dealing with my own TOT sling nightmare), because that is what many doctors say (especially those who advocate for the use of mesh). I still do not know as much about hernia mesh, because that is not what I had, and was not the primary area I researched. However, there is no denying the horror stories that I have heard. And after years of following this topic, and seeing so much research and information on polypropelene, etc.? Nope. I don’t’ buy it anymore.
If the mesh is made of polypropylene – which it all is – then, how can that not be an issue when polypropylene is a type of plastic that hardens once in your body into a consistency similar to a strip from your screen window? This is regardless of how it is placed. It is NOT inert. This is why it can cut, or “erode”, through tissues, nerves, organs, etc. Not to mention FBR, inflammation, infections, and the fact that they can’t just remove it if/when there’s a problem. I just don’t see how that is ever a good thing?
A friend of mine said it well, (JL), when she said,
“In my humble opinion, I don’t think any petroleum based products belong in, on or around the human body. Especially IN the body.”
I tend to agree with this. While I may be in the minority, I know I’m not alone. And, it’s not just myself, JL and a few others either. There’s a TON of people suffering, and many are coming forward.
There’s also more research being done, which may prove otherwise… like this recent study, “Sacral colpopexy: long-term mesh complications requiring reoperation(s)“, concluding, “This case series provides a description of surgical interventions for complications related to sacral colpopexy. These complications may be serious and occur years after the initial surgery.” :
International Urogynecology Journal
March 2015, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 353-358
Date: 17 Oct 2014
Sacral colpopexy: long-term mesh complications requiring reoperation(s)
by: Emmanuelle Arsene, Géraldine Giraudet, Jean-Philippe Lucot, Chrystèle Rubod, Michel Cosson
Introduction and hypothesis
Sacral colpopexy (SC) is a classic procedure used for the surgical treatment of pelvic organ prolapse. Although the procedure boasts excellent success rates, there are risks of complications and reoperation may be required. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the extent of complications following SC, requiring reoperation(s), and to describe the reoperations performed.
A retrospective monocentric study of patients who were operated on following a mesh complication after SC was conducted, at Lille University Hospital, between January 2007 and January 2013. Information relating to medical and surgical history, SC surgical technique, type of complication, and reoperation techniques was gathered.
Twenty-seven patients required surgery for complications after SC. Nineteen patients were treated for vaginal mesh exposures (VME), four for intravesical mesh (including one with VME), one for ano-rectal dyschezia, one for spondylodiscitis with a VME, one for mesh infection, and one for vaginal fistula communicating with a collection in the ischio-coccygeal muscle. The median time between the initial SC and the first reoperation was 3.9 ± 5.7 years. The median operating time was 40 ± 95 min, and the length of hospital stay was 3.0 ± 3.0 days. Ten patients needed several interventions.
This case series provides a description of surgical interventions for complications related to sacral colpopexy. These complications may be serious and occur years after the initial surgery.
- Top 10 Things to Know About Mesh BEFORE Having Surgery for POP or SUI:https://meshmenot.wordpress.com/top-10-things-to-know-about-mesh-before-surgery-for-pop-sui/
- FDA warns there is NO evidence that mesh provided any greater clinical benefit than non-mesh surgeries: https://meshmenot.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/fda-warns-there-is-no-evidence-that-mesh-provided-any-greater-clinical-benefit-than-non-mesh-surgeries/
- See the comment on this post: https://meshmenot.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/augs-addressing-mesh-complications-and-helping-patients-or-just-defending-mesh/#comment-770
- A brochure on hernia mesh: https://www.facebook.com/groups/meshproblems/987402747957336/
- Are you a GOOD mesh? Or a BAD mesh? https://meshmenot.wordpress.com/2015/05/31/are-you-a-good-mesh-or-a-bad-mesh/
Perhaps even more helpful than articles, is talking to a variety of others who are suffering from mesh complications, and are in various stages of treatment. Three of the larger support groups I found helpful are:
- Women’s POP/SUI TVMesh Complications Support (Closed Group)
- Fighters And Survivors of All Transvaginal Mesh And Hernia Mesh/Plugs (Closed Group)
- Mesh Problems (PUBLIC/OPEN TO ALL, including doctors, etc)
- More resources listed on the footer/main page of this blog!