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

Is it Just Transvaginal Mesh Causing Problems?

WTH-newIs 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.

Memorial Wall of Mesh Survivors! (by Jaye Nevarez) Memorial Wall of Mesh Survivors

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

Abstract
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.

Methods
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.

Results
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.

Conclusion
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.

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00192-014-2514-7

=====================Related links==============


==============Support Groups================

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: 

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19 Responses »

  1. In the past 7 years, the years I’ve lost to mesh injuries, FBR and ever increasing auto immune issues, I have read story after story of mesh implants gone wrong. While most of these stories revolved around hernia and POP/SUI mesh, some didn’t. A woman had it implanted in her leg after a car crash. She died from the infection no one could clear. A woman had it implanted to enhance her breasts and became sicker and sicker. No one could remove the mesh. Another had it implanted in her face, also after a car accident. It eroded through her cheek. Then there are those who’ve had it sewn to their tongues as a weight loss aid. They lost weight when they couldn’t eat because their tongues swelled.
    There’s no data on how many mesh injured people have died from sepsis (a whole-body inflammation caused by an infection) but it’s a common theme among us, along with development of auto immune disorders. Then there are those who couldn’t take the pain and total disregard of the medical community and took the only way out. There’s no data on them either.
    After reading all this plus many articles from the medical profession and government agencies showing mesh is not inert, does break down in the body (leaching chemicals) and was made to cause FBR (causing large amounts of scar tissue) I find it extremely hard to believe any doctor telling me it’s not the mesh causing my problems.
    If you or someone you know has been told a mesh implant is the only fix for your problem please think long and hard and research, research, research. If your doctor tells you this he is not telling the truth. There are alternative measures for fixing hernias and POP/SUI without mesh. And if your doctor tells you that the mesh he uses isn’t the one in lawsuits, that it’s the new, lighter material just know it’s STILL polypropylene, a petroleum based product.
    Even if you trust your doctor don’t trust the product. There has been minimal testing. You ARE the test! It’s in your best interest to find a doctor who can help you WITHOUT using mesh of any kind.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can assure you that my mesh was not placed vaginally. I’m a guy! lol I had/have double inguinal hernias. Mesh was used to repair them both at the same time. Open surgery. I was in pain right from the beginning. I wanted my hernias back! I complained so much to my Dr & the surgeopn that finally 9 mos later the surgeon opened me up for a look. He was horrified at what he discovered. A large fibrosis had grown encompassing all the nerves in my abdomen as well as the anal muscles. Believe me when I say sitting is difficult at the best of times. Though, as I lean forward when sitting on my motorcycle no pressure on the anal area but pressure on my abdomen, I find this postion the most comfortable and have managed a few short rides. The surgeon was unable to remove the fibrosis or the mesh. He closed me back up & recommended ‘pain management’. I found a new surgeon who was able to go in laparascopically and remove the mesh on the left side. I notice about 30% reduction in pain. I will be going back for follow-up ( June 3/15) and to discuss removal of mesh on the right side as well as what plans has for repairing both hernias. Scar tissue has grown over the hernia on the left side, but at this point I don’t know what he will do about that. He discovered that both meshes were placed improperly and clamped onto the inguinal nerves.
    Now, at 2 mos since my last surgery (3rd) I still get debilitating pain in my groin, right into both testicles. Intermitent pain down my legs. This can last from a few minutes to several hours. Also almost constant abdominal/low back pain. When this gets too severe I take a couple of T-3’s and lie down. Sometimes sleeping for hours. Sometimes I am in bed for days at a time. I never know one minute to the next when or what the pain will be. One thing I do know is that pain is my constant companion & sleep is my new best friend! Also experiencing chronic fatigue. Some days I can ignore it, but most times I honestly cannot keep my eyes open long enough to make it to my bed. I have laid down and slept on the kitchen floor and on the garage floor. I have learned to keep some blankets or big bath towels handy as when chronic fatigue hits, it hits! I have even laid down and slept on my dogs rug using his bed for a pillow. He thinks this is just great. lol
    I have chosen to control my situation rather than let it control me. I try to stay busy and have some semblance of life doing the things I enjoy as well as things that need to be done. I keep my pain & discomfort from others as they too have their own problems to deal with. I don’t initiate conversations about how I am doing or feeling, but when asked about it I answer truthfully, keeping it short and then change the subject by asking others about themselves.

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    • Neil, wow, it never ceases to amaze me how horrific mesh complications are. Thanks for sharing some of your story here. Maybe it will help convince others that mesh, of all kinds, is dangerous. I’m also amazed and impressed by your great sense of humor and attitude. 🙂 I tend to use humor as a coping mechanism myself. It beats the alternative, even if not always possible. You can always vent openly and honestly here, or in the closed group too if it helps! Please take care. ❤

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  3. Hi there that k you for asking for others people’s opinions/experience of mesh other than the TVT/PoP mesh .. like you I also cannot accept that TVT mesh is the only mesh that causes damage ..like you said above, Polypropylene mesh no matter where it is in the body will cause all the same affects including Hernia Mesh.

    In 1997 I developed an incisional Hernia after a hysterectomy and was given a small piece of mesh to hold it together ..since then I’ve had a total of 6 Hernia repairs with bigger pieces of mesh put in each time ..And every piece of mesh I’ve had has caused erosion, damage to my bowel bladder etc .. The last surgery was at the end of 2006 where they had to place a significant size of mesh due to the large gapping hole in my abdominal wall and I’ve have had severe reactions including mesh erosion, migration and my mesh is badly crumpled down on the right side. .and MRI showed in late December last year that the mesh is now calcified. For the last two years I’ve been housebound with severe pain and an inability to eat (due to damaged bowel), I’ve lost a total of three Stone. In ththe last five years I’ve also been diagnosed with ME, fibromyalgia, Hyperrmobility. .All of which I’m convinced are FBR reactions to the mesh.

    I’ve been referred to psychologists for chronic pain been told by surgeons that what’s happened t

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  4. Hello,
    I had a incisional/ventral hernia that was 1 cm. My mesh was not made of polypropylene. It was made of polyester and had a collagen coating to prevent adhesions. I suffered extremely painful stabbing, tearing, ripping sensations where the mesh was tacked down. In addition to that, the helical tacks (30 of them) that held the mesh in place, were pulling because the mesh had shrunk. 1 of the tacks migrated to my colon and is still there. Hopefully it won’t puncture my colon. Even though my mesh was no where near my badder, I was later diagnosed with Interstitial cystitis, an autoimmune disorder where the bladder develops cysts which is extremely painful. I was also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and other female pelvic pain issues. I then was referred to pain management, like nearly all of are who have mesh. I was spending about $1000 a month in pain medications, doctors visits, er visits and so on. I later found a wonderful surgeon in Las Vegas, Dr. Kevin Petersen who was able to tell me why I was in so much pain. It was the mesh. I had the mesh removed and within a month, my pain had dropped 75%. I had to wait to do therapy, but when I was able, my pain reduced 95%. I no longer needed pain meds and was weened off of all the powerful drugs I once was on. If you have pain after 6 months post mesh implantation, THIS IS NOT NORMAL!!! You will likely not recover. Only after the mesh was removed and the defect repaired with stitching did I regain my life again. It’s not just the old mesh, or vaginal mesh. It’s all mesh!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello again, I’m going in to have a 4th doctor examine my left inguinal hernia on the 28th of October 2015. I’ve seen two doctors at OHSU, both are proponents of mesh, as was the 3rd doctor at the Oregon Clinic.

    My left inguinal smaller hernia is asymptomatic and doesn’t bring me any pain, just an occasional bit of tension that is about a 1 on a 10 scale of discomfort, not pain. My hernia isn’t incarcerated and reduces standing, seated or laying down; I wear a small truss to support it, feels like a jock, feels good. I have no restrictions from my hernia either. I’ve had the hernia since September of 2014. I’m NOT going to have mesh implanted on my pelvic floor over the inguinal area, no way. I’m sough out two other doctors (who do tissue repair without mesh) in the US; Dr. Robert Tomas in Florida who does the Dasarda Technique, and Dr. Kevin Petersen in Las Vegas, who does his own sort of tissue repair, (still a mystery) as to exactly how he does it – and I’m carefully assessing both of these physicians experience, background checks on lawsuits, etc. I’m spoken to Dr. Tomas – have yet spoken to Dr. Petersen – but I plan to soon.

    Any advice or experience or do you know of, these tissue (no mesh) repair hernia doctors?

    Thanks in advance for your input. Dan

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    • Dan – so glad you are looking into repairs without mesh. I am not familiar with Dr. Thomas, but I have heard a lot of good things about Dr. Petersen. I did not have hernia mesh, though, and so you may want to talk to more people who are going through the same things. This group might be helpful:

      Fighters And Survivors of All Transvaginal Mesh And Hernia Mesh/Plugs (Closed Group):
      https://www.facebook.com/groups/111893665491196/

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  6. PRIOR to March 5, 2008, where I LIVED in Bainbridge, GA, the town’s people would say they MARVELLED at ME, the 50 year old LADY who was JOGGING 3 MILES/6 DAYS a WEEK, at the Y Mon, Wed, and Fridays in STEP AEROBICS, PILATES, KICK BOXING, SPINNING, and CALISTHENICS classes, and SWIMMING and doing CIRCUIT TRAINING a FEW DAYS a WEEK! I’d RELEASED 132 POUNDS, and according to MY PCP, I was in “BETTER CONDITION than MANY in THEIR 20s! ” On March 5, 2008, I AGREED to ALLOW Dr. Jeffrey Crooms, at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital to IMPLANT a Marlex MESH for a VENTRAL HERNIA into MY BODY-a DUPONT made-Bard DISTRIBUTED product, that I LEARNED only LAST SUMMER (2015), had been RECALLED by the FDA in July 2007, even though, and I have the LETTER from Bard that STATES that IT was NOT an ITEM which had been! Like MANY of he COMMENTATORS here on THIS SITES, I began SUFFERING about a WEEK after the OPERATION, and was TOLD by Dr. Crooms, when I went for a SOONER-than-SCHEDULED, FOLLOW-UP APPOINTMENT that what I was EXPERIENCING was NORMAL! I also have 5 HARD COPIES of LETTERS from ATTORNEYS/LAW FIRMS that INFORMED ME that ONLY the TRANSVAGINALLY IMPLANTED MESH were the MESH that THEY were INTERESTED in! I KNOW that Dr. Kevin Petersen has a GREAT TRACK RECORD for REMOVING MESH that were IMPLANTED as the ONE that’s MOVED, COILED UP, and been the REASON for the PAIN and INFECTION in MY BODY, and although I’ve NOT SPOKEN to HIM, I DID SPEAK with a WOMAN or WOMEN in HIS OFFICE 2 TIMES, and WHEN I GET the $9100 that HE CHARGES to REMOVE the MESH and MINE and an ASSISTANCE’S TRAVEL and RELATED EXPENSES to have the SURGERY to GET the MESH REMOVED-I’m THERE! I MUST ADD that it SHOULD BE AGAINST the LAW the WAYS that SOME DOCTORS and the PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES and MANUFACTUERS of DEFECTIVE PRODUCTS are ALLOWED to CAUSE PAIN and SUFFERING and even DEATH to PEOPLE/PATIENTS who BELIEVED that THEY were INTERESTED in HELPING to HEAL the SICK and NOT just into TREATING PAIENTS ( as OPPOSED to CURING THEIR AILMENT) and GETTING WEALTHIER! Thanks for YOUR INFORMATION, I HOPE that WE WHO are SUFFERING will GET BETTER, and oh, I’m NOT SCREAMING-just NEVER FIT into a BOX or COLORED inside the LINES…just DIFFERENT that’s all! HAHAHA

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    • Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It’s just so NOT right. =( I’m sorry you are going through all this. And, I don’t care if you whisper it, write it, or “SCREAM” it out – lol – just glad to have you speak up and out about mesh. I hope more and more people are finding blogs, like this, and researching their options more before getting any mesh repairs. The risks are just NOT worth it! I am glad you are looking into going to Dr. Peterson. I’ve heard a lot of good things about him. Please hang in there and take care.

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  7. I had two surgeries which involved mesh implantation. Both surgeries failed and now I’m in constant pain and being referred to the urologist. My doctor thinks I now have Intercitial Cystitis and/or Sjogrens Syndrome. I have also been diagnosed with Hashimotos Thyroiditis.

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    • I’m so sorry. I hope you can get to one of the few doctors that specialize in mesh complications – because most doctors will not/do not recognize problems are related to mesh, or know how to treat them. So many of us just get bounced from doctor to doctor, only to get worse and worse… 😦 You can still go to the other specialists too…. and often need to because problems tend to snowball into other issues… But, if the mesh is at the route of it – that needs to be dealt with (removed, if possible) too.

      Please see this post, and the links to more resources at the end of it:
      https://meshmenot.wordpress.com/2015/05/06/finding-the-right-doctor-for-surgical-mesh-complications/

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  8. I had this done on 2011 and I suffer every day. The pain is so severe there are days I can’t even walk. Standing in one position for more than 10 minutes is unbearable. I have to ask other people to drive me around because it’s too painful for me. This surgery was suppose to improve my life instead it has destroyed my life completely. I have spoken to my doctors and complained about it and wanting it removed but they tell me it’s not possible. I can’t imagine going through the rest of my life with this horrible pain.

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Trackbacks

  1. Mesh-Injured People: NOT rare. NOT going away. NOT getting SUPPORT! | Mesh Me Not
  2. Scaremongering or Just Plain Scary? – Mesh Me Not

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