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

It’s not your fault.

not-your-faultAre you suffering from mesh complications and feeling guilty for “allowing” mesh to be implanted in your body in the first place?

Well then, I think, that you should think again.  

No one  suffering from mesh complications should be feeling guilty.  This is not the patient/victim’s fault.  They should not have known better.  Nobody that is mesh-injured should be blaming themselves, or other individuals that are suffering from a mesh implant… regardless of what kind of mesh it was, or when they had it implanted.

Many who get mesh are not even given all the facts & options upfront.  I’ve heard from many who did not even know their doctor planned to use mesh, until after the fact.  And, it’s not a matter of  the patient not asking for information, or researching.  Not even in this day and age when you can Google anything.  Not even with all the annoying lawyer ads running constantly on TV.

falseThe sad truth is that if you walked into most doctor offices today,  told them you pee a little when you sneeze (or whatever) they would still probably recommend mesh.  This is despite all the FDA warnings, reported complications, and over 100,000 lawsuits.

In fact, the doctor will likely downplay concerns you raise based on your own research, or lawyer ads, or even personal testimonies from others who have problems.  They may tell you the mesh (or tape, or sling) they are using is NOT the same thing, and assure you it’s safe.  They may even make it sound like it’s your only option.  This seems to be the majority of doctor offices, not just a few. So, if you went for a 2nd opinion, you’d probably hear the same.  Unfortunately, the only one’s really listening to the lawyers, are the ones they are soliciting.  There is hardly ANY real validation of mesh complications from main stream media, or from the medical community.

trust-me-im-a-doctor-300x300So, face it – when it comes down to it, most people will trust their doctor’s answers. Period. That’s not being stupid, that’s normal. That’s what we are taught to do –  “Listen to your doctor.”  And, in most cases, you would think that would be the thing to do, right?   Because we are not medical professionals.  Some doctors will even chastise us for Googling things, and trying to self-diagnose.  Many doctors take offense if/when we question their own experience and skills.  But, there ARE good doctors out there that will listen, and engage.  There are even doctors who know how to do repairs WITHOUT mesh, and they are worth seeking out.

Still, it’s human nature to kick ourselves in the ass.  Guilt, comes too easily for most of us.  Maybe, because most of us are also taught to be accountable, and responsible for ourselves.  We like to believe we are in control of most things, and feel like we should be.  So, it’s easy to feel like we should have known better.  Especially when you start researching more, and realize just how dangerous mesh is.  Then, we wish that we would have somehow known better than the doctors when they recommended mesh for our medical issues (such as prolapse, incontinence, or hernia).  But, hind-sight is 20/20, and most of us do NOT believe we know better.  At least not BEFORE we wind up dealing with all kinds of mesh complications.

It doesn’t help when the manufacturers, and pro-mesh people look for any scapegoat to blame to get themselves off the hook.  They are happy to put the blame on the the FDA, the doctor, or the patient.

The founder of APOPS (Association for Pelvic Organ Prolapse Support) supported the concept that patients need to take responsibility, telling me that, “every woman needs to screen her practitioner for experience and then ask the right questions”.

So, it’s the patients fault for not finding the RIGHT, or better skilled doctor?  That is a bit harsh.  Realistically, how many people even know the right questions to ask?  Besides, even when the right questions are asked, the wrong answers are often given.

AUGs promotes the idea that if you go to the “right doctor” (also know as a “urogynecologist” according to them) that has experience with mesh, then you will be fine.   I wrote about this in another post titled,
Is it your Doctor’s fault if you have mesh complications?“:

Its-Your-Fault-DoctorSome pro-mesh people want us to believe that it is the DOCTOR, not the product that is at fault for mesh complications.  I’m guessing a lot of doctors who implant mesh might disagree…  but, the manufacturers of mesh? Well, they love this idea because if you can prove it’s the doctor’s fault, that gets them off the hook, and they (the manufacturers) are the ones being sued most frequently.
– from the post: “Is it your Doctor’s fault if you have mesh complications?

I do not believe mesh complications are simply a matter of the right doctor. I believe the product itself is defective. Regardless, I certainly don’t think patients understand the real risks involved. And how would they know? How many people will go further than asking their doctor some questions? How many will really take the time, or have the know-how, to research the answers they are given?  How many know how to search out and read FDA warnings?  How many will really research things in depth if/when they are not actually having any serious problems?  Especially, if the procedure they are thinking of is for a “minor”, non-life threatening, problem?  Especially if it’s something kind of embarrassing that you just want to be done and over with?

SUIBrochureSampleIf your doc says it’s quick and easy, “out-patient” surgery (like for SUI) –  how many really question it?   We tend to think our doctors wouldn’t use something so high risk on us, especially for a minor problem.  We tend to think our government wouldn’t allow untested, and unsafe, products to be an option.

Then, even if/when people DO research, they  find sites like APOPs, and AUGs that basically still promote mesh, and down-play the risks.  There are a lot of doctor and hospital web sites STILL promoting the use of mesh.  There’s  even articles being written and published BY the mesh manufacturers themselves, and/or the doctors on their payroll.   Without the obvious support of the FDA, and medical organizations like AUGs  – it is certainly not easy to sort this all out for professionals, let alone for individuals with no medical background.  The fact is that those in support of mesh are still the majority right now.  That doesn’t make them right, but it makes them easy to believe.

I know there will be some who are now finding enough information to sway them away from mesh.  Maybe more and more are starting to (I HOPE!) and if you are one of them – GOOD FOR YOU!  I love it when people find my blog and say that I helped convince them to NOT get mesh.  That is one of my main goals for having this blog – to try to warn others.  But, for every person who decides against it, I’m certain there are many more who just get mesh if that is what their doctor recommends.   Understandably so! We should not, and can not, blame the patients that are basically being used, unbeknownst to them, as human guinea pigs.  

And, what do the doctors say when they mesh complication lawsuits go to trial?

 Well, usually the doctor will state that that they also believed the manufacturers faulty data, and that is why they used mesh.  They will claim they didn’t know the dangers and high risks involved, and testify that they did not know the real facts, because the manufacturers misrepresented them.  In a nut shell, they blame the manufacturers.

So, the doctors blame the manufacturers.  The manufacturers try to blame anyone they can – including you.  It’s a convenient little blame-game circle. And, while everyone sits around pointing fingers, they continue to drag this out, and KEEP putting MORE mesh in people.  Clinging to false statistics, and loopholes in the FDA warnings that allow them to keep using mesh.  And, until the FDA & medical industry stop promoting mesh, the hundreds of thousands of those injured by mesh will continue to be treated as if they are “the only one”, and practically invisible.   Not only that, but more people will continue to be harmed.

There’s enough places for those who have been harmed by mesh to point blame – the manufacturers, the FDA,  AUGs,  doctors, the greedy medical INDUSTRY as a whole…  But, it’s NOT the patient’s fault. It’s NOT.

So, if you are suffering from mesh complications, and feeling like you “should have known better” – just stop.

Please, do not allow those that are pro-mesh to hurt you any more than you are already hurting.  We ARE the victims here.  Some things you just can’t see coming.  So,  if you were feeling guilty – quit kicking yourself in the ass for something that was not your fault.  Please.  And also don’t kick a fellow mesh victim while they are down either.

We need to stick together.

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5 Responses »

  1. This is a great post, bang on the nail! Thank you so much for all that you do to raise awareness of this awful medieval torture device.

    Like

  2. I am new here and very, very scared. Doctors have been chasing my symptoms and attributing the sudden, severe groin pain to all sorts of problems. From the beginning, though, I suspected the mini sling or the TVT sling. (Yes, I have two.) Where can I post in hopes of finding help in the Midwest? I am desperate.

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  3. i had problems from the begining ,i kept going back to my doctor and telling him something wasnt right , he finally said it was because i had had an abortion when i was a young girl and i was being punished, i was young and dumb its not what i wanted i hate him

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    • Debra, I was so angry when I read your comment a couple of days ago that I couldn’t reply. Tell the jackal that you don’t have enough shovels to scoop up his B.S. I could be wrong, but I believe that guy is breaking some sort of rule or law when he shamed you about abortion. He’s the ultimate gas-lighter. No-one has the right to shame you on something like that. And it has NOTHING to do with your mind-boggling pain and discomfort. Every woman on here will tell you that we have ALL been gas-lighted by our former urologists and urogynecologists.

      Here’s a few things we’ve been told when discussing implant pain…….

      You’re too heavy. (Me)
      You’re too thin.
      You’re going through menopause.
      You had a hysterectomy. (Me)
      Give it time to heal. (Me)
      Here’s some pills to slow down your urination that’ll give you cold like symptoms and heart palpitations. And actually makes you pee more. (Me)
      You’re the only patient I’ve had who’s complained. (Me)
      You’re the only patient who’s ever needed a removal. (Me)
      I’ve removed implants from other doctor’s patients, but never my own. (Me)
      Yes, I can remove it. (Me)
      Oh, there’s no way I can take it all out. (Me in pre-op then walking out skipping the surgery because he initially lied.)

      It’s not you, Debra, it’s him. I’m so sorry you’re hurting like this. I’m so sorry your doctor is an ass. I went to Dr Veronikis in St Louis and I love him! His partner, Dr Wood, does not do mesh removals. Dr Veronikis told me this in mid October at my six week post op. Deb went to Dr Raz at UCLA. Personally, I believe Raz and Veronikis to be the top two in their field. Grant it, I am still having all kinds of grief with my insurance (Tricare) because they are back to insisting that a closer provider could have done it in Memphis. I’m not going to lie, I’m increasingly becoming more and more like Erin Brokovich since I walked out of that pre-op with that liar back in April. By this point, Tricare is getting an earful from me in calls. I told them that I’ve done all that they asked me to do. Now the burden of proof is on them to actually name these supposed ex-plant doctors near me. I’ve already researched it before, but I’m being so specific now that I’ve started to connect with every major hospital network in the tri-state area. I’m asking who they know who can do such surgeries. So, when Tricare responds back in a few days I may already have info on the names they might mention. And I can reiterate to them that they only do partials.

      Liked by 1 person

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