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

Doctors Promoting “New” Mesh

trust-me-im-a-doctor-300x300I keep finding videos, and websites, where doctors are still promoting the use of mesh, for POP (Pelvic Organ Prolapse), and especially for SUI (Stress urinary incontinence) and for Hernia repairs. This is in spite of all the reported complications, and warnings.  Are there Good and Bad mesh products?

Check out this video, Published on Sep 5, 2015, where Dr. Harris from California Hernia Specialists discusses “the benefits of using hernia mesh and why 99% of hernia specialists use mesh during surgery”.


“The Truth About Hernia Mesh: Why is Using Mesh Important?”,
Dr. Todd Harris from California Hernia Specialists

I did not hear Dr. Harris mention just what kind of “lightweight” mesh he is talking about.   I would like to know the brand and name.  Why?  Because, I’m guessing if I search the FDA Database for reported complications, I would find it in there.  I’m also guessing that I could post a simple post in a support group for people dealing with complications from hernia mesh (like the “Fighters And Survivors of All Transvaginal Mesh And Hernia Mesh/Plugs” Group), and would find people who are suffering greatly from these newer and so-called improved mesh implants.

Dr. Harris also gave basically the same exact speech on how safe mesh back in June 2013 (www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGk91bXpMKU). I guess the “new” mesh he’s talking about is at least a few years old… and, his opinion hasn’t changed at all since then. So, again, I’d like to know what kind of mesh he uses.

Now, I did not have hernia mesh.

But, as I mentioend in my post, “Is it Just Transvaginal Mesh Causing Problems?:

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.   

 

I had a TOT sling (or tape as many call it today) for SUI.

Mesh for SUI (Stress Urinary Incontinence) is also still being actively promoted and used by most doctors that deal with such issues.   This is in spite of all the FDA warnings.  For some reason, many doctors have gone with the idea that mesh for SUI is safe, but mesh for POP (Pelvic Organ Prolapse) might be too risky (although, they still use it for that routinely as well).  As I mentioned in a post, “Why is it Okay to Use Mesh For SUI, but Too Risky for POP?“:

Largely, it appears to be because the FDA specified mesh used for POP in their July 2011 warning.  This was in spite of the fact that in the very same warning, they also reported ALMOST as many severe complications for SUI mesh repairs(1,371 complications), as there were for POP mesh repairs(1,503 complications).   Still, they specifically said their warning pertained to POP mesh, and stated they would get back to us on the SUI mesh.

– from: “Why is it Okay to Use Mesh For SUI, but Too Risky for POP?

My implant surgery was in 2012, when I was implanted with a Monarc sling, by AMS.   A product that caused me, and many others, major complications – yet is still on the market today.

There are also so-called “new and improved” mesh slings/tapes for SUI out theremmnmini

Like the Mini-arc, or Mini Slings. Also called SIMS (Single Insertion Mini-Slings).  Contrary to what the mesh manufacturers, AUGs, and subsequently many doctors are saying, these  newest mini-slings for SUI are having same horric problems that mesh erosion causes as the rest of us.

This article, “Mini-slings can cause complications“, published in the International Urogynecology Journal, 2014 October 23, had the following conclusions:

“CONCLUSIONS: This series outlines several complications with SIMS, similar to what has been reported with other suburethral synthetic tapes. Therefore, caution is required and patient counseling is important.”

from: “Mini-slings can cause complications”
Burhan Coskun, Rebecca S Lavelle, Feras Alhalabi, Gary E Lemack, Philippe E Zimmern
International Urogynecology Journal 2015, 26 (4): 557-62
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/25338728/mini-slings-can-cause-complications:

Too many people are under the impression that any “bad” mesh has been recalled off the market.

This is simply NOT true.   In my other post, “Are you a GOOD mesh? Or a BAD mesh?“, I have details on recalls, lawsuits, and more.  Most products that have lawsuits against them, are still on the market today.  And, this doesn’t even include most of the hernia mesh products, that have reported complications, but the lawyers are not taking on their cases so you don’t even see them in the lawyer ads.  But, there are a lot of people suffering from none-the-less.   help

Why is it that I keep hearing doctors saying that repairs with mesh will last longer, but the FDA warns there is NO evidence that mesh provided any greater clinical benefit than non-mesh surgeries?  Why are so many doctors promoting the idea that any “older” and “bad” mesh is no longer being used?   Or that the FDA warnings were “only for mesh for POP“.  Or that the lawsuits only involve older mesh products used for POP.   This is simply NOT true.

And some people wonder why anyone in their right mind would still “allow” mesh to be implanted in them in this day and age?

not-your-faultWell, as I recently said in my post, “It’s not their  fault“.  It is largely because MOST doctor and medical practices are still promoting it.  They are the majority.  And, most people will believe their doctor.  Period.

That is until you are one of the people having these “not rare” complications.  And, I have met far too many people, suffering horrific, life-altering complications from all different kinds of surgical mesh. All you have to do is read a few comments on this blog, or check out the PUBLIC “Mesh Problems” support group (www.facebook.com/groups/meshproblems), and you will get a taste of the terrible ways mesh is affecting so many, and their families.

People should NOT ignore their doctor’s advice.

m-cartoonBut, doctor’s should also NOT be ignoring their patient’s pain, questions, or getting upset when they raise valid concerns.   They should not be ignoring that there are over 100,000 lawsuits against all different kinds of mesh products, and a plethora of reported complications for POP, SUI and hernia mesh.  Doctors should NOT be downplaying this, as many seem to be doing, and telling patients incorrect information, based on out-dated and incorrect data. However, unfortunately, many DO just that… and so, unfortunately, I can no longer completely trust that all doctors have all the answers.  I do not believe they always take the time necessary, or have the patient’s best interest in mind, or that they are always right.  Sorry if that hurts any of their egos – but, I came to these conclusions the hard way.  I’ve learned that may doctors apparently are too busy to really research what they are recommending.  They make mistakes. They are not God.  And, with the way the medical INDUSTRY is today, more people need to realize that.

Yes, there are good doctor’s out there… many of them, in fact.  Many that I’ve been fortunate to find these last few years when I needed them the most.  And, I’m sure that most doctors really do care about their patients and in general want to help people.  That still doesn’t make them infallible.   They are still only human.  And, I would think a good doctor would agree with that, and not take offense if a patient raises concerns.  The good doctors will listen, and not assume the patient is wrong, and not be upset if a patient asks questions – or it they want another opinion.

What I wish people would do is find a doctor they can talk to.  One who listens and welcomes their questions.  But, even if you LOVE your doctor, I wish they would also still check their facts.  Don’t just believe everything the doctor says, simply because they are a doctor.  And, by all means, I wish people would ignore the doctors that roll their eyes and tell patients to  stop believing what they see on TV, and that they should,quit Googling things.

Right. Listen… Do yourself a BIG favor and find out exactly what kind of procedure and type of mesh, they plan to use BEFORE you have any surgery.  And, then – go GOOGLE it! AND search the FDA MAUDE database yourself. Also, check the legal section of the MDND website.  Maybe even go into some of the mesh problems support groups, like “Mesh Problems“, and ask questions there from those who may already have that exact same kind of mesh.  Find out ALL you can on that product.

Do NOT just believe the stats your doctor gives you, which they may later blame on the manufacturers feeding them incorrect data.  I know that I (and MANY others) wish we had done this before our surgery with mesh.

 

There ARE doctors out there doing repairs WITHOUT mesh, and they are worth seeking out.

They may not be the “norm”, but, not all doctors agree that mesh is best.  Some doctors, like Dr. Kevin Petersen in AZ,  will do non-mesh repairs, and believe they are much safer than using mesh.  In this video, Dr. Petersen discusses NON-MESH repairs for Hernia:


“Non mesh hernia repair”, Dr. Kevin Petersen

 

There’s also more doctors stepping up and doing non-mesh pelvic repairs for POP and SUI, like, Dr. Raz at UCLA, and Dr’s Blaivas and Purohit of the UroCenter of NY, who say on their website:

“Many surgeons use plastic material called mesh to support the tissue, but this may result in serious complications (the FDA has issued a warning about this). Dr. Blaivas and Dr. Purohit do not do these mesh surgeries – they use only your own natural tissue for the repair.”

(from: http://www.urocenterofnewyork.com/for-women/pelvic-organ-prolapse/prolapsed-bladder-pessaries)

But, doctors who do not use mesh are still the minority, and can be difficult to find.  We definitely need more of them, so if you know of any in your area, please share.

How about you?

Have you had mesh surgery within the last few years for hernia, or SUI, or POP?   If you have, I would welcome your comments – both good and bad. Especially, if you have had surgery recently using these newer  “lightweight” mesh.    Was it helpful?  Or are you having problems?   Please share. You do NOT have to use your real name or share any more details than you feel comfortable sharing.  Just please be civil and factual.  Thank you.

 

 

 

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15 Responses »

  1. What a good article …thanks do much for all you do! Fantastic! I will be sharing on twitter as well. Lets keeping telling people how bad mesh really is.

    Like

  2. In my opinion these Drs who believe in using mesh just like the attention from the big pharmaceutical companies giving them a good pat on the back and good pay cheque’s and can’t see the truth that’s in front of them.

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  3. I had my TVT placed Dec 2014 and was told by my Dr. this had minimal to no complications. Since my implant, I’ve had debilitating pain, lost my job, and have had multiple surgeries to remove it. My life will never be the same. The public needs to be aware of the risks that come with these so called minimally invasive procedures.

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    • Robin, thank you for sharing that. 2014. That is pretty recent! Why do so many docs make it sound like the only problems are from ancient mesh, no longer in use. That is BS. and your problems are unfortunately all too common, as I’m sure you are aware NOW. Too bad they don’t make all the risks and REAL facts clear upfront. It’s so not right! I hope you are able to get to one of the few doctors that can help you.

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  4. Mesh is mesh…Polypropylene. There is no “new mesh”. Mesh does not belong in the human body. It can cause excruciating pain, illness, and even death. Once in the body, good luck getting it out. These doctors are making big money at the expense of the general public’s health, and not telling the truth to unsuspecting patients. Good people lose everything and suffer daily with excruciating pain, infections, surgery after surgery, financial devastation, and on and on. Mesh is the never ending nightmare that no one wants to experience. I hope anyone reading these posts who is contemplating mesh for a hernia (or anything thing else) thinks twice. There’s always the good old fashioned way…have it sewn. Just know that this particular surgeon blocked anyone from making comments about his video content. He obviously doesn’t want the truth known.

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    • Thanks Laura. Mesh IS the “never ending nightmare”. I would not wish it on anyone. I do NOT know how so many doctors can keep using it in good conscience. Especially when there are alternatives that work JUST as well, if not better because they do not have the high risk of mesh erosion and all that entails. Thanks for commenting here. ❤

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  5. And, another example of a doc promotiing mesh:
    =========
    TXMD: There is some controversy surrounding the use of mesh. Is it a safe material?

    Dr. Portillo: The great majority of synthetic mesh is extremely safe, and the use of mesh has significantly reduced the recurrence rate of hernias when compared with the primary closure of the hernia defect without mesh. The majority of hernia recurrences after mesh repair are likely multifactorial and not the result of a defective mesh product.
    =========
    http://blog.mysanantonio.com/texasmd/2015/12/02/is-your-hernia-a-silent-danger/

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  6. I had Gore Tex implanted/sewn into my rectum (Sacrocolpopexy) to correct intussussception and defecatory obstruction. Too much other stuff to go into here. I’ve learned that Gore Tex is basically used for hernia repair. Not on the legal list for class suit. So, … Me. I’m living with a lot of pain. Surgery was done 11/14. After consulting with an attorney I got more information than from the surgeon. Not that that means anything as the legal eagle dropped me out of the game. This mess has to go. I feel it destroying my body. My surgeon convinced me to go forward even though I had reservations by repeating over and over how his Gore Tex was not like the other stuff. It’s taking my life.

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  7. Thank you for sharing. I just found out my doc actually put pop,sui. I had no knowledge of this. I have been dealing with mesh prolapse in leg.. I have gained 150 lbs in last year and half,being bed ridden the whole time.(can’t walk abscess in leg swells badly). Just had surgery Dr, removed arm out of leg but said couldn’t remove the rest unless he split me like a lab frog in hs. Sad what drs. do for the almighty buck. I believe i read they get 15k-30k for each mesh implant.Now they have essure,these bisnesses need to be closed down..IT IS UNETHECAL TO BRUTILIZE PEOPLE FOR MONEY..

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  8. SO FRUSTRATING!! Yet another doctor basically telling people mesh is low risk (“1-2%”??), especially the newer smaller ones. =( I recently saw this video from, Dr. Ray Bologna, Founder of the The Accidental Sisterhood Foundation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNVb3ISvBek

    This makes me so angry when more and more women are finding support groups, complaining of horrific problems they are dealing with from RECENT surgeries they have had involving mesh. People need to know that even the newest, smallest “mini” slings are causing major problems!

    Please see: https://meshmenot.wordpress.com/2015/01/10/mini-slings-cause-mesh-complications-too/
    and
    https://meshmenot.wordpress.com/2015/11/28/doctors-promoting-new-mesh/

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  1. Lawyer Ads are NOT Enough. We need HELP! | Mesh Me Not
  2. Scaremongering or Just Plain Scary? – Mesh Me Not

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