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

Are Partial Mesh Removals the Answer? (to Mesh Complications)

Dr. Ralph Zipper on Mesh Complications, and Partial Removals

I just saw this vid, and website from Dr. Zipper, on vaginal mesh removal: 

There was also this video, I found interesting about vaginal mesh complications:
I should say upfront that I am not a patient of Dr. Zipper, and am not familiar with his practice firsthand.  I’m thankful to hear that he does not use transvaginal mesh, and that he is trying to help women with complications.  That alone is huge.  So many doctors are STILL using and promoting the use of mesh, even though, they know they can not remove it if/when there are complications.  Dr. Zipper is at least not still putting mesh in, and acknowledges how serious complications can be.  He certainly sounds like a compassionate doctor.

However, I’m concerned that he is recommending partial removals, or even a “release” (basically, snip the mesh to release tension) as the best treatment.  He even makes it sound like this is not a big deal, stating that:

“Trans-vaginal mesh excision is an approximately fifteen minute procedure. The following day you can drive and return to work.”

~ Dr. Ralph Zipper website: http://www.zipperurogyn.com/treatments/vaginal-mesh-removal/

I’m also concerned that he seems to be stating that “full mesh removal” is not possible, too risky, and therefore not recommended.

Most Doctors Only Offer Partial Removals

Dr. Zipper is certainly not alone.  It seems that MOST doctors will only offer a partial removal when someone presents with mesh complications.  Many say full mesh removal is too risky and therefore not recommended.  That is what my local expert told me… and in this video, that is also what Dr. Zipper says, stating:

“…unfortunately, the entire mesh can’t be removed. And, anyone trying to do that is more likely going to create new problems for you.”

~ Dr. Ralph Zipper, in: https://vimeo.com/119582682

Is this true? Or is this just this doctor’s opinion?

Are Partial Removals the Answer to Mesh Complications?

As someone who has had full mesh removal, I personally disagree.  I also believe many others who had partial removals…. as well as those who had full mesh removals (or as close to full removal as possible) would also disagree.

That was why I wrote this post a while back, “Partial vs. Full Mesh Removal” (https://meshmenot.wordpress.com/2014/11/23/partial-vs-full-mesh-removal-surgery), which included:

impossible“Women suffering from mesh complications often have difficulty finding a doctor who will acknowledge that their pain IS being caused by the mesh.  When their pain and problems are finally acknowledged as being mesh-related (often when the doctor can actually visibly see the mesh eroding into their vaginal wall and there is NO denying it), what they are usually offered as treatment is a “partial removal”, or a “revision”.”

and, I went on to say:

“Initially, one local doctor told me they would remove my mesh, and didn’t blame me for wanting it removed.   At first, I was so relieved.  However, when I started asking questions, they told me they would only remove the middle portion of the sling. They said, it was “impossible” to remove the parts down in my thigh/groin, which was where my pain stemmed from.    I didn’t see how removing just a small piece in the middle would help me.  Especially when I  did not have vaginal erosion (yet) or vaginal pain.  The doctor also did not sound so sure it would help, but made it sound like no big deal and we could “try it”.  Well, I not only didn’t see how it would help, but I feared it could make things worse.   When I told my doctor I had heard of some doctors doing full mesh removal,  and mentioned Dr. Raz, the doctor said they had heard of Dr. Raz, but that THEY thought it was too dangerous, and would not recommend it.     Well, there’s a big difference between “impossible”, and something they don’t personally recommend, isn’t there?”

~ from  “Partial vs. Full Mesh Removal” , please read the full post for more information.

 

I feel like most people that I’ve heard from in the support groups (listed below) who had a partial removal will say the partial removal may have helped them initially, short-term, but then they wound up having more mesh erosion, worse complications, more pain, and ultimately more surgeries.

Those who I have talked to that had full mesh removals by Dr. Raz, like myself, will say the removal surgery was not easy, but that it was wroth it.  It IS major surgery to remove mesh that has eroded and, well meshed, into nerves, organs, muscles, throughout the groin, etc.   They certainly could NOT go back to work the next day.  Often, people waited long periods of time, and traveled far distances to go to a doctor doing full removal.  However, they will also say they had relief afterwards, and it was worth it to get the mesh out – finally.  Many will even go as far as to say that full removal by Dr. Raz saved their life.  Unfortunately, no doctor is perfect…  and sometimes, there is permanent damage that occurs well before the full mesh removal surgery – and full recovery may not be  possible.

 

Full mesh removal may be risky… especially if you do NOT go to a very experienced doctor that has done many full removals – but leaving the mesh in is also risky.

The remaining mesh can keep eroding (cutting) into other tissues, nerves, etc., causing further (possibly much worse) damage.   Many women have problems with their colons, or urethras being perforated, FBR, inflammation, infections, and autoimmune issues.  These are not the kinds of problems that just go away on their own. Instead, they keep snow-balling into more problems.

If you are going to look into FULL mesh removal  – please do your homework.  Full removal IS a complicated and difficult surgery, and if done by someone not experienced, it very well COULD lead to more complications.  However, the few doctors that ARE specializing in removal, will usually say that removing all of the mesh, or as much as possible, is best chance for relief and recovery.  These expert doctors, like Dr. Raz at UCLA, and Dr. Veronikis in St. Loius, are in high demand also.  By the time many of their patients get to them, they have already undergone partial removals, and their health has continued to decline. These doctors have said that the more partial removals that have been done, the harder it is to find and remove the remaining mesh. Often, by then, there is also permanent damage.

Please talk to others that are going through mesh complications first-hand.  Try asking around in the support groups listed below.  Ask them about what they have gone through?  If they have had any partial removals? How they are doing as a result?

It is nothing short of horrifying what many are dealing with.

As I also mentioned in my other post:

“I know that there is not one cookie-cutter answer that will work for everyone and while I highly recommend full mesh removal, and Dr. Raz, I also recognize that everyone is different.   Perhaps, in some cases partial removal IS the best option.  ??  However, unless I heard that from an expert, who also believed in and was capable of doing FULL mesh removals, I would question that opinion.   You have to remember, the doctors are also being mislead by the mesh manufacturers, and they also do not have all the answers.

In the end you have to make your own (hopefully educated) decision, and go with the doctor and treatment that seems will be the best fit for you.”

~ from  “Partial vs. Full Mesh Removal” , please read the full post for more information.

 

Have you had Partial or Full Mesh removal??

I would like to hear from you.  I would like to know your take on this, because most of the folks that I have heard from in the support groups (listed below) do NOT seem to believe that a partial removal was the answer – even though that IS what most doctors seem to recommend/do.

I am very open to hearing other people’s opinions and experiences.  So, if you have  had success with a partial removal…. (or full removal for that matter)… please share here, and/or in the groups.  While I would be surprised, I would also actually be happy if I heard more people felt that partial removals helped them.  That would be great, but it simply is not what I’ve been hearing from most.  So, please share your stories.

Thank you!

Deb

==============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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Categorised in: Doctors Who Don't Use Mesh, Mesh Complications, Mesh Removal

8 Responses »

  1. I posted a link to this article in the public Facebook group “Mesh Problems”, asking if anyone felt partial removal of mesh helped with their complications.
    Many responded there – please check it out:
    https://m.facebook.com/groups/971147056249572?view=permalink&id=1190355114328764

    Like

  2. it is better to find a mesh doctor

    Like

  3. I had a partial, I know it may seem like the answer however, not long after several other problem s followed. Caldera is not taking responsibility. I’ve had multiple surgeries and I believe my pain is forever as are more surgeries. I cannot believe just how much my life has changed all due to Mesh implant.

    Like

    • Sorry Linda. .. and Thank you for sharing. You are so NOT alone. Partial removals remain as the most common treatment for mesh erosion, and I still believe it hurts more than it helps. It’s good to hear others input. I hope you are able to get to one of the doctors that can do full removal. Please take care ❤

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  4. I just had the sling put in in June. I’m honestly not sure the incision ever healed over it as I have felt it the whole time. Since it’s fairly new, I’m hoping they will just take it out, but I’m scared to death after all I’ve read. They tell you the risk of being one that has problems is so small. I wish I had this kind of luck with the odds playing the lottery. My doctor only wants to remove the part that is protruding through my pelvic wall and sew me back up. I’ve read and been told that it will only cause fraying and not to allow that. I’m so confused by it all. I have another week before we set the surgery date.

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    • Do not get a partial removal and do not allow anyone to add more materials/mesh than what’s already in your body now. Contact Dr Veronikis in St Louis or Dr raz at ucla. I believe there’s another one in either Phoenix or Las Vegas. I just saw Dr Veronikis and he is phenomenal! He got out two strips of mesh out of my body totaling 25 centimeters in length altogether! He and his staff are very helpful and professional. Women come to him from all over the US, Thailand, Romania, China and Australia. I’m about a four to five hours drive away from him and it was TOTALLY worth it. He had several surgeries scheduled yesterday (on a Saturday) and still made sure to see me and gently hug me before I checked out of the hospital for my drive home with hubs and kids. Everyone was so nice to me at Mercy hospital. The nurses are well versed in treating women with mesh removals and took care of me like I was their little sister. You should know that I have suffered for decades with PTSD, RTS and health/physical/medical trauma and I STILL had an amazing experience with Dr Veronikis, his staff and all of the administration, nurses, residents, and anestheolgists at Mercy Hospital from beginning to end.

      I wish you the very best. Again, I can’t stress it enough, do not let anyone alter, adjust or add anything to your current implant. Find one of the handful of doctors who will actually remove it all safely and effectively. Dr Veronikis also removed all scar tissue on my urethra and reconstructed my vagina. He is thorough and concise.

      I’m sorry you just went through this. It always breaks my heart when I hear of yet another woman that a doctor just took a kit straight out of a box and implanted it into her body. I wish you the very best in health and in your life as a whole.

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      • Hey Deb, it’s been three and a half weeks since surgery. I wanted your readers to know that insurance may not immediately pay for mesh removal. I was pretty much certain that mine was pre-approved. I have seen an invoice of itemized procedures, etc that came to about twenty grand. My insurance is through my husband (retired military). In some ways I understand the not so expedite process. They’re asking specific questions regarding the place and date of my original mesh implant. They are either seeking to charge the bill to the hospital’s (where implant was installed) insurance or (hopefully) the sadist’s insurance who put the mesh in me. I have decided to not pursue a lawsuit with the manufacturer nor the urologist who did what he did to me. However, if no one coughs up the money for my medical expenses, I’ll at least go after the doctor. My former urologist is in a couple of urological groups with his father and they have both hurt women through urological kits. I have left very specific reviews on line for both my former urologist, as well as my former gynecologist who led me directly to him specifically for the Monarc TOT sling. I believe people need to know, especially since I saw mostly grand parents and great grandparents in my former urologist’s waiting room. If I had not had so many extreme urological and gynecological issues since having my boys, especially my eight year old, I might have pursued such law suits already. However, I just want to move on with life after five years of vaginal bleeding (gushing and pouring) for three weeks every month and over eight years of urinary issues. The miltary hospital where I had my youngest child and went through sterilization destroyed me. I’m tired of sicknesses and procedures and mending after procedures/surgeries. I want to move on and get well.

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