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

Doctors STILL Recommend Mesh for SUI

Dr Bill JohnsonSo frustrating to STILL find articles constantly, like this recent one dated May 15, 2016, on “Fosters.com”, titled, “Talking about bladder issues can help“, where Dr. Bill Johnson, a physician at Atlantic Urology Associates in NH, states:

“We can place a hammock/sling in the urethra to replace the anatomy problem. It is not associated with the legal issues going on now over vaginal mesh inserts. It is not the same thing. That had been used for prolapse, a much more serious problem.”

goodbadmeshOh really?  I’d like to know what exact kind of “hammock” or “sling” he’s referring to??  Because the fact of the matter is that there are MANY mesh slings for SUI (Stress Urinary Incontinence) that ARE in litigation, because they are also causing major complications. I personally suffered severe complications from a mesh sling used for SUI, not prolapse.  I have met countless others in the online support groups that are suffering from all kinds of mesh, NOT just prolapse mesh kits.  Even some of the newest, smallest, SIMS (Single-incision Mini-slings) cause mesh complications too, and have lawsuits against them.

In Dr. Johnson’s defense, he is not alone in this thinking.  MANY doctors are promoting “new” mesh, or mesh for “SUI” as being safe.  Something I have mentioned, okay complained about, many times in previous blog posts over the last few years.  It makes it even more frustrating that this continues, years later, despite all the lawsuits, research, and reported complications that show that mesh is, in fact, very risky (yes, even mesh tapes/slings for SUI).  deardoctor

Comments are turned off for the article.  If they were not, I would like to Dr. Johnson, and other doctors that still promote mesh for SUI a few things.  Like;

ConcernedWomanPatient.jpgTo anyone that is having problems with SUI (Stress Urinary Incontinence)/ leaking urine  – by all means – please seek help.  Talk to a doctor.  But, don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions.  And, don’t be afraid to talk to more than one doctor.  Try to find a doctor that advises you try NON-surgical treatments first – Pelvic PT, a pessary.  Surgery should always be the last resort, and any doctor that makes it sound like it’s “no big deal”, or downplays the non-surgical remedies, may not be looking out for your best interest.  When/if surgery is warranted – know ALL your options – like NON-mesh repairs.  Even if you love your doctor, find out exactly what product they plan to use, and research that.  Doctors may not always have all the facts.

SUIBrochureSamplePlease beware of claims for “less invasive” surgeries for POP, SUI, and even Hernia that involve medical/surgical mesh.  “Less invasive” sounds good, at first… but, basically just means the mesh is easier for them to put IN you. That doesn’t mean it will work better, or last any longer than non-mesh repairs (FDA & many studies show there’s no evidence it does).  It also will certainly NOT be “less invasive” if you have some of those “NOT rare” complications, and need that mesh taken OUT (next to impossible).

While any surgery comes with risks, surgery with MESH comes with many extra, and NOT RARE (according to the FDA), risks involving mesh erosion. And, if most people understood just what that meant, and how severe those complications can be – they would run the other way from this “quick, easy, less-invasive” surgery with mesh (tape, patch, sling, etc.)!

Speaking as someone who suffered complications form mesh, and knows many many more who have suffered, I do not believe the “new mesh” or “less invasive” surgeries using mesh are worth the risks.  Please read this post, Top 10 Things to Know About Mesh BEFORE Having Surgery for POP or SUI, for more information before you make your own decisions.  I hope once you know the facts, you will try to find a doctor to do the repairs without mesh if you really need surgery.

 

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17 Responses »

  1. I swear, I hate these bastards. Recently, a good friend told me that my urologist’s father implanted her mother’s vaginal mesh! The thing actually protrudes out of her body. I passed on your blog and other links to her for her mother. Thank you for your resources.

    Like

    • Ugh. =( So frustrating. So many terrible stories. Thank you for sharing information and your support. ❤

      Like

      • I’m still waiting on Dr Veronikis’ office to call me to schedule the initial consult and bladder/incontinence testing. I recently called them to confirm that they did receive my referral from Tri Care and all of the medical information from the hospital where my DaVinci hysterectomy and urethral sling was performed. They have also received my new patient packet in the mail. The referral went through a little less than a month ago and is good for a year. I have written a very thorough review on Google about the gynecologist who referred me to her buddy urologist that did this to me. She made it sound as though his procedure is protocol for most of her hysterectomy patients. I also wrote a specific review about the urologist on healthgrades.com. Both doctors are in the Memphis area. If there are any inquiries regarding doctors in both fields in my area of Tennessee, I’d be more than happy to answer them the best I can.

        I’ll let you all know when Dr Veronikis contacts me and what the rest of the process includes as I hear from his office.

        Remember, we only have one body, we have the right to ask questions and refuse any procedure when we feel the answers are inadequate. Don’t let your gynecologist or urologist gaslight you into thinking that this garbage is all in your head. These doctors will smile, look you in the eye and flat out lie.

        I have an internet friend in Canada who was a nurse for many years. She has fibromyalgia and had a doctor who tried to convince her that she needed a mesh procedure for her incontinence issues. She refused because of her autoimmune disease, medical experiences and her own personal research. Her refusal made the SOB ANGRY. When she read my story it broke her heart knowing that could have been her story if she had given in to that bully medical professional. She was so sorry that I’m going through this.

        Love and encouragement to all who read this.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hi Charity… How are you making out??

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          • Hi Deb,

            I called Dr Veronikis’ office a few weeks ago. It was one month after my referral went through and I wanted to make sure they received it. They pretty much have this “don’t call us, we’ll call you” approach. I’m going to call again next week. That’ll make it two months since my referral went through. I want to find out about when I might have the consultation and/or what I need to do while I wait for their call. I had read somewhere that he’s not that nice. I personally have no way of knowing that for certain. I at least want to give his extraordinary mind and hands a chance. Plus, he’s the closest surgeon to me on all the lists I’ve seen on line for complete removals. I also heard that he has a weight limit for his patients. Someone commented that it’s noted on his website. I’ve searched for it on there and didn’t find anything. I’m well aware that there are women out there who have had partial removals and others who have had their mesh for years. I understand he needs to see them first. However, my family’s life is somewhat on hold due to the waiting. All the women who work for him tell me is that he’ll call me for the bladder test and consult when he approves my case.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. I see that they don’t allow for comments on that article. They’d more than likely take mine down anyway. I got a urethral sling because I was told that it was much better than the vaginal mesh. Ha! Not by much.

    Keep getting the word out there. Keep using words like incontinence, implant, mesh, sling, tape and hernia. I learned recently that mesh is sometimes used in hysterectomies. These butchers are clever, they’re always changing the name of the procedure, as well as the name of the parts used in the implant. That’s why I had such a hard time finding anything specific to my procedure before it was done.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Any kind of mesh is dangerous. Never get a mesh. Don’t let doctors tell you they are safe. None of them are safe.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Deb, I wanted to thank you and all the other women who are all so brave to share your stories and provide sources for the rest of us.

    I received a call from Dr Veronikis office today. His scheduler was quite patient with me. I have a Monarc TOT. I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t know what it was until she told me. It sounds as though it’s not as invasive as some of the other former mesh kits and I have had no alterations of any kind done to it. Hopefully. I’ll just need incisions in my pubic area and he’ll be able to get it all out. She told me that vaginal sex pain in the vagina should stop after surgery. Unfortunately, the anal pain during vaginal sex may not go away for it’s not related to the implant. I don’t know what it’s from, I guess it’s due to the hysterectomy. That part honestly makes me sad. There’s probably no way to improve it.

    The good news is right before Labor Day I’m getting everything done: uro dynamics testing, preop preparations, consult/pelvic exam and surgery all within four days. That also includes the 24 hours hospital stay for outpatient surgery. I’m hoping to go straight back home when the hubs and kids pick me up from the hospital. I’d rather be in my own bed and house post op over a motel room, even if it is a few hours away.

    The Dr will need to see me 6wks post op. If all goes well, it’ll be at the end of my kids’ fall break and they won’t have to miss any more days. They’ll have to miss three days of school for the initial stuff, but we expected at least that much already.

    I’m sadden about unresolve for the one issue. However, maybe that part, as well as others in my body, will resolve themselves as I have all this garbage removed from my body and it heals. I’m going to increase my water, activity and exercise now. Hopefully, I’ll be able to grow and continue in all of that after surgery.

    Thank you for spending personal time with me on your blog. I appreciate you, Deb and EVERY other woman who has shared her experience and resolve. Sorry for going long. Enjoy the rest of your summer. Thanks so much for your transparency and honesty. If I had only found this a few months earlier. Like I said, conniving doctors are crafty constantly changing names of procedures and parts. They make it hard to know what to research. THANK YOU!

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    • Hi Charity. =) Thank you so much. That is very kind of you to say… and I’m very glad if my blog has helped you in any small way.

      I’m also so glad you are getting things set and going to Dr. V. I have heard from so many women that he helped them. You will be in good hands.

      Just FYI, though, I also had the Monarc TOT sling… and did not have any partial removals first – which made it “easier” to remove than others, but it certainly was not “easy”. It may not be as bad as some of the mesh kits, but, I hope they didn’t downplay how bad the problems and surgery to FULLY remove it can be. I went to Dr. Raz back in 2013, because local docs told me it was “impossible” to remove the parts of it in my groin. Dr. Raz was able to do it… but, the incisions in my groin were deep – down to the bone – and the recovery was no walk in the park. So, please know that while Dr. V has dealt with much worse mesh complications, and so in comparison – you may not be so bad. But, for you – it’s still not something you should expect to bounce right back from.

      Not trying to scare you – just want to make sure you don’t push yourself too hard, too soon afterwards. Don’t be discouraged if/when you feel worse in some areas, and better in others. Many women wind up needing some other kind of repairs too after – even if/when it was only a sling, and not a full mesh kit. Of course everyone is different, and so much depends on how much the mesh has eroded, where, and what kinds of problems it’s causing too.

      Recovering at home will be nice – but make sure you have help. Did they mention a catheter? I had to use one for almost a week after my removal surgery… If you go home, make sure you have a doctor nearby that can help if you need it removed, etc.

      And, yes – once removed… and once you are healed (which can take months) you should feel so much better… with vaginal pain… and, I would not rule out the other pain being related either. There are so many nerves and things the mesh could be effecting. They probably don’t want to guarantee anything – as if they could – but, mesh has caused so many more problems than just vaginal pain for many of us. I would think there’s a good chance your other pain may feel better too once you heal up.

      I guess you have to wait and see, and hope for the best, right. Think positive – but, do not expect miracles overnight.

      I can’t remember if I asked you already if you are on Facebook… but, if you are, you may want to ask around and talk to some of the other women who went to Dr. V for some pointers…. =)

      Dr. V specific:
      http://www.facebook.com/MeshRemovalPatientsOfDrVeronikis/ (Public Page)
      http://www.facebook.com/groups/MeshImplantComplicationRescource/ (Closed Group)
      http://www.facebook.com/VSUISTL (Public Page)

      General Mesh Complications Info/Support:
      http://www.facebook.com/groups/meshproblems/ (Public Group)
      http://www.facebook.com/groups/317477065098820/ (Closed Group)

      Please take care, and keep in touch.
      =)
      Deb

      Like

      • Thanks so much for all of this, Deb. I’m not on Facebook, but I’ve been reading up on this on other sites. I guess I thought that I had something done from hip to hip. Because I was never told what I had, I honestly pictured the worst case scenario. That’s what made me more upset. I’m not undermining what I have, but knowing that surgery isn’t going to gut me to the extent I thought it would makes me incredibly happy. I also think that whole not knowing what I had added to the fear.

        Like

        • Dr Veronikis just got all the mesh out. Recovering in my room now. Happy thoughts to you all.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Hey Deb, you weren’t kidding about the recovery. Tomorrow will make it a week and in some ways I feel worse than what I did while in the hospital. I can tell my limbs were in strange positions during the four hour surgery. I have aches and pains everywhere. Veronikis got 25 cm of mesh out and removed the scarring on my urethra, as well as reconstructed my vaginal walls, both areas damaged by the Monarc TOT sling that I had for only eight months. I’m excited about removing the vaginal packing and the catheter this Saturday morning at home. I’m incredibly tired of both, as well as going back and forth with hot flashes then chills. Still, I’m glad I had an outlet to recover. My husband and boys, 8 and 11 years old, have been good as gold.

            Thank you for your help, Deb. You truly are a warrior! Have a great weekend and a great week ahead! 😄

            Like

            • Charity,
              How are you feeling? I hope your revovery is going good.

              Like

            • Hello Beth, it was rough at first, but it’s improved dramatically as time has gone by. I had my six week post op visit yesterday although today is my actual 6 wk post op date. The pain was so bad in my hips pre-removal that I couldn’t even sleep on my side for months. A couple of weeks ago I noticed that I could comfortably rest on my side again. Thank you for the inquiry.

              Like

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