Fistula – A Most Embarassing Mesh Complication

Among the new words mesh-troubled folks must add to their vocabulary is the word “fistula.” Before  mesh implant surgery most people have never heard of it, yet fistula is one of the most devastating mesh injuries. Fistula is a connection between two organs that are not normally connected. For example, between the rectum and the vagina. The fistula gets there because something happened to the normally healthy tissue that separates the two organs—a sharp injury (such as a surgical cut), blunt force injury (such as childbirth or violent rape), inflammation or infection. Other known causes are inflammation due to Crohn’s disease, cancer, radiation treatment, diverticulitis or ulcerative colitis.

Mesh-related fistulas are caused by a surgical mistakes (e.g. puncturing an organ with a trocar or a scalpel), erosion of the mesh into one or more organs, inflammation or infections.

When fistulas develop in the vagina, they create an abnormal opening between the vagina and bladder or rectum. Fistula is an grave emotional injury as well—imagine how it would feel to sit on the potty and urine or stool is passing through your vagina. Vaginal fistulas play on a woman’s feeling of shame, a situation that surgeons often ignore. A women harbors primitive and deep feelings about her vagina that should be honored. She places special emotional, spiritual, and tribal values on her most private and sacred organ and, while her surgeon can label those feelings as “embarrassing,” her feelings go much deeper than that. Surgeons should be aware of the effect of the callous treatment women say they experience, both in the examining room and in the operating room. Pelvic surgeons need to take a long, hard look at their own behavior and remember why they became a doctor in the first place.

MESH IS FOR OIL FILTERS

Types of vaginal fistulae:
• Vesicovaginal fistula—Vagina and the urinary tract
                                                    • Enterovaginal fistula—Vagina and the small bowel                                                    
• Rectovaginal fistula—Vagina and the rectum                                                                
• Colovaginal fistula—Vagina and the colon

Complications, or mesh troubles, with fistulas:
Fistulas can lead to serious medical conditions like an infection in the genital area, and unusual discharge, urinary incontinence and pain in the vagina.

Treatment of vaginal fistulas: How you decide to have your fistula treated, is your decision once you know more about the size and placement of your fistula and taking into consideration, your overall health and your financial and emotional support system. Treatment often requires surgery to close the unwanted opening but attempts to use a transvaginal mesh patch to keep the organs separated ignore recent research about foreign body reactions  and infections common to vaginal mesh. There are other ways to regain strength in the surrounding muscles that might help a woman avoid a(nother) dangerous and defective implant.

To learn more about mesh problems, subscribe to MeshTroubles.com, leave a comment here or me at daywriter1@gmail.com.





4 responses to “Fistula – A Most Embarassing Mesh Complication

  1. Pingback: Do You Know These 12 Common Complications From Pelvic Mesh? | MESH TROUBLES

  2. Once again, thank you for all the research you do for so many. Scary thing is, if I do have a fistula, finding a doctor I can trust who also knows mesh. I don’t see Raz until June. Can having this checked wait? I only know I told Dr. Hibner’s nurse the symptoms and she said it sounds like a fistula – enema didn’t clean me out – liquid with some brown residue came out front. I also pass gas through front; have told doctors this. Seeing any doctor who doesn’t know mesh complications and only knows fistulas seems scary – I’ve made too many bad calls. In your humble opinion, can I wait until May 17 when I see Dr. Ramshaw and the colorectal surgeon? I don’t need any more scalpels at the end of doctors who shouldn’t be there in the first place.
    Always grateful to you…..Sandra

  3. Pingback: Why Wound Infection After Pelvic Surgery Is So Much Worse | PELVIC MESH OWNERS GUIDE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *