Category Archives: Sciatica

26 Pelvic Mesh Complications Your Doc Never Mentioned

Welcome to the Pelvic Mesh Owner’s Guide! This page is like a Table of Contents.

Over 4.2 million women have the implants and a quarter to a third of them suffer debilitating complications while doctors say, “It’s not the mesh.” The FDA warned in both 2008 and 2011 that complications are serious. Too many women are finding out they were right all along, it is the mesh. 

If you’re having trouble with mesh, here is a list of 26 complications in the Pelvic Mesh Owner’s Guide. Sign up for updates to learn more and take the first step on your healing journey.

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26 Mesh Complications Your Doctor Never Warned You About:

1) Intractable Pain (pain that doesn’t go away) – Some people wake up from implant surgery knowing something is wrong. It is too tight or the pain is beyond measuring. Part 1 talks about the post operative pain from pelvic mesh & Part 2 is one woman’s journey with pelvic mesh pain.

2) Excessive BleedingBleeding happens but when is it too much? When to call the doctor? How to regain strength after heavy bleeding

3) Urinary tract infection, Kidney infection – Urinary tract infections are serious health-risks and can involve the bladder and kidney. When mesh is stuck in the bladder it continually irritates the bladder until it is removed surgically. Learn how to prevent UTIs and test yourself at home and to distinguish a bladder infection from a kidney infection.

     4) Wound infectionsA bladder sling can act like a petri dish harboring and incubating strong, sometimes drug-resistant bacteria. Left undiagnosed, they can lead to a delay in wound healing, even open up wide and deep surgical wounds and putting your life at risk.

5) Bladder injuryA slip of the knife, a puncture from an ice-pick like trocar, sling pulled so tight that it cuts the bladder. A bladder injury is one of the most difficult to repair. One study says it happens 10% of the time, another say 75%!

6) Bowel InjuryWhen a part of the bowel is nicked, fecal matter seeps into the interior of the body, when it the diagnosis is delayed or completely missed, patients become extremely ill.

7) Fistula (a hole between two organs) – Imagine your urine draining out of your vagina or your stool coming out. Fistula is all to common and deeply embarrassing for women.

8) Wound Opening Up After Stitches(also called dehiscence) – You think your surgery is healing and you are trying to get back on your feet and back to normal. Then your wound starts to open up. Dehiscence delays healing for a very long time.

9) Erosion – (also called exposure, extrusion or protrusion) As many as one patient in three experiences erosion from mesh. Would you agree to mesh if you were told the odds that you wouldn’t enjoy sex ever again were one in three?

10) Incontinence “I sneeze, I pee.”The odds that mesh surgery won’t cure your incontinence is the same as other surgical repairs: one in three.

11) Urinary Retention “I can’t pee right.”A mesh that is implanted too tight can slow down or stop your urine stream for about four percent of patients. Why does your surgeons “handedness” (right- or left-handed) affect your outcome?

12) Dyspareunia – pain during sexual intercourse One study found 26% of women found sex too painful after mesh surgery.

13) Multiple surgeriesWhen things go wrong, often the solution is another surgery and another. Some women have had over a dozen surgeries to correct mesh complications. More surgery = more scarring.

14) Vaginal scarring/shrinkage – Vaginal scarring: one of the most emotionally and physically difficult problems to heal.

15) Emotional DamageNaturally, an injury to a woman’s re-creative center causes emotional pain but can we allow doctors to blame the women?

16) Neuro-muscular problems – nerve damageStinging, burning, pins-and-needles, numbness all are signs of nerve damage. Even the way your body was positioned during surgery can cause nerve damage.

17) Obturator Nerve – Symptoms in your mid-thighs (saddle region).

18) Ilioinguinal/iliohypogastric Nerve – Symptoms in your pubic region.

19) Genitofemoral Nerve – Symptoms in your inner groin.

20) Femoral Nerve – Symptoms in your outer thighs

21) Pudendal Nerve Entrapment – Symptoms in your “sit spot.”

22) Fibular Neuropathy – Symptoms on the outside lower legs

23) Saphenous Nerve – Symptoms on your inner lower legs

24) Piriformis Syndrome – Symptoms across your buttocks.

25) Sciatica – Symptoms all the way down your leg.

26) Peripheral Neuropathy – Symptoms from the bottom of your feet and up your legs, even your hands can be involved.

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If you’d like to join an online support group and learn about erosion, partial removals, surgeons, or just find out that you are not alone, check the list of support groups here.

Subscribe to PelvicMeshOwnersGuide.com to learn more about pelvic mesh. I’d like to hear from you if you are helped by what you read here or if you need to know more about any particular topic. Comment below or email me privately at daywriter1@gmail.com.

Sciatica After Pelvic Mesh Surgery – Was It Misdiagnosed?

A 2007 medical literature review took a look at the relationship between sciatica and the female pelvis. While pelvic mesh surgery was not implicated, pelvic mesh had not been in use very long when the study was conducted and more research is needed. However, surgical mesh bladder slings and posterior repair kits have been implanted, sometimes surgically shredded and later removed since 1998 and should be considered when sciatica follows pelvic or abdominal surgery. This is today’s mesh trouble.

Sciatic nerve pain, or sciatica, is most often due to a bulging or herniated disc in your spine pinching your sciatic nerve but gynecological surgery can also be the culprit. The 2007 study found cases in which the cause was gynecological or obstetrical and trauma due to pelvic surgery was misdiagnosed as disc disease in two cases. Unfortunately, in the 127 cases, it took an average of 3.8 years for the gynecological connection to be discovered (in one case, it took an astounding 15 years). The proper diagnosis was crucial because misdiagnosis sometimes lead to unnecessary, unsuccessful, debilitating and distressful spine surgeries. (Other causes of sciatica include spine trauma, osterarthritis, degenerative disc disease, pregnancy, endometriosis, and spinal tumors.)

"Jack-Knife" position
The sacral plexus, where sciatica originates, is immediately next to the posterior pelvic wall, the internal iliac blood vessels, the ureters, and the sigmoid colon (last loop of colon) and the terminal ilieal coils of the small intestine. When posterior mesh is used, there is greater risk of injury to those structures.

During abdominal surgery, nerve injury is usually related to poor patient positioning, a nerve being cut during the procedure, or excessive pressure on the nerve by the surgeon, particularly when he/she is trying to control bleeding from the hypogastric vessels. The use of the “jack-knife” position for vaginal surgery can cause nerve injury if the body is hyperextended or legs are rotated outward excessively.

Jack-Knife position.

Jack-Knife position.

“Vaginal operations have occasionally been complicated by sciatic neurophathy, possibly because of stretching of the sciatic nerve rather than direct pressure.” Other causes include badly placed intermuscular, or IM, injections (into the sciatic nerve), constriction by scar tissue and damage by the chemicals in the injection.

The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body, branching out from your lower back, moving through both buttocks and down through your legs to your feet and is responsible for the movement and feelings in your legs and feet. If it becomes compressed, injured or inflamed, it can cause intense sciatic nerve pain anywhere along its path. No two cases are alike.

Sciatica due to pelvic issues is often diagnosed. The diagnosis is made by listening to your entire story, and conducting physical and neurological exams of your pelvis, back and legs. Special tests include and electromyogram (EMG) and nerve conduction velocity tests. Xray, CT or specialized MRI’s can identify abnormalities and specialized views of the pelvis are necessary.

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Symptoms:
•    Unpleasant, painful, sensations from your back all the way down your leg to your foot, on one side or both.
•    Weakness, burning, numbness or tingling of the same area.

Treatment depends on the severity of your problems and any additional complications and includes physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, and exercises. You may also need to take tylenol (acetaminophen) or anti-inflammatory drugs. Some exercises that help include good posture, abdominal crunches, walking and swimming and careful attention to body mechanics while lifting.  Medications used to treat chronic nerve pain may also help.

Sciatica often goes away on its on after a period of rest and limited activities. Most people recover after 6 weeks but, for those who continue to suffer, this mesh trouble changes their life.