Category Archives: Help & Spport

10 Facts of Life for the Pelvic Mesh Newbie

  1. Mesh injuries and illness rates are much higher than medical studies show. Most published research favorable to mesh is funded by the manufacturer.
  2. Mesh is mesh. There is no “old mesh.” It is all that same thing with minor changes in shape or route. Polypropylene is just plain damaging to human tissue.
  3. The pelvis is a perilous place to conduct surgery. Even human or pig mesh or simple suture repairs can cause problems–but not as frequently as pelvic mesh.
  4. Your new pelvic problem is very likely caused by the mesh itself. Fearing litigation and believing the manufacturer’s advertising, doctors are reluctant to blame the device.
  5. Some pain and infection get better with removal–but not all.

    KIM Mesh

  6. Very few surgeons know how to take mesh out, so they fake it with partial revision surgeries that lead to new complications and more surgeries. More surgeries = more scar tissue.
  7. There is no justice. There are almost no medical malpractice lawsuits anymore. There is no money in malpractice litigation for the lawyers since “Tort Reform” was enacted in all 50 states. Doctors and the AMA lobbied and paid for Tort Reform.
  8. About class actions, there is no money for a lawyer who represents a patient with pain, infection, nerve damage, etc. because recent settlements are based on the number of surgeries you’ve had and not how sick or injured you are.
  9. Don’t wait for legal recourse before finding a competent surgeon. Consider crowd-funding to get well.
  10. You shouldn’t have to do this alone. Join a mesh support group but keep a critical mind and don’t accept advice just because another person is adamant in their post Be careful. Be sure to double check any answers you receive. A good internet search can provide your best education.

 


Peggy Day is working on a book to combine all these stories. This is an excerpt from Pelvis in Flames: Your Pelvic Mesh Owner’s Guide. Your input is welcome to help make Pelvis in Flames the book you need to read.

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.

Australian Pelvic Mesh Survivor Group Position Statement – Carolyn Chisholm

By Carolyn Chisholm
June 5, 2017, Perth

I started the Australian Pelvic Mesh Support Group 2.5 years ago to find an empathetic and ethical surgeon who would invite Dr. Dionysios Veronikis to Australia to remove the mesh devices from women that no other surgeons in Australia are able to remove. Veronikis can remove more prolapse mesh from the pelvis and legs than any surgeon here because he has invented equipment to reach deep into the pelvis that other surgeons can not reach. He has also removed more than 2000 meshes.

It is important that you know what the group is about. It is about Dr Veronikis; about him coming here. It is about empathy and support for women who are suffering. We do not like mesh or support mesh. We are anti mesh. We do not believe in partial removals. We believe in full removal wherever possible.

We have found a surgeon in Sydney who is a gynecology pain specialist and pudendal nerve specialist. The pudendal nerve is the area around the groin that so many women are having complications with who have mesh; when this nerve is damaged it is extremely painful and affects the groin and legs, the vulva, the vagina, the rectum, and lower back. It really is a specialised area that implanting surgeons seem to know very little about and yet it is the main problem with mesh-injured women. Proving that [to other gynecologists] though is another issue.

This surgeon has agreed to invite Dr. Veronikis to Australia to remove the large prolaspe meshes from women that other surgeons in Australia refuse to or cannot do. Dr. Veronikis is the surgeon I flew to St Louis to see to have my stress incontinence tape fully removed. This is a momentous step for mesh injured women having Veronikis come here because we have been searching for 2.5 years to find a surgeon who will agree to do this. The surgeon here has already flown to America recently to meet Dr. Veronikis and receive training in mesh removal of the smaller tapes/meshes for incontinence. However, the larger prolapse meshes are very complicated and dangerous to remove and it takes a special surgeon to remove these.
Dr. Veronikis designed his own removal equipment and instruments and patented them himself so he can get deep into the pelvis to remove the mesh. No other surgeon in the world has this equipment. However, now Australia will have it because there are two hospitals in Sydney who are paying for the equipment. The Sydney surgeon is flying back to the USA in a few weeks time to have more discussions with Veronikis about equipment and training nurses in theatre.

This is the beginning of a massive breakthrough for mesh injured women and now we have some hope. It is a huge undertaking and it has involved a hell of a lot of work from numerous people including mesh injured women and we have some fantastic, highly qualified and highly regarded medical staff backing us.

Women from all over Australia are booking in to have removal surgery with Dr. Veronikis in Sydney when he comes. Unfortunately the RANZCOG (Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists)
stand by their statement that partial removal is an acceptable form of treatment. They refuse to get on board with full removal procedures, even though Dr. Veronikis has removed more than 2000 mesh devices and travels around the world speaking about the pain associated with mesh and that when pain occurs the only way is to remove all of the mesh. The women in the Austrailian support group do not agree with the RANZCOG about partial removal because every single woman who has had this procedure ends up with more complications and ends up going back into hospital for more surgery and they often end up with infections that don’t go away and they live on antibiotics.

The Australian Pelvic Mesh Support Group is in the process of becoming a not for profit organisation so we can apply for funding to help mesh injured women Australia wide who need pain specialists, the correct diagnosis of mesh complications, psychological help and referrals to mesh removal surgeons which, at the moment, are very few and far between. The plan is to set up clinics in each city in Australia.

Caz Chisholm winning two awards for her advocacy work.

What is really important to distinguish is the prolapse meshes and the stress incontinence meshes. The prolapse meshes are in the high risk category whereas the stress incontinence meshes are still considered the gold standard even though there are no long term studies to prove it and RANZCOG state the clinical trials still need to be done for the SUI meshes, So this means that women are still guinea pigs otherwise why would they need the trials? I do know from a poll in our group that there are more women injured from stress incontinence meshes than prolapse meshes, possibly because more surgeons are implanting them these days since they have the “all clear” from RANZCOG.

I feel that the gynaecological associations have lost control of their gynaecologists and women are being implanted with mesh unnecessarily. Most GP’s know nothing about mesh complications and most gynae surgeons are sending women out the door telling them that their pain has nothing to do with the mesh. These surgeons don’t want to know anything about the complications that their implants have caused women. In fact I have read stories in the group about surgeons being rude to the women, some shout at them, some get angry with them, simply because the woman is presenting with pain and complications. They are turning their backs on the women. It is diabolical what is happening. This is why the Australian Pelvic Mesh Support Group needs to set up clinics Australia wide and find ethical and empathetic surgeons who want to be trained in full removal and to find the right medical professionals that really want to listen to these women, to believe them and not turn them away.

It is a very specialised issue and needs to be addressed immediately.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    • 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

    .

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RECIPE for Mesh Victims: Pasta Prima Vera

(A little comic relief after so much pain)

Pudendal Pasta Primavera Recipe

  • Prep time: Between 20 minutes and 5 hours
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 regular strength Tylenol (you may substitute your choice of pain killer as needed)
  • 1/2 pound vermicelli pasta or spaghetti
  • 1 small bunch precut broccoli
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 cup plus one unopened bag of frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup snow peas
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 8 ounce can seeded and diced tomatoes
  • 12 basil leaves, 3 tbsp. chopped or pre-packaged pesto
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth (use vegetable broth for vegetarian option)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt
  • 1 chilled bottle dry French white wine.

 

Method

1 Take pain killer. At the same time:

2 Fill a huge pot with water with water and turn on to “high.” Salt well. Set your strainer in the sink, turn on your timer to 13 minutes and go lay down with your feet up as high as you can tolerate.

  1. When alarm rings, throw pasta and set timer for 7 minutes. You must work quickly. Grab all other ingredients, open them and spread them on the counter.
  2. Put your hands on the edge of counter, legs back about 2 feet away and bend forward, breathe out a big loud sigh and stretch your pelvis so it doesn’t lock up on you while you’re standing. Hold this position for 30 seconds or until timer rings.
  3. At the 7-minute timer, throw broccoli in with the pasta. Boil for 1 minute. (You may try standing on one leg for 30 seconds and then the other if it helps.) Add the snow peas, and the 1./2 cup of frozen peas and boil for 30 more seconds.
  4. Quickly pour pasta and vegetables through the strainer and cool them under water. Leave them in the strainer, set the timer for 10 minutes and run back to lay down again, this time taking the bag of frozen peas with you. Apply to pelvis.
  5. When the timer rings, head back to the kitchen and throw the bag of peas back in the freezer.
  6. In a large sauté pan, heat the butter over medium-high heat. When the butter is hot, throw in the garlic powder, the diced tomatoes and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring often and shifting your weight from side to side.
  7. Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth and turn the heat to high to bring it to a boil. While waiting for it to boil, put one hand on top of another on the counter, lean forward and rest your forehead on the back of your hands, try to stretch your pelvis if it help. Add generous amounts of loud groans or tears as needed.
  8. Add the cream and stir just long enough to combine. Turn the heat down until the cream-chicken broth mixture is just simmering, not boiling.
  9. Add the Parmesan cheese and stir to combine. If the sauce seems too thick—it should be pretty thick, but not gloppy—add some more chicken broth, cream or water.
  10. As soon as the sauce is done or you are running into too much pain, transfer the pasta/vegie mess with tongs into the sauce and toss it around to combine. Add the basil now and salt if needed. Throw some black pepper over everything and grab a dish full to take back with you while you lay down again.
  11. After a half-hour rest, put remaining Pudendal Pasta Primavera in individual dishes and store in fridge. Eat for every meal until gone. If you hurt too much, eat it cold.

Note: You will want a dry white wine with this, ideally a chilled dry French white. Put the bottle against your pelvis for ten minutes at a time until pain relief is felt.

Leave dishes for someone else.

Tried, tested and enjoyed by ©Peggy Day

 

  • 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.
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Why So Many Doctors are Bad Doctors – Mesh Trouble

To those who have been participating in surgical mesh discussions, it comes as no surprise that the practice of medicine in 2016 has completely broken down. It is not safe to become a patient these days yet, by the very nature of living in this world of fast cars and eating unhealthy food, it is inevitable that most people will need to enter the Healthcare System someday and take their chances that they professionals will do right by them.

Discussions abound about how surgical mesh was cleared for implantation inside human bodies by corrupt Food and Drug Administration officials — insiders from the pharmaceutical industry. The number of deaths that occur from medical mistakes is over 300,000, and is considered the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Many other discussion participants report cruel, dismissive, even dangerous treatment by doctors in office and hospital settings; yet most of us are unaware of two things that should be — but are not — changing the game in favor of the patient.

prison mesh welded wire copy

In 1986 Congress passed legislation that bad doctors must be reported to a national database called the National Practitioner Data Base [PD2] in order to protect the consumer (The Healthcare Quality Improvement Act). That is you. But you have no access to the database either to report bad doctors or to find out if your doctor is bad. Usually, the only way to discover you have chosen a bad doctor is to find out the hard way, by being exposed to rude, aggressive, dismissive, or harmful treatment yourself. You may get lucky and be part of an private discussion group between patients and hear about some of the bad ones and avoid trouble, even disaster, for yourself. Websites like Vitals.com, etc. submit to pressure from lawyers and doctors to remove feedback that would have negative consequences to the doctors and are not reliable if you are trying to protect yourself from harm.

Every battle has its heroes and for patients and we found two: Bob Wachter and an anonymous emergency doctor (Shadowfax) who runs a fittingly named blog, “Moving Meat.” Both of them acknowledge that today’s medicine puts the priority of the patient well below the protection of the doctor’s career and reputation. Both say the NPDB is not doing its job.

What do you think? What is your experience in today’s medical world? Do you feel safe? Protected? How is the Healthcare Improvement Act working for 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.
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    http://community.the-hospitalist.org/2009/06/01/is-hospital-peer-review-a-sham-well-mostly-yes/

    http://allbleedingstops.blogspot.com/2009/06/review-of-peer-review.html

    [PD1]https://www.npdb.hrsa.gov/resources/titleIv.jsp

    [PD2]https://www.npdb.hrsa.gov/topNavigation/aboutUs.jsp

Doubly Traumatized: Pelvic Mesh & the Sexual Abuse Survivor

Dual Trauma

Two things happened this past week that make it imperative to write about the connection between two traumas: sexual abuse and pelvic mesh injury.

First, Melynda, a dually-traumatized woman wrote a tearful story of her trip to get a transvaginal ultrasound:

I arrive at my scheduled time, make my way to radiology and wait for someone to take me back to the room. My pain is an 8-9 at this point and I am starting to shake because, goddammintalltohell, I am so exhausted of having strangers fiddling with my lady parts, I can’t even sit down and relax. (Remember also I am a survivor of child sexual abuse/incest and rape when I was 17 and have had all the wretched trauma of mesh, too).
In walks this older gentleman in scrubs and says, “Are you here for an ultrasound?”
I was so confused. Why is there an old man telling me he is going to be doing my transvaginal ultrasound!!!!??????
I started crying right then and there. “No, no, no, no, NO. I can’t do this with you. I am so sorry, I need a woman tech.”
He tells me it’s him or I will be forced to reschedule. I lose it. I tell him I need some time to calm myself down and then I go lock myself in the bathroom and sit there for 15 minutes while I sob uncontrollably and struggle to breath.
Before this mesh disaster, I wasn’t like this. I could have pelvic exams with no problem. I have been to years of counseling to help me overcome the abuse/incest and rape and I count myself as a survivor of both of those things. But these mesh injuries and the resulting treatments I have to endure. That is what left me sobbing in the hospital bathroom, shaking so hard I couldn’t even hold my phone.

Two days later, Buzzfeed published a document written to an arrogant rapist. The letter set off a maelstrom of outrage. The valiant victim described those hellacious moments when she slowly came to the realization she’d be brutally raped:

I … went to pull down my underwear, and felt nothing. I still remember the feeling of my hands touching my skin and grabbing nothing. I looked down and there was nothing. The thin piece of fabric, the only thing between my vagina and anything else, was missing and everything inside me was silenced. I still don’t have words for that feeling. In order to keep breathing, I thought maybe the policemen used scissors to cut them off for evidence.

Women dancing copy

Freedom is for women, too.

The physical and psychic numbness, immeasurable pain, wanting to shed her own body, and begging for time to process her trauma; while her attacker and the judge continue to intensify his horrific attack by turning the spotlight of blame onto her instead of him. Her words set off a campaign to remove the judge and, at the same time, further ignite the opprobrium of pelvic mesh-injured women who suffer so many of the same symptoms. A pelvic mesh-related injury feels like a rape in the aftermath. For all intents and purposes, it is rape, sometimes with genital mutilation.
For sexual assault victims, mesh pain takes them right back into a post traumatic state. Pelvic mesh victims are offered little redress while the device makers are permitted to increase sales, rush new versions to market, and continue to profit unfettered.

You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice…

How many pelvic mesh victims have uttered these same words? And these:

I am no stranger to suffering. You made me a victim. … For a while, I believed that that was all I was. I had to force myself to … relearn that this is not all that I am. … I am a human being who has been irreversibly hurt, my life was put on hold …
My independence, natural joy, gentleness, and steady lifestyle I had been enjoying became distorted beyond recognition. I became closed off, angry, self deprecating, tired, irritable, empty. The isolation at times was unbearable. You cannot give me back the life I had before that night either. While you worry about your shattered reputation, I …hold … spoons to my eyes to lessen the swelling so that I can see.
I … excuse myself to cry in stairwells. I can tell you all the best places … to cry where no one can hear you. The pain became so bad that I had to explain private details to my boss to let her know why I was leaving. I needed time because continuing day-to-day was not possible. I used my savings … I did not return to work full time … My life was put on hold for over a year, my structure had collapsed.
There are times I did not want to be touched. I have to relearn that I am not fragile, I am capable, I am wholesome, not just livid and weak.

If you would like to join a small support group for people with both mesh injuries and a history of sexual abuse/assault, join here. ,–LINK UPDATED

Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome is common to both injuries and healing involves stages. No two women are ever alike and no healing patterns are identical. In hopes for your continued, safe, comforted, and thorough healing, here is a list of the stages:

Stages of healing from sex abuse

Page 1

Stages of healing from sex abuse pg 2

Page 2

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.
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Partial Pelvic Mesh Removal — Wrong Solution to Permanent Problem

Your surgeon says he or she can snip the part of the mesh sling they can see, a quick operation and you’ll be better. Or says he can cut it to release it because it was put in too tight. Or, he promises a full removal but the operation takes less than an hour and, if the parts go to pathology, most of the mesh is still not accounted for.

Women who knowingly or unknowingly have partial removal surgery come to regret it. They issue strong warnings for the lucky women who read or search for answers online before signing up for a partial removal. Thousands of Urogynecologists and Urologists do partial removals. The very people who profit from mesh tell those specialists how to handle complaints: just cut a little out. Some heartless doctors cut it right there in the office with no anesthesia whatsoever.

The woman who have been through this tell newcomers not to allow a surgeon to cut bits and pieces of mesh but to leave it whole for a qualified surgeon with the skills to necessary to remove the entire device in one operation. They warn that doctors are not telling the truth about those partial surgeries.

Frayed rope is like sliced mesh

Partial removal can be a temporary solution to a permanent problem. Nearly everyone gets temporary relief after a partial surgery. When a rope breaks, the ends fray. That’s what happens with partials. All the ends leak toxic chemicals, stirring up a immune storm inside your body and spring back, eventually attaching to other parts of your vagina, bladder, intestines, bones, nerves, and blood vessels. After a year or two, you develop new symptoms and go looking for a doctor who can help. More than 99% of board certified surgeons will do another partial. Some women have dozens of surgeries before finding help from advocacy groups.

Be very careful. Get the whole thing out in any way you can because you are in the best possible shape to have a good outcome when your surgeon goes after the whole thing and it’s still intact! When mesh is cut, the next surgeon must go searching for shreds of it. They compare that surgery to trying to get bubble gum out of hair or searching for shrapnel.

POLY IS FOR CUTTERS

If your surgery took less than four hours, consider that it may not be a complete removal, get your medical and surgical records and your pathology report. Learn the dimensions of your implant and ask for an accounting for every piece of it. Before your explant surgery, demand a micro and macro pathology be done. Afterward, get those reports!

We’ve found only five surgeons in the U.S. who consistently prove they removed complete pelvic mesh including arms or anchors (fixation devices):

  • Shlomo Raz, UCLA
  • Dionysis Veronikis, St. Louis, MO
  • Una Lee, Seattle WA
  • Dmitriy Nikolavsky, Syracuse, NY
  • Michael Hibner, Phoenix, AZ

The surgery is very risky but research has shown that is in no more risky that partial removals.

Beware of sugeons loan companies Beware of Mesh News
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.
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.





How to File Your Own Device Complaint to the FDA

printer logoHOW TO FILE YOUR OWN DEVICE COMPLAINT
TO THE FDA –
©Peggy Day

You oe aomeone you know has been hurt by a device. You want to let the FDA know about it, but it is so complicated. Here is a step-by-step guide.

This worksheet works best if you print out these pages and fill them in advance. (Click here for a printable copy)  You’ll be ready to make the best, most effective report you can in one sitting. Settle in with a cuppa tea or whatever relaxes you.

Now: click on this link:   https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/index.cfm?action=consumer.reporting.home

The first page you should see should look like this:

FDA MEDWATCH FRONT 1

Go ahead and click on “Consumer/Patient.”

On the next page, check the box for medical device.

FDA MEDWATCH 2

 

Next, check everything that applies:

FDA MEDWATCH 3

Write every detail you know about the situation. Don’t hold back, this is the place to let your feelings flow. Don’t worry, you can always file a new report if new information or new details come to you.

FDA MEDWATCH 5

If you have any lab results or information you’d like to make public, add them here.

FDA MEDWATCH 6

Add the date of the event if you know it. (Very important!)

FDA MEDWATCH 7

Here is where you fill in as much information about the device as you know. If you have no idea what the device is, write as much as you do know or write: “Unknown pelvic sling,” “Unknown hernia mesh,” etc. Do your best.

FDA MEDWATCH 8

FDA MEDWATCH 9

Some of the following information will be made available to others. You decide what you want to share.

FDA MEDWATCH 10

FDA MEDWATCH 11

FDA MEDWATCH 12

The following is information to identify the reporter (you). The more information you offer, the more credible your report will be.

FDA MEDWATCH 13

Should you decide to check the box below, be prepared to be contacted by the manufacturer of the device. Remember, their job is to protect the company, not to ensure or provide the best patient care.

FDA MEDWATCH 14

©Peggy Day





It’s Not Your Fault – By DebC

Below is an excerpt from another blog, MESHMENOT, by DebC who makes a very important point, especially for women. Simply put, it is not your fault that you had mesh implanted.

It Is Not Your Fault
Are you suffering from mesh complications and feeling guilty for “allowing” mesh to be implanted in your body in the first place?
Well then, I think, that you should think again.
No one  suffering from mesh complications should be feeling guilty.  This is not the patient/victim’s fault.  They should not have known better.  Nobody that is mesh-injured should be blaming themselves regardless of what kind of mesh it was or when they had it implanted.
Many who get mesh are not even given all the facts and options upfront.  I’ve heard from many who did not even know their doctor planned to use mesh until after the fact. The sad truth is that if you walk into almost any doctor’s office today and say you pee a little when you sneeze, he (or she) will probably recommend mesh, despite two FDA warnings, FDA adverse event reports of severe complications, and over 100,000 lawsuits.
Most likely, when you visited your doctor, he downplayed your valid concerns. He may have said the mesh, or tape, or sling he used is not the same thing that’s in the news and he’s chosen a safer product. He may have said his product was your only option. Serious and debilitating mesh complications rarely are acknowledged by most members of the medical community, so those who seek a second or third opinions find no real answers.
You are not to blame. When it comes down to it, most people trust their doctors. Period. That’s what we were taught to do: listen to our doctor.We are not medical professionals and some doctors will take advantage of that, chastising us for searching for answers online and trying to diagnosing our own complications. Many doctors take offense when their skills are questioned but, fortunately, there are doctors out there who listen and sincerely engage with their patients. There are even a few doctors who remember how to make repairs without using synthetic mesh–they are worth finding.

MESH IS NOT FOR BODIES 9
It’s human nature to kick ourselves in the ass.  Guilt comes too easily for most of us.  It may be because we like to believe we are in control of most things and feel we should be. It’s easy to feel like we should have known better, especially when we start doing more research and realize just how dangerous mesh is.  Then we wish that, somehow, we would have  known better than the doctors who recommended mesh in the first place.  But, hind-sight is 20/20 and most of us do not believe we know better than our doctors until we wind up dealing with all kinds of unnecessary mesh complications. – by DebC on MeshMeNot

 


“Even paranoids have real enemies”—Delmore Schwartz 1913-1966


 

The definition of paranoia is “an unfounded or exaggerated distrust of others.” When thousands of mesh victims gather and share stories of horrific infections, injuries, illnesses, disabilities, and even death, distrust of the maker of the product is certainly not unfounded.
If you’d like to read more on this mesh topic and many others, start at Deb C’s website here and look around while you’re there for more of her well-researched and fascinating writings.


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.




22+ Crucial Questions to Ask Surgeon Before Mesh Surgery

 1. What is the operation being recommended? Is it necessary?

 2. Why is the operation necessary?

 3. I am aware that a bladder sling or hernia mesh is made of polypropylene and the material is the same, whether it is called a “tape” or “minitape.” I do not want polypropylene in my body. Are you willing to do the surgery without the use of synthetic surgical mesh? {__ I am allergic to polypropylene (check if applies to you).}

4. What are my alternatives to this procedure? (for example: I am aware the Burch Procedure has the same rate of success as synthetic surgical mesh. Are you able to do an alternative procedure)

 5. What are the benefits of the surgery and how long will those benefits last?

 6. What are the risks and possible complications of having the operation?

 7. What are my possibilities if I choose not to have the surgery?

 8. How many of these surgeries have you performed?

9. For which specialty do you have a board certification?  Urology, Urogynecology, Gynecology, General Surgery, Colorectal Surgery?  Other?

10. Where will my surgery be performed?

11. How long will my operation take?

12. Why type of anesthesia will be administered? If it is not a hospital, is there emergency equipment if I should have trouble with anesthesia? What is the plan for emergencies? 

13. What type of incision will be used? Will it be an open procedure, minimally invasive or laparoscopic?

14. Do you have to cut close to larger nerves to complete this operation?

15. What are my chances for getting new nerve damage?

16. What is the risk of mesh erosion into healthy organs from this surgery?

17. What are my chances for getting a wound infection? What is the hospital’s nosocomial infection rate? Do you provide antibiotic prophylaxis?

18. What are the specific risks of this procedure?

19. What will my operation cost? What else will I be charged for?

20. What can I expect during recovery?

21. How will my life be changed for the good or bad after this operation?

22. How many future surgeries might I expect after this surgery if there are complications?

Added question: Are you planning to have a salesmen in the operating room with you? I do__ do not___ prefer to have a sales representative in the OR with me.

(Click here for download of copy with fill-in-the-blanks.)


 

 POLY IS FOR ADA RAMPS


 

Places to check-up on your surgeon

It is important to have confidence in the doctor who will be doing your surgery and you can make sure that he or she is qualified. Each state licenses its physicians. Take the time to search for:

       “[Name of State] physician license verification” for your own surgeon.

Make sure to check for disciplinary actions taken or whether the license is current. Example here.

  • Ask your primary doctor, your local medical society, or health insurance company for information about the doctor or surgeon’s experience with the procedure.
  • Make certain the doctor or surgeon is affiliated with an accredited health care facility. When considering surgery, where it is done is often as important as who is doing the procedure.

From PelvicMeshOwnersGuide.com                        © Peggy Day November 27, 2015





Did a Salesman Oogle Your Pelvic Mesh Surgery? – Salesmen in the OR

You may be surprised to learn just how your doctor purchased the pelvic sling he put in your body. Truth is, he didn’t have to lift a finger. His sales rep brought it to him. Moreover, there is a good chance your salesman watched your doctor put it in you and, he may even have “scrubbed in” and performed part of your surgery.

It is no accident that your surgeon “forgot” to mention the manufacturer’s rep might be in your surgery. Manufacturers are well aware that the practice is very controversial and don’t want you to know. David S. Hilzenrath discovered the obfuscation while preparing for his 2009 Washington Post story about salesmen boosting sales by participating in operations:

“(S)ome companies want nothing to do with a story about sales rep in the operating room.
“‘I would hope that you would not mention Boston Scientific in your story,’ a spokesman for that company e-mailed.
“Major device makers such as Johnson & Johnson, Stryker and Zimmer declined to arrange interviews for this article.”

POLY IS FOR ELECTRIC WIRES

Mesh injured women began realizing that manufacturers invaded their surgeries, not when they were asked to sign a consent for an observer to be there while their genitals were being operated on, but afterward when they found evidence by reading their own charts. Detail men around the world routinely attend surgeries to make sure doctors don’t use competitors’ products.

In 2008, Ronda Yancy (not her real name) was appalled when she retrieved her own medical record: “I found out, after my surgery, that a Johnson & Johnson Gynecare sales representative was in the O.R. with me.”

Yancy, who died at 52, after living her final years dealing with mesh complications and a string of illnesses, had been implanted the Gynecare Prolift (a polypropylene-based surgical mesh device used to treat pelvic organ prolapse). The Prolift was first introduced by J&J in 2005 without an F.D.A. approval and was soon the source of alarming federal complaints. It wasn’t removed from the market until a year after Ronda’s death, in 2012.

Ronda’s pelvic sling sawed itself out of the space it was supposed to be and into her vagina, causing her suffer years of infections and disabling pelvic pains. “I sure never thought that some day I’d be crying just cause I can’t stand to wear underwear anymore, much less pick up my grandkids,” said Ronda. “After the surgery I couldn’t walk properly and am in constant cutting pain. Doctors say I am the first patient to ever have problems.”

After Ronda posted in an online support group, others began to look at their operative reports and at least three found that salesmen had been in the room with them while they slept. One said she felt like she’d been “drugged and raped.”

One nurse wrote to the group, “The hospital loves for the reps to come in because their labor is free and they provide free products to use. The reps bring in pizza dinners and cater lunches from time to time and so the O.R. staff loves them too.

Trendelenberg

Jack-knife position for vaginal surgery. (Posed by clothed woman)

Bill Mackay, a high school drop-out and device salesman who performed the major part of a surgery that crippled a man in 1975, was never mentioned in that patient’s chart. He later wrote in a tell-all book, Salesman Surgeon, that he took over lead surgeon, David Lipton’s position during a hip replacement, ordered the nurse to hand him sharp instruments, hammered and chiseled away at bones and removed one hip prosthesis and implanted another. He said it was the “one of nicest pieces of surgery (he’d) ever seen or done”  but the patient, Franklin Mirando didn’t agree. The forty-two-year-old service station owner never walked again after Mackay was done with him.

In 1977, criminal charges for assault and misrepresenting business records were made against salesman Mackay, two surgeons, a nurse and the Smithtown General Hospital. Investigations were launched by both state legislators and the Sulfolk County Medical Society. Despite all the hoopla, the charges were eventually dropped and the manufacturers across the country began to have free rein inside operating rooms.

What could possibly go wrong when you send wet-eared salesmen into an operating room? In 1998, another device rep was sued after he operated a machine during a fibroid removal surgery and 30-year-old Lisa Smart died within hours. Lawyers found Lisa’s surgeons had botched many aspects of her surgery including overloading her with fluid. She drowned. Her husband’s lawyers were also shocked to discover Johnson & Johnson sales rep, David Myers, was operating the dials on the unauthorized machine that delivered electrical impulses to her uterus. “The patient was never given the chance to consent to the use of the equipment or the presence of the salesman,” the New York Times reported at the time. The hospital a was fined $30,000 and Myers disappeared from sight. Yet again, in the face of another disastrous outcome, device marketers stepped up their pace.

Classes for prospective salesmen include topics like: “how to get inside a surgical suite without an invitation” or how “to sell without making the surgeon feel that he’s being sold” or even “the art of engaging surgeons in conversation.”  Candidates are invariably young, good-looking go-getters whose training lasted no longer than a few weeks. Although a college education is recommended, it is not always required. Despite the fact that pelvic mesh sellers are given an unfettered view of your genitals, there is no evidence that they were ever required to go through a background check–although your nurse sure was.

bathing-machine-with-men-ogling-women

Recently, two pelvic mesh recipients found out that salesmen had been with them by reading their charts. One woman noticed a set of unfamiliar initials next to “Ass.,” or assistant surgeon, on her operative report and set out to investigate. She found another document with the full name spelled out and remembered her surgeon mentioning he was going to “ask the advice” of his salesman with the same name. She was never told he would be there. A modest woman, she can’t digest the fact that a total stranger was afforded a clear view of her most private area. As if to compound the emotional harm from realizing a salesman had seen her tilted backward, legs spread on an operating table, she said the same sales rep later visited her in her home–right after she made an official complaint about her mesh injuries.

It the manufacturers are working hard to hide the presence of salesmen in operating rooms, there is no way to know if, when your transobturator-tape was pulled to tight, it was really the detail man who tugged too hard on that trocar or if his scrubbing technique was not up to standard and that’s why you had a post-operative infection.

If you would like to look up your medical record, be prepared to put a little wear and tear on your shoe leather. Go to your hospital medical record department in person and ask for the complete report of your surgery, including the label for you implant. Most medical record departments provide only the surgeon’s dictated report, especially when you ask by mail, but there is a lot more paperwork than that. Look for your consent, your anesthesiologist’s minute-to-minute accounting, your nurse’s count of sponges and instruments, and your interoperative report, which should contain the names of everyone who attended your surgery.

Yancy felt she was invalidated every step of the way after her implant. Doctor after doctor told her, “Mesh is the gold standard, it can’t be the mesh.” She summed it up in one word saying she had been “Gaslighted,” a reference to the 1944 movie, Gaslight, in which Charles Boyer pulled dirty tricks on Ingrid Bergman and then told her she must be going crazy–all the while pretending he had her best interest at heart. What a perfect phrase. Are you being Gaslighted?


Peggy Day is working on an investigative report on pelvic mesh salesmen in the operating room. She welcomes any input you may have about the questionable practice.

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.

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