Tag Archives: Bowel laceration

Why Not Talk About Hernia Mesh?

I often hear that people think that there is too much attention paid to pelvic mesh victims at the cost to the hernia victims. After all, it’s the same material that is used, just cut in a different shape and placed in a different part of the body. And, truth is, pelvic organ prolapse is very similar to a hernia —both are caused by a weakening of muscles.

When I planned this blog, I decided to focus on one type of mesh because it is the one I know best and because I planned to go into depth with my research. In the back of my mind, I want to do another blog called the Hernia Mesh Owner’s Guide —some day.

POLY IS FOR CUTTERS

I hope hernia sufferers will look at the parts of this blog that apply to them because so many complications are the same: the denial by doctors, the nerve injuries, the salesmen in the operating room, the body’s foreign body reaction and the resulting autoimmune diseases, the cancer risk, the pain, loss of consortium, and the loss of ability to work. The great difficulties getting it removed are similar. Mesh shreds, twists, curls, folds, stretches, migrates, disintegrates, etc. no matter where it is placed.

In looking at why the two entities got separated in the first place, it is important to look at the history of several legal battles. Hernia mesh underwent similar legal attacks about 20 years ago. Many versions of hernia were removed, recalled, and quietly taken off the market. Many people sued and won and many lost. In the end, really, the makers won. They just changed a few elements of hernia mesh, paid for scientific studies that proved it was a great product, and went right on marketing it (the same thing is happening with transvaginal mesh).

So, when the makers found a new application for mesh, putting it into women’s most private, most valued and most delicate place, it cause NEW problems because of the anatomy of the pelvis. The lawyers, like chairs on a tipping ship, rushed to represent this new disaster and abandoned the hernia meshes because there is no longer any money in those cases.

Hernia mesh victims: please be aware that not a single victim made this separation; it was done by lawyers.

Sadly, there are probably no lawyers who represent hernia mesh victims unless it involves malpractice and even that is very hard to prove. BigPharma and the AMA put legislation in place long ago to limit the amount you can win. (Tort reform only benefits those entities). BigPharma also controls much of major media. Thank goodness for social media!

 

Peggy Day is working on a book to combine all these stories. She welcomes any input you may have.

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





25 Crucial Questions to Ask Your Mesh Removal Surgeon

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

2. Why is the operation necessary?

3. What are my alternatives to this procedure?

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

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

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

7. How many of these surgeries have you performed?

8. For which specialty do you have a board certification?  Urology  Urogynecology  Gynecology √ General Surgery  Colorectal Surgery?  None Other 

9. Where will surgery be performed?

10. How long will my operation take?

11. 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? 

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

13. If mesh is embedded in my bladder or urethra, do you have the skills to take it out?

14. If mesh is embedded into my obturator spaces, do you have the skills to take it out?

15. If mesh has eroded into my colon or rectum, do you have the skills to take it out?

16. If I have more than one mesh, do you have the skills to find it and take it out?

17. If mesh is close to a blood vessel, do you have the skills to remove it?

18. If mesh is close to a large nerve, do you have the skills to remove it with the least amount of damage?

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

 20. What are my chances for getting a wound infection? What is the hospital’s nosocomial infection rate? Do you provide prophylaxis to address biofilm-related infections?

21. What are the specific risks of this procedure?

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

23. What can I expect during recovery?

24. What are the ways will my life be different after this surgical procedure?

25. How many future surgeries should I expect?

(Click HERE for Printable Version with Fill in the Blanks.)


Mesh is not for bodies in motion

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. Example here.

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

  • 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.

 


 

  • 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.


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.

POLY IS FOR CABLES copy

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.

MESH IS NOT FOR BODIES 2


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.

You’re On My Last Nerve, Doc! – Neuromuscular Mesh Trouble

If you’ve ever had your leg go to sleep, you know what neural pain and numbness feels like. There are so many nerves in the pelvis and legs that I could write a 10,000 word blog and still miss some of them. Neuromuscular pain complications after pelvic surgery are complicated and distressing, to say the least. It is a topic that we plan to cover frequently in the future. For today, our will focus will be on nerve injuries caused by mesh surgery, whether it was from putting the mesh in, making revisions, or taking it out. One study found post operative nerve injury affects about 2 percent of pelvic surgery patients but this number may be missing a whole lot of people who don’t return to complain.

MESH is for butterflies 3

Nerve pain that does not get better within 6 months of surgery changes your life in the most miserable way. There is no way to get comfortable, moving hurts and resting hurts.  It is hard to get it off your mind, especially when you try to sleep. You find yourself having to learn new ways to cope. Treatment is fraught with trial and errors.

While you are having pelvic surgery, your nerves are in danger for several reasons. First, they can be ligated (cut), either accidentally or intentionally. Also, a nerve can become compressed or stretched by the way your body is positioned for surgery (see photos), or when instruments like retractors or clamps are used incorrectly, or after a blood clot develops. Lastly, after the surgery, swelling and inflammation can injure your nerves. It is called post surgery inflammatory neuropathy.

hips flexed Trendelenberg arm stretched

Pain, paresthesias (“pins and needles,” burning, tingling, a feeling like there is a cotton sheet over your skin, numbness), loss of sensation and weakness are the most common feelings you have when you have a nerve injury.

Ten common mesh surgery nerve injuries involve:
•    Obturator Nerve
•    Ilioinguinal/iliohypogastric Nerve
•    Genitofemoral Nerve
•    Femoral Nerve
•    Pudendal Nerve Entrapment
•    Common Fibular Nerve
•    Sapenous Nerve
•    Piriformis Syndrome
•    Sciatica
•    Fibular Neuropathy
•    Peripheral Neuropathy

 

ann-surg-results_ILLU120912-2

Some patients have more than one nerve injury. One even called hers the “mesh trifecta: sciatica, obturator and pudendal nerve damage.”

Look for your nerve injury in our drawings. If this helped you, please let us know. What else would you like to learn about? PelvicMeshOwnersGuide

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 MeshTroubles.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.

Signing Up For Just One Surgery With Pelvic Mesh?

Imagine this: Two women had tree branches fall across their homes causing major damage. Both trees did the most damage to the kitchen. Cindy Lu hires the guys who promises to get the job done the fastest for the least money. Her contractor comes in one day, and chops out the middle of the branch and cleans up the mess on her kitchen floor and replaces her kitchen faucet so it will run. He gets the job done in less than a day. Karen hires a more experienced contractor who takes out the entire branch and repairs all her plumbing, appliances and replaces her furniture and cleans up every tiny piece of bark or wood chip. It takes several days. He comes back later on and fixes the broken walls, windows and doors and returns her home to as close to pre-storm conditions as possible.

Which contractor would you hire?

This is an analogy to what happens when pelvic mesh goes bad. The surgeon who chips away at pelvic mesh, one eroded bit at a time, sets up a patient for multiple surgeries— today’s mesh trouble. Recently, Linda Gross won over 11 million dollars at trial after 18 surgeries to repair erosion, scarring, and tissue damage from a Gynecare Prolift pelvic sling. Surgeries performed after the pelvic mesh implant correct erosion, new or continued incontinence, difficulty urinating, infections, scar tissue, pain, deheisance, or fistulae. Women experiencing generalized symptoms they attribute to mesh opt for removals as well and report an improvement in their symptoms.

MESH IS FOR LAUNDRY

Synthetic surgical pelvic mesh was first thought to be faster, easier and better than traditional repairs like culpopexy and porcine and native tissue sling repairs. Newer research says it  just wasn’t true.  In a 2013 review, authors concluded that, even though sacral colpopexy had a longer operation time: “the sacral colpopexy had a higher success rate on examination and lower reoperation rate than high vaginal uterosacral suspension and transvaginal polypropylene mesh.”

Mesh removal is risky business due its faulty design. Absent-minded scientists have been accused of not stepping back and looking at the “big picture” ever since Thales, the Greek mathematician, looked up at the stars so often that he fell down a well. Designers of pelvic mesh imagined they found the best thing since the flat turret lathe or bifocal eyeglasses. It was so perfect, they must have thought, nobody would ever want to remove it.

It is an interesting observation that more doctors are prone to diagnose only what they can see—on your body, an x-ray, in a lab report then by the patient’s description of her problems. Headaches, backaches and now pelvic pain are the least recognized and treated medical complaints today. Until the “BLUE sh*t” (as Johnson & Johnson execs called Gynecare mesh in a secret email) could actually be seen by the doctors, women’s complaints were ignored. If they got an answer from their doctors, they were advised to have it snipped, dissected, ligated, trimmed or revised. When the mesh kept sneaking back, surgeons removed more little bits.

It takes a highly skilled surgeon like Dr. Shlomo Raz at UCLA to remove all of the mesh, including the anchors (secured ends).  The few surgeons who do remove the mesh in its entirety complain that removing all of shards of mesh from healthy human flesh is like getting bubblegum out of hair.

Dr. Dionysios Veronikis of St. Louis, MO invented a surgical instrument that  dissects the mesh away from the healthy tissue without cutting surrounding structures. He finds one end of the mesh and then carefully cuts, moving his instrument forward until it frees up the entire sling in one piece. It is hours and hours of painstaking work and healing from the procedure takes a long time.

Once mesh is removed, more surgeries are often needed to revise the damage left behind and fix structural problems. Complications, like bleeding, infection, and nerve damage, from mesh removal surgery are common. After finally going through removal surgery, 87% said they would never have had the artificial mesh implant in the first place, if they had only known. If you’ve not yet had an implant, you are one of the lucky ones because, now that there is more research and information is available on the net–mesh does not appear to be easier or better. Many, if not most, doctors are reverting to traditional fixes. You can save yourself a boatload of trouble by finding a surgeon who can repair your problem without mesh.

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 MeshTroubles.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.

6 Personal Stories: Mesh Patients Are Not Mental Patients

Normal reactions to real parts of life are now being shifted into medical diagnoses by a medical and a psychiatric establishment that is fully embedded with Big Pharma. (Big Pharma is a nickname for the world’s vast and influential pharmaceutical industry and its trade and lobbying group, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America or PhRMA. These powerful companies make billions of dollars a year by selling drugs and medical devices, including the ones that cause pelvic mesh trouble.  As drug makers learned how to profit from turning normal grief into a major depression, normal pain response into anxiety or bipolar illness, and normal outrage over disrespectful, dismissive and faulty treatment by surgeons into a psychiatric disorder, more and more mesh victims are being given experimental (untested and unproven) drugs without any real proof that they work.   They don’t work. Before SSRI’s were introduced, 355,000 Americans were disabled by mental illness and after those pills went on the market, then number skyrocketed to 1.25 million!

Women who have been put through the surgical mesh mill and then treated like second-class citizens have honest to goodness, normal emotional responses. They resist being treated like emotional cripples and yet they are being sent to psychiatrists for a reacting to a very real circumstances. The six stories below are a sampling of  thousands of stories from across the world today. Names have been changed for privacy reasons.

Evelyn: “I do not have pain—just complete humiliation at having the fistula and the obvious attention I have to give it. I am a neat freak and this is most unpleasant for me! I keep telling myself that I am not going to die from this and just to carry on. I am definitely an action person, so the best way to deal with all of this for me is to have a plan and always move forward.  I remember the doctor saying that it just healed beautifully. Now the fistula!

“There is always a solution or something for you out there somewhere. Don’t be scared.”

Evelyn is employing some of the most therapeutic techniques for her distress. She is not only telling her story, she is offering help to others. Storytelling is one of the most beneficial tools for dealing with sadness and anger. Reaching out to help others is physically and mentally healing as well.

***

Fiona: “I had a TVT done last Feb, been in chronic, debilitating pain every since. Am 
trying to arrange funds to have removal surgery, scared to death to have one more surgery.”

Fiona is afraid, a normal response to a very real and present danger. When the only alternative is to go back into the very system that hurt you in the first place, being scared to death is a healthy response. He fears will help her to make very cautious and careful decisions for her future medical care.

tightwire net copy

Surprisingly, many women were implanted with more than one defective device at the same time:

Ingrid: “I had a TVT-O as well as a ProLift. Stupid and naive that I was, I blindly trusted that they knew what they were doing. What was I thinking?

 “They did this procedure through 6 portals on my inner thighs. When I woke up, the doctor stated I gave them a hard time in that he nicked a blood vessel (fishing through my legs) and I had lost a fair amount of  blood. Things went downhill from there on out.

 “The quality of my life has been really hurt by this ordeal, as one could imagine. Thank God my husband is very understanding.” 



Medicine has changed over the past half-century. It has become a business, and concentrates on turning a profit while minimizing the better good of the patient. Who would not feel betrayed by a botched surgery like this? For a doctor to tell a patient who had been paralyzed and under anesthesia, that she “gave them a hard time?” he has to have lost sight of his role in protecting her from harm. The pathology in this case is the surgeon’s. He did not own up to his own lack of  skill in using the equipment provided to him to complete a proper implant. It’s called blaming the victim.

Also, Ingrid’s husband is providing one of the best “medicines.” Supportive persons can make all the difference because they can counterbalance the inappropriate accusations and botched surgeries like the ones she experienced.

***

Michelle: “To my horror, after going to the bathroom, I discovered my uterus had dropped right out of  my vagina! I can’t possibly describe the feelings of revulsion and guilt that caused. It took me a few days to regain my composure and go to the doctor.”

“Afterward I was in so much pain I couldn’t stand up straight, walk my usual hour a day, or ride in the car more than 15 minutes without getting into so much pain I broke down in tears.”

Michelle’s story illustrates just how important a woman’s pelvic area is to her. Michelle reacted normally for someone injured in her most pivotal, most private place. Michelle was traumatized even though she was asleep during her surgery. Tears for pain and tears for grief are often combined for trauma victims.

MESH INFB Man Woman

Lucille: “I had a TVT and Marina coil fitted at the same time. The surgeon said, ‘Lucille, this is a simple operation with an overnight stay and you will be a new woman.’ He did not mention any complications or risks involved with the TVT. I took his word and trusted he knew what he is doing and accepted to go ahead with the surgery.



“I was and still am a smoker, although I did mention it to him. Once this is all over I will quit! The stresses of life and this awful leakage are disrupting my life.

“Came around from the operation, coughing so bad and my chest really hurt. I was scared. I could not breathe properly. All I could hear was ‘Lucille, you must give up smoking.’

“That night I could not sleep. I was so uncomfortable I kept watching the clock and wishing for morning. Breakfast arrived and I could not eat, had no energy, and told the nurse, ‘I do not feel well.’

The nurse dismissed Lucille’s complaints several times. Instead, she insisted Lucille go for a walk. About 6 steps into the walk, Lucille collapsed and was carried back to bed.

“An urgent x-ray was done, and I was given oxygen. They discovered pulmonary emboli (clots in my lungs) and collapsed lung. I ended up in hospital for the next 10 days!”

“I came home and had severe bleeding. Back into the hospital had marina coil taken out as the doctor assumed it is the coil causing the bleeding. I was not told it could be the TVT!



“Over the next couple of years, I was constantly in and out of hospital, diagnosed with diabetes type 2, heart attack symptoms, tremors, slurred speech, and trouble walking. They could not work out what was wrong with me! I had numerous tests and back and forth to hospital and doctors and was eventually diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.



Three years later, Lucille had more symptoms and her primary doctor told finally diagnosed her vaginal mesh erosion. 

“Enough is enough. We cannot allow this suffering to go on. This mesh should be banned, it has totally destroyed my life.  Although I have kept my mind going with graphic design, I cannot walk very far and now I am housebound! I cannot wait to get this thing out of my body! 

“I am a strong person and believe in inner faith, our beautiful creator has been with me and guiding me through each day, and with constant praying I know eventually this evil mesh stuff will be banned!”

Lucille is employing two of the most potent and effective methods for handling her emotional distress. She is sharing her experience with others giving her a sense of normalcy and community and she relies on her faith in God, giving her personal inner strength. Like Evelyn, she is reaching out to help others.

Polypropylene speed bump copy

Tricia: “For me it centers on ‘informed consent,’ both with the physician and the company that manufactures the mesh. The MD really did a different procedure with a different product than I consented to and that’s just not cool. The standard of informed consent is to provide to a patient with the most common and most serious complications. It also really irks me, as a nurse, that informed consent was really not provided, even after I asked for it.

 “(Before my operation), my doctor had offered several options and I took several weeks to decide. I located four women who’d had bladder surgery using monofilament slings and they all were having problems. I told my surgeon I did not want a (plastic) sling and asked about the biological swine tissue sling. The surgeon instead suggested an abdominal sacral colpopexy. I agreed to this procedure, thinking it was the swine procedure. The patient consent form was in medical terminology and listed the procedure as ‘abdominal sacral colpopexy, transobturator sling.’  The risks listed were ‘bleeding, infection, recurrent cystocele, persistent incontinence, urge incontinence, bladder/bowel injury.’

“(After the surgery,) I had fever, severe abdominal cramping, my right leg was numb, and I felt as if something was lodged at the top of my vagina. I made several visits to the (two) surgeons involved and neither thought I had any valid complaints. Neither would offer a straightforward answer. They never mentioned an implant could be causing my symptoms. 

“At week five I obtained the operating room notes and to my astonishment discovered that two implants were now securely placed in my abdomen: a Gynecare polypropylene 10×10 inch mesh and an AMS Monarc polypropylene mesh sling. I was furious. Because of my anger, the surgeons suggested such things as tranquilizers and psychological help.

“It has been three months and I have seen six surgeons.  I’m told these implants cannot be removed.  My symptoms have intensified.  I am in pain and I am angry.  I recently obtained literature listing the manufacturers risks: ‘foreign body response, vaginal extrusion, erosion through the urethra and surrounding tissue, migration of the device,  fistula formation, adhesion formation, pain, scarring that results in implant contraction, damage to vessels, nerves, bladder, urethra, bowel’ and more. Had I known any of these risks, I would not have had the surgery. I am not alone. I have since spoken with hundreds of men and women who are having complications with implants. Some, like me, didn’t know an implant was part of their surgery until complications arose.”

Tricia’s anger is understandable and normal. She felt she did not need pills or  psychological help and she later turned her anger into action by contacting her congressman and governor and starting a petition to put an end to the practice of performing implants without proper informed consent.

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

Subscribe to MeshTroubles.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.

 

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.





Bowel Injury-Big Trouble After Surgical Mesh

Bowel Injury
Case study: When you hear from the mesh injured every day, it is hard to read the cold and optimistic medical journals describing the unspeakable horrors of mesh injuries in unemotional terms–seemingly without much concern about how the victim can go on with her life. The story of a 41-year-old woman demonstrates how an undiscovered surgical bowel injury can cause serious illness:
The woman went to her surgeon complaining about a prolapsed rectum and was implanted with a posterior mesh kit (e.g. Monarc Subfascial Hammock). Immediately, she felt severe pain radiating down her right leg, pelvic pain, pain during intercourse, dyschezia (painful defecation), diarrhea, and rectal incontinence that she had never had before. When her surgeon examined her vagina he could feel she had tight, tender mesh arms palpable at the top of her vagina. When he examined her rectum he found a stretch of the mesh had been placed about 3 inches up and inside and across her rectum. Further tests pointed to a rectovaginal fistula and inflammation that involved her right sciatic nerve plexus. She then underwent an abdominal surgery where removed they the mesh, fixed two perforations in her rectum and created an ileostomy (hole in her abdomen to drain feces into a plastic bag) to allow her rectum time to rest and heal. Her pain lessened and later surgeons reconnected her intestine and closed her ileosotomy. Her other symptoms reportedly got better as well.

Somehow, this report missed that agony this woman was put through by a very shoddy surgical procedure.


One can only imagine what she went through as she tried to maintain her life as a 41-year-old woman.

Bowel injuries from pelvic mesh involve actual puncture of the bowel during insertion or tissue injury that results in a perforation down the line, sometimes much later. Skilled surgeons try to avoid perforating the bowel although sometimes it is unavoidable. They must visualize and recheck the bowel before closing the wound to make sure it hasn’t been cut. Heightening the risk of cutting is the use of a trocar (see Bladder Injuries), to insert the pelvic mesh. If he or she repairs a cut immediately, there is minimal risk of post-operative complications. All too frequently, a nick in the bowel is missed, especially during the blind procedure that is required to implant pelvic mesh. Missed bowel injuries are severe complications which can lead to life-threatening illness—even death. Another “Mesh Trouble”.

During the post-operative period, surgeons need to respond quickly to signs and symptoms of bowel perforation. After bowel injury a patient’s symptoms may include pain, fever, rapid heartbeat, and rapid breathing or the patient is rapidly declining. Signs of life-threatening bowel perforation include abdominal distention, rebound tenderness (pain only when pressure on abdomen is quickly released), and a rigid abdomen.

The leakage of bowel contents (which are very high in bacteria) into the abdominal cavity usually results in peritonitis, inflammation of the lining of the abdomen, along with inflammation of the tissues of the bowel and other abdominal organs. If the surgeon diagnoses the problem quickly, he may be able to repair the injury without performing a bowel diversion, such as an ileostomy or colostomy. Delay in diagnosis, however, often results in development of severe inflammation that makes the bowel tissue so fragile that the surgeon can’t perform a single, definitive repair. Depending on the extent of bowel injury and the patient’s health,  the ileostomy or colostomy may be reversed at a later date or may be required for the rest of her life.

If the perforation is not diagnosed in a timely manner, patients can develop bacteremia, viable bacteria in the circulating blood, and go on to suffer septic shock, stroke, organ failure, and death.

Mesh IS FOR CHEESE
If you suspect you have a bowel injury, seek immediate medical attention.
If you are experiencing complications after mesh surgery and you don’t want to be the target of  ads for lawyers, subscribe to MeshTrouble.com.