Tag Archives: incontinence

Comprehensive List of Pelvic Mesh Products

Since the 1950’s, surgical mesh has been used for all types of internal repairs, particularly hernia repairs to strengthen the abdominal wall. In the 1970’s, gynecologist and urogynecologists began to develop and patent products which used surgical mesh to treat urinary incontinence (most often due to early bladder sagging) and later more pronounced pelvic organ prolapse. Gynecologists began to cut small pieces of hernia surgical mesh into precise shapes.

A company by the name of Versica Medical introduced a product called the “Vesica Bone Anchoring System”, which used sutures attached to small screws to urinary incontinence. Vesica’s system was one of the precursors to transvaginal mesh devices that followed, beginning with the ProteGen. 

Below is a comprehensive list of transvaginal (pelvic) mesh products. Expect this list to be updated with more information like dates of use soon.

American Medical System

  • Apogee
  • BioArc
  • Elevate
  • In-Fast Ultra Transvaginal Sling
  • MiniArc Precise Single Incision Sling
  • Monarc Subfascial Hammock
  • Perigee
  • SPARC Self-Fixating Sling System
  • Straight-In

Boston Scientific

  • Advantage Fit System
  • Advantage Sling System
  • Arise
  • Lynx Suprapubic Mid-Urethral Sling System
  • Obtryx Curved Single
  • Obtryx Mesh Sling
  • Pinnacle Pelvic Floor Repair Kit
  • Pinnacle Pelvic Floor Repair Kit II
  • Polyform Synthetic Mesh
  • Prefyx Mid U Mesh Sling System
  • Prefyx PPS System
  • Solyx SIS System
  • Uphold Vaginal Support System

Covidian

  • Duo
  • IVS Tunneler Intra-Vaginal Sling
  • IVS Tunneler Placement Device
  • Parietene Polypropylene Mesh
  • Surgipro Polyproylene Surgical Mesh

C.R. Bard

  • Align
  • Avaulta BioSynthetic Support System
  • Avaulta Plus BioSynthetic Support System
  • Avaulta Solo Support System
  • Avaulta Solo Synthetic Support System
  • CollaMend Implant
  • Faslata Allograft
  • Pelvicol Tissue
  • Pelvilace
  • PelviSoft Biomesh
  • Pelvitex Polypropylene Mesh
  • Ugytex
  • Ugytex Dual Knit Mesh
  • Uretex
  • Uretex TO
  • Uretex TOO2
  • Uretex TOO3

Coloplast (out of business)

  • Minitape
  • Omnisure
  • Smartmesh
  • Restorelle
  • T-Sling-Universal Polypropylene Sling System
  • Aris-Transobturator Sling System
  • Supris-Suprapubic Sling System

Cook Medical System (out of business)

  • Surgiss Biodesign Tension-Free Urethral Sling
  • Surgiss Biodesign Anterior Pelvic Floor Graft
  • Surgiss Biodesign Posterior Pelvic Floor Graft
  • Cook Urological Stratasis Tension-Free Urethral Sling.

Ethicon Division (Johnson & Johnson)

  • Prosima
  • Gynemesh PS
  • Prolene Polypropylene Mesh Patch Secur
  • Prolift
  • Prolift+M
  • Prosima
  • TVT
  • TVT Abbrevo
  • TVT Exact
  • TVT Obturator (TVT-0)
  • TVT Retropubic System
  • TVT Secur

Mentor Corporation

  • Obtape (recalled – was implanted between 2003 and 2006)

Other companies:

  • Caldera
  • Sofradim
  • Neomedic Sling

______________________________________________________

Early device, Perigee, with insertion tools. Note frayed ends of mesh.

  • 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.twitter-iconfacebook-icon

It’s the Polypropylene, Margaret. Not Fit For Humans

“For the want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For the want of a horse the rider was lost,
For the want of a rider the battle was lost,
For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail.” Benjamin Franklin

Polypropylene has been found to be responsible for more deaths than just mesh patients as a recent examination of MAUDE reports to the FDA reveals. Meanwhile the plastic surgical mesh continues to be sold to patients.

The FDA’s recent announcement that it would reclassify only one application for pelvic mesh is a disaster for anyone wanting to do no harm because in its statement the agency promoted the use of synthetic surgical mesh for other pelvic applications. The only way to protect women from harm and avoid severe and devastating complications is to pressure the FDA to take all synthetic surgical mesh off the market—for good. A failure rate of forty percent (between 37.8 and 44.2%) and an erosion rate of 41.5% percent (see Figure 1. Lee, SY) represents an unacceptable iatrogenic mass casualty no matter how you toss the dice. It’s not the application (vaginal vs abdominal) or the surgical technique that’s harming many thousands of patients, it’s the material itself: the polypropylene.

Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 8.44.26 AM

Polypropylene begins its life as crude oil, like any plastic product. Polypropylene is made up of a combination of ingredients combined to produce a product that will resist temperature change and keep its tensile strength when shaped into strands. Microscopically, polypropylene is a polymer—a large molecule composed of many repeating subunits. When polypropylene is stretched into a fiber, its strength is dependent on the quality of ingredients, the width of the strand, and the shape the strand.

438px-Polypropylene_tacticity.svg

Polypropylene Chain

Polypropylene is a favorite child of plastics scientists for containers, automobile parts, rugs, and countless other applications often illustrated on this blog. Patients are told the device is inert, completely safe, does not react with the body yet, it is the same material that is used to make thousands of household 81YYBL4yzwL._SY355_products, like scouring pads. Imagine taking Scotch-Brite Scrub pad and stuffing it into your most private spot.

Polypropylene reactions: Although marketers call mesh inert, when polypropylene materials come in contact with human tissue, both sides of the interchange suffer in very dramatic ways. Plastic mesh reacts, degrades, shrinks, curls, rolls, or migrates in a woman’s body. The human host is vulnerable to allergic reactions, foreign body responses, organ injury and migration of the material. If a patient reacts badly, she is in an alarming predicament: it is nearly impossible to take pelvic mesh out.

Allergic reactions to polypropylene are said to be rare and it is nearly impossible to predict who will react. Allergists disagree on what testing method to use to diagnose an allergy to polypropylene. Foreign body responses are much more common. A few pathologists took a look at hernia mesh and all of the samples they examined demonstrated rejection responses.

POLY IS FOR COAXIAL CABLESAlthough allergists believe that polypropylene carried a low allergic response, they say the longer it is left in the body, the more likely a reaction will occur. The skin is said to spit out a suture sometimes but it is nearly impossible for a body to spit out pelvic mesh.

The same material used in transvaginal mesh was once declared unfit for the human body. In 2013, lawyers uncovered emails showing that CRBard, tried to deny the company knew it was unfit until prosecution lawyers forced them to divulge secret company emails. On Thursday this week, Mostlyn Law filed an injunction against Boston Scientific alleging the corporation smuggled a resin which it added to pelvic mesh products between 2011 and 2012.

•∞•

Recently, I looked at who died from mesh and tripped onto a little known fact–one polypropylene suture, Prolene, was involved in one tenth of the deaths from Ethicon Corporation products—a quarter of all suture-related deaths reported to MedWatch. Over the past decade, Prolene failures were found in 39 of 417 Ethicon product deaths yet the FDA never warned the public about the suture and there is no evidence that the agency is even aware of the problem. MAUDE event descriptions characterized failures leading to deaths from breaks in the suture or knots which unraveled. Reading the stories, I could only imagine the surgeon’s umbrage. After many hours of high-risk surgery where he carefully applied his many years of training and masterful skills to save his patient’s life, he lost his patient—through no fault of his own. A piece of polypropylene suture broke or failed. “All for the want of a nail.”

Prolene maude deaths

Until polypropylene is removed from all medical devices, sadly, women and men will continue to suffer and die.

•∞•

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.




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.

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.

“I’m (Still) Incontinent” – Mesh Surgery Failures

Doctors are saying that the nearly 100,000 mesh trouble lawsuits don’t mean the mesh is bad–it’s just that lawyers are greedy and “everybody is out for a buck,” and you need to believe them that synthetic surgical mesh is the gold standard. Women report that, as well as causing new mesh troubles, more than one in three mesh surgeries fails to cure incontinence. Knowing that, a woman might not want to have plastic mesh implant surgery.

Mesh is for Butterflies

“I had bladder sling surgery about a month ago and am actually having worse incontinence than I had before the surgery. I was diagnosed with stress incontinence before the surgery and had to wear a pad for leakage when I coughed or sneezed. Now I am wearing adult diapers because when I move from a sitting to a standing position,  all of the urine leaks out.”

“I had a hysterectomy and bladder sling surgery for a prolapse… I never leaked before having the surgery. Now I void every few minutes and leak constantly. The surgery was done robotically. If I knew this was going to happen I never would have had my bladder done.”

“All I can do is stand there with my bladder as tight as I can while I wet myself like a 2-year-old.”

“We found the solution by going to a urologist at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ. I found that going to a clinic/Doctor that actually works in a team environment … was the answer. After the second surgery I am now at least back to where I was before all of this started. I do wear a diaper at night but during the day just a pantyliner. Try a different doctor and see what their assessment for your situation is.” (reference)

Numbers: I know statistics are boring but bear with me here for just a bit. 565 women where asked if they were continent a year after they had slings put in, “How satisfied or dissatisfied are you with the result of bladder surgery related to urine leakage?”  their answers were from 55.8 to 62.2 percent “yes.”  That means or 37.8% to 44.2%  said “no.” In this study, only 15 women “required” new surgery although approximately 231 women were still leaking. That just doesn’t seem like success to me. But then, I imagine the researchers were not crossing their legs tightly, avoiding standing up, changing poise very two hours, or trying to hide their Depends under bulky clothing as they questioned those women.
Here, I created a pie chart if you hate reading numbers in a paragraph as much as I do:

: graph
If we look at the same study more carefully, it calls into question whether urodynamic testing is a good measure of incontinence. When the machines were used to measure stress urinary incontinence, between 77.7 and 80.8 percent of women were fine yet when they themselves were asked, many more women said they were not. Here is another pie chart. If surgeons rely on the higher number for a “success” rate, more slings get sold. What the women actually experienced may be a better number to help guide you in making your decision about whether a mesh sling is worth the trouble.

Uro vs women

Handling incontinence is an major problem for anyone who would rather stay home than walk around smelling like a latrine. If your incontinence is so bad that changing position makes you gush, you’ll be paying close attention to how long it takes a drink of water or a cup of tea to make its way through your system and lowering your intake before going out in public. You’ll be taking baby wipes or cleaning cloths everywhere you go (in your over-sized purse), limiting your time out and avoiding social events. Be careful if you are drinking less because of the leaking because when your urine gets more concentrated, you are more vulnerable to urinary tract infections and your urine smells stronger.

Some women have had success with an injection of collagen for incontinence after sling surgery. Some end up with repeat surgeries—some even say they have three slings inside them. Before you have another surgery, think about finding another surgeon who may be more skilled in handling your problem and who does not implant mesh. While very few in number, there are surgeons who make repairs without using plastic surgical mesh and this blog will be publishing the names soon.

If you’d like to compare incontinence products, try this site.

In the study above, there were many complications found, especially nerve pain going down one leg and an inability to urinate normally. Next time on meshtroubles.com, we’ll take a look at the opposite problem, urinary retention and soon we’ll look at neurological mesh problems. Stay tuned.

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.

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.





The Surgeon Cut My Bladder! Mesh Injury

In order to understand bladder injuries, it is important to understand why pelvic mesh is a defective idea for a defective device in the first place.The device so dangerous that thousands of women have sued the manufacturers, many winning millions of dollars. Many have had their lives substantially changed for the worse, losing health, jobs, marriages, etc.—yet the manufacturer continues to sell the device and the gynecologists and urologists continue to install the mesh inside the most vulnerable area of a woman’s body at a rate of 300,000 a year.
Pelvic mesh is really a plastic woven or knitted hammock that holds up sagging organs in the pelvis; the bladder, the uterus, and the large bowel or controls a leaky bladder.

In order to insert a sling, special surgical tools were invented: a trocar that looks like a giant sewing needle that was caught in the blender, or staples, screws, and large non absorbable sutures. With transobturator tapes (TOT’s), the trocars puncture through sensitive areas in the lower pelvis, grab hold of one end of the sling or tape pulling it under the bladder where it meets another trocar from the other side. The procedure is done “blind,” meaning the surgeon can’t see what he or she is doing but  “feeling” the resistance to the trocar in order to mentally identify pelvic structures it is traveling through. If he or she guesses wrong, the trocar can go right through the delicate bladder structures.
The most common complication during mesh implantation is perforation of the bladder. If this is not discovered and fixed during the original operation, it can lead to frequent urinary tract infections, pain while urinating, persistent leakage, hematuria (blood in the urine), chronic pain and voiding difficulties and cause the development of a hole between the vagina and the bladder known as a vesicovaginal fistula.
Sometimes normal movement after surgery turns the “hammock” into a hacksaw cutting its way into the bladder. This process eventually perforates the bladder and is know as erosion.
Diagnosing erosion should be done by a careful interview with the patient, listening to complaints of worsening pain as the bladder fills with an easing after emptying, a feeling like a razor blade is cutting them or that they are sitting on knives. Most MRI’s and CT scans cannot identify the placement of mesh. A specialized ultrasound known as a translabial ultrasound can but few radiologists know how to perform them or read them. A cystoscopic exam (a narrow tube with a camera on the end that is inserted inside the bladder) can only identify mesh after mesh enters the inside surface of the bladder but mesh can be embedded on the outside, cause great pain and yet not be seen. Most urologists seem not to know that cystoscopy cannot be used to rule out erosion by itself. Many women have been told the problem they are experiencing is not due to the mesh only to discover during removal surgery that the mesh had become embedded inside their bladders, vaginas, blood vessels, muscles or rectum.

Interestingly, women complain that their pain is worse on one side or the other. Studies mention the experience of the surgeon , whether he is right-handed or left-handed, or whether the patient was vulnerable to injury yet there has been no focus on the design of the instrumentation or studies that measure the subjective feelings of patients with injuries as to whether the risk for injury outweighed the problem that took them to the doctor in the first place. With studies showing wildly different estimates of the numbers of complications between ten and 75%, and many injuries that go unreported to the FDA, the real risk remains uncertain. It is clear the use of pelvic mesh has not risen to the level of “Gold Standard,” yet  patients continue to report to each other that they are hearing that  comment from their physicians.

MESH IS FOR TEA BAGS
On October 8, 2008 the FDA issued this warning about the mesh and trocars to all surgeons:

Physicians should:

  • Obtain specialized training for each mesh placement technique, and be aware of its risks.
  • Be vigilant for potential adverse events from the mesh, especially erosion and infection.
  • Watch for complications associated with the tools used in transvaginal placement, especially
  • bowel, bladder and blood vessel perforations.
  • Inform patients that implantation of surgical mesh is permanent, and that some complications
  • associated with the implanted mesh may require additional surgery that may or may not correct
  • the complication.
  • Inform patients about the potential for serious complications and their effect on quality of life,
  • including pain during sexual intercourse, scarring, and narrowing of the vaginal wall (in POP
  • repair).
  • Provide patients with a written copy of the patient labeling from the surgical mesh manufacturer, if available.

Despite the warning, patients are receiving mesh implants in unprecedented numbers and many come to support groups saying they were never warned and do not have a written copy of the patient labeling from the surgical mesh manufacturer.

The newer mini-tapes are still polypropylene based and mesh affected women continue to report higher than normal rates of foreign body reactions and autoimmune disorders. More on these topics and others soon on MeshTroubles.com

12 Pelvic Mesh Common Complications That Should Make You Think Twice

Plastics and human flesh, what could possibly go wrong? Ever since the day you had mesh implanted, you’ve had no end of troubles but your doctor says, “It’s not mesh related.”

Severe and life-threatening mesh complications are more frequent and widespread than doctors realize. Here are a dozen mesh problems that women have reported to the FDA:

    1.    Excessive Bleeding
    2.    Infections:    
            ⁃    Urinary tract infection, Kidney infection
            ⁃    Wound infections
    3.    Organ perforation
            ⁃    Bladder injury
            ⁃    Bowel Injury
            ⁃    Fistula (a hole between two organs)
    4.    Wound Opening Up After Stitches –  (also called dehiscence)
    5.    Erosion – (also called exposure, extrusion or protrusion)
    6.    Bladder problems:
            ⁃    Incontinence “I sneeze, I pee.”
            ⁃    Urinary Retention “I can’t pee right.”
    7.    Dyspareunia – pain during sexual intercourse
    8.    Intractable painPart 1 & Part 2
    9.    Vaginal scarring/shrinkage
    10.   Emotional Damage
    11.    Multiple surgeries
    12.    Neuro-muscular problems – nerve damage
              ⁃    Can’t sit down
              ⁃    Can’t walk
              ⁃    Wheelchair bound

mesh is for badminton2

Most of these complications will require additional intervention, including medical or surgical treatment and hospitalizations.

About complete/full removals vs partial removals:

I think it is crucial to let you know the best best surgeons are saying that a complete removal of pelvic mesh is the only solution.  This is not the usual or accepted intervention done by most medical centers. We will concentrate on this very soon, but know this: in January of 2011, the National Institute of Health published this statement. “Complications seemed to be more frequent in the group with complete mesh excision, although this difference was not statistically significant.” I strongly recommend you print it out and take it to your surgeon when you are discussing solutions to mesh problems. Tell him/her that complications from complete removals are not statistically different from chipping away at the problem, setting up the patient for multiple surgeries and thereby spreading toxins and infections.

Please send questions or urgent problems by email to daywriter1@gmail.com Meshtroubles.com #pelvisinflames @daywrites





8 Reasons You’ll Want to Subscribe to this Blog

MeshTroubles is a website built upon years of experience as a frontline nurse and as someone who has personal experience with pelvic mesh. Subscribe to this blog for bi-weekly updates with new and important information.

8 Reasons You’ll Want to Subscribe to this Blog

1. You want to know if your implant is causing your new troubles/problems.
2. Your surgeon suggested a bladder tape or mini-tape and says it is not the same mesh that has caused all the trouble (over 100,000 lawsuits). Is this really true?
3. You have pelvic or hernia meshMesh is for FIshing.
4. You have Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP).
5. You have Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI).
6. You had a bladder sling put in and now there’s trouble with mesh.
7. You developed Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Scleroderma, Thyroid problems since getting mesh.
8. You want some help.

1. You want to know if your implant is causing of your mesh troubles or problems.
Studies show surgical mesh has been known to cause severe complications in about 24% of patients. Polypropylene mesh is not inert but is actually designed to irritate healthy tissue and stimulate growth of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue inside the weave of the mesh. Surgical mesh is identical in composition to the screen in your window—cut down to size. Some  suffer lifelong pain immediately after the implant, and others start to have trouble much later.  It’s not a matter of if the mesh will cause trouble, it’s when. Learn more in upcoming blogs.
2. Your surgeon suggested a bladder tape or mini-tape and says it is not the same mesh that has caused all the trouble (over 100,000 lawsuits). Is that really true?
Unless your surgeon is offering to use real live tissue like your own muscle, donor’s muscle, pig muscle, etc., the surgeon is planning to put in polypropylene mesh. Polypropylene is made from crude oil which has been put through a series of chemical changes. Tape, mini, strip: they are words to hide the fact that Johnson and Johnson, Boston Scientific, Bard, etc. have not stopped using plastic mesh. It’s all the same.
3. You have pelvic or hernia mesh.
You had pelvic mesh implanted and now you are in a world of trouble. Mesh stimulates a “foreign body response” when it is implanted. The body goes into a state of continually trying to reject the mesh. Surgical mesh creates an environment in the body that plays host to rare bacteria sometimes resulting in major antibiotic resistant infections. Mesh begins to change shape once the body begins to move after implant surgery.
Hernia mesh is the same thing as pelvic mesh, just cut into a different shape. Once it is implanted, mesh begins to harden up, sometimes retracting and curling up in a ball taking your blood vessels, nerves, muscles, even healthy organs with it. You hurt but surgeon does not take your pain seriously.
4. You have Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP).
Nothing can be more distressing for woman than to find her own uterus poking out of her vagina or learning from her gynecologist that her bladder, uterus or rectum is falling down. Before you sign on the dotted line for a pelvic sling or mini-tape, learn about other alternatives. Most surgeons, not wanting to alarm you, don’t tell you that you may be about to start a life without sex or in constant unbearable pain or staying in bed most of the time, or heading into many many more surgeries. How much risk are you willing to to take if the mesh operation goes south?
5. You have Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI).
The odors, the wetness, the embarrassment is enough to kill any good day. You are an active and successful woman want a quick-fix to get back to normal life. Is a transobturator tape the right answer? Are you ready to trade in those problems in order to join the one in four women suffering from severe infection, life-long and debilitating pain, can’t even sit up straight—for the rest of your life after a pelvic sling?
6. You had a bladder sling put in and now there’s mesh trouble.
Or, you are one of those who got the sling and you woke up from your surgery knowing it was too tight right away. Your pain level topped the charts. You have had one infection after another since your implant. The mesh didn’t work. You have pins and needles, numbness or pain in your groin and radiating down your leg.
7. You developed Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Scleroderma, Thyroid problems since getting mesh.
Mesh breaks down and leaches into your body, traveling through your blood and lymphatic system and has been know to cause autoimmune disease. Subscribe to this blog for links to authenticated medical journal articles which point straight to the surgical mesh.
8. You want some help.
You feel all alone. Your doctors are telling you it is not the mesh causing you the new problems. You know something is just not right but need some help figuring it all out in a way that makes sense. It will help to find others in your shoes. The trouble is not you. It is the mesh. Welcome to MeshTroubles.com

Welcome to Mesh Troubles

Your doctor said, “It can’t be the mesh. It isn’t the mesh.” But your troubles began soon after you had mesh (bladder sling, or pelvic mesh or mini tape) implanted. You’ve been referred to pain specialists, neurologists, bowel surgeons, urologists, physical therapist, even a psychiatrist but your pain is not getting any better. That’s the trouble with mesh.

The practice of medicine has changed over my lifetime. There is no such doctor Mesh is for Butterfliesas Marcus Welby anymore. Today’s doctors are under pressure from all directions and, sometimes have forgotten that you expect them to have your best interest at heart. Inserting a pelvic sling, (TVT, TOT, etc.) is a quick procedure and a money maker for your doctor and, although the implants have been found defective and some recalled when things go terribly wrong: hobbling, crippling or even killing you, you’re told “It is not the mesh.”

Unlike Dr. Welby’s days, surgeons now get their information from salesmen, and the sale representative told your doctor the the risk from mesh implants is low. When things go wrong manufacturers, also known as “Big Pharma,” point their fingers at a defective patient or even have the temerity to blame the surgeon himself. Nobody wants to look at the truth. That was, until patients began to get together and compare notes. That’s when Mesh Troubles came to the light of day. Welcome and we hope you soon will be packing up your “troubles in your old kit bag…”