A Trip to See Dr. Raz at UCLA

Jun 30th, 2012 | By | Category: Op-Ed

June 30, 2012 ~ A woman from Texas has just returned from a trip to UCLA to have an initial consultation with Dr. Raz, the surgeon who is helping so many from around the world with mesh complications. She writes:

“Please understand I am completely aware that women out there are relying on the information I provide, but also understand that I am like you. I am racked with the physical and emotional pain from a mesh implant. My blog reaches many, many women who need understanding, help and answers. Sometimes all they need is someone to believe that their symptoms are the cause of their physical breakdown. I do believe you. I do know the hell that this product has caused in your life. I have listened and read thousands of stories, so bad that you would believe I made them up because how could they be true? How could this wonderful country allow the mutilation of women’s bodies of a product that no testing was done except on us. If you think about it, how can they test mesh bladder slings? You cannot put a sling into a rat now can you? So we are their guinea pigs. We are the women of the world who are left to suffer and be ignored. So when you read this blog, understand that mine and almost all the other mesh blogs are written by women victims of bladder sling mesh. If they or I do not answer you immediately either by email or phone call, understand it is because we too are suffering just like you and have good and bad days.

“Now to my consultation visit with Dr Raz.

“If you are like me and have to make a decision to travel to see this doctor at UCLA, you will have a few hurdles to jump first. First there is the financial side of doing this whether or not you have insurance or Medicare like me. I just became eligible this past June 1supst/sup which is why I used my acquired knowledge by women who have gone through this ordeal and chose to go to Dr Raz. To fly and cover the other expenses I sold my older car to make it happen. Not a lot of money but a way for me to make the first two trips. I could no longer drive and although it was paid for, it still cost tax and insurance and sat in my driveway getting older. So it had to go. I am telling you there because I was raised in hard times and my mother would constantly say “Where there is a will, there is a way”, so first you must find your will and then find a way to get help.”


47 Comments to “A Trip to See Dr. Raz at UCLA”

  1. Sheila smith says:

    Will dr raz just except Medicare as payment for the consult and surgery , I’m hoping ,thank you very much

    • Jane Akre says:

      There are several people who have seen Dr. Raz who were Medicare covered.

      • Diva 64 says:

        I have been passed around doctor to doctor, had ultrasounds that say I have no ovaries and no uterus, NO KIDDING, I did not need an ultrasound for that. I had surgeries. I am fully aware of my body and the surgeries I have had, I have had CT, all they want to look for is tumors, they ignore the sling all together, except to say there is metal erosion at the anterior superior ram. Yupp fells like knives sticking in me.. I have pain that feels like ovarian endometriosis pain, A doctor wrote this up as cramps, will to me this is kinda like labor pain, and it occurs more severe monthly. No I am not out of my mind. I now have gone from Nixed connective tissue disease to autoimmune disease to Lupus, I am in Kidney failure stage 3. maybe closer to 4. I have had diarrhea for since October, so what the mesh is doing to the bowel who knows I just went through endoscopic and another colonoscopy. I had a vaginal surgery in 2012 where I had squamous cell carcinoma stage 11, stage 111 effects the kidney, but the doctor said he got it all. However I have started having a lot of pain left kidney, I can not urinate I feel like something is blocking it, I only urinate if I take Lasix and I don’t have High Blood Pressure, and then I have to shift my body around sometimes 2-3 times to get an actual flow. I read where they want to settle cases at $41,000. Will that would not even pay for one surgery as our attorneys are going to get a portion of that. I have heard that they want to go one case at a time. Why is that so they can sell off their assets or that we die before a settlement. Will If I die I want a civil suit against the manufacture as will as criminal as their is no statue of limitation on murder. It is already assault. . Intentional or not. Car accidents are not intentional. Cigarette manufactures were sued. Recently someone sued and was awarded $800,000. that became addicted to opioids. And what about the doctors that blew us off, do they have no responsibility, I actually had an appointment with one doctor, waited for the appointment took her papers from the previous doctor that operated on me, she refused to even examine me saying she did not want to get involved in this. What happened to the Oath they took in Medical School , To do No Harm. I only have a few good hours a day. Since some other non related vaginal surgery in 2011 0r 2012 I have been going downhill. I thought Dr Raz might be an answer but after reading above I am not sure I live in FL, I have Medicare. No husband to support me. The last GYN to evaluate me told me I have no Vagina. That sure is nice to here, she said there is nothing there but bowel. Then wrote down that I have Post Menopausal Atrophy, that the vault is closed unable to do an exam. I am still counting on her to help me, the last time I went there there was a male Dr who was there to learn more about women’s pelvic pain, he was very insulting, I walked out. I had not driven 90 miles one way to see someone I had not made an appointment with or to be insulted. I have gotten this Dr the one I want to see my operative report from the last hospital where there was vaginal surgery performed, hoping there will be something in there that will till her more than I can, and that I will get some help and relief. Yes I have an attorney, he has had my case about 4-5 years. I don’t think the Federal Courts should allow the manufactures to linger like this , maybe if they locked them up on death row, it would speed up the process.

        • Jane Akre says:

          Agreed Diva…. please do not delay any longer, please see a mesh specialist. Dr. Christopher Walker is in Florida, the Orlando area. if the bowel is involved that can be very dangerous……

  2. Connie Gayer says:

    Hello, my name is Connie Gayer. I had the mesh put in, in 2006. I have been cramping a lot and have decided to get the mesh fully removed. I have read a lot about it and i am very nervous. back a few years ago i went back to the doctor that put it in and told her i had a hurting in my right side. I was wondering if it had anything to do with the mesh. She said that would have nothing to do with it. In the last couple of years i have gained wait in my stomach and have not been able to lose it. I feel like i am 9 months pregnant. I have gotten a lot of gas since this has been put in. My question is, has anyone else had any of these symptoms?

    • Hello Connie , My name us Maria, i am 50 years old. I had my Bladder Sling Surgery in 2007, I too have a story, but I am so tired of telling it, it seems no one understands what your going through,so true that everyone thinks it’s all in your mind and there is nothing wrong with you… Sad, so you just get tired of talking. I just wanted to say that I too have a large stomach and feel and look 9 months pregnant. While working , when I was able to, someone actually asked me if I were pregnant. While reading the posts, I came across yours and never read of anyone saying there stomach was large and looked pregnant, so I had to comment as well. There are so many articles about what this Mesh has done to so many, it would consume so much time to read them all, but I have been seriously thinking about seeing Dr Raz to get some answers, to get the TRUTH, I live in Philadelphia Pa, so yes it takes a lot of decision making, but it seems every Urologist I see is not trust worthy. I just had the MedTonic InterStim Implanted in July 2015, it worked so well in the beginning, but now it isn’t. I don’t know who to talk to, who to trust and don’t know what to do, I’m just so tired. I see that Jane posted to Audrey that there is a list of Doctors in different states, hopefully if I contact her she can give me that list as well. Thanks for listening and I hope you’re doing well. GOD BLESS

  3. Connie Gayer says:

    I am going to see Dr. Raz in july of this year.

    • dj.newbie says:

      Yes Connie, I too have so much gas and too much pelvic, back, leg and left side pain. Went completely downhill since mesh implant. I am at my witts end and so is my husband. I have been doing a lot of research on the complications due to mesh implants and if I last long enough (which sounds so mello dramatic) but that’s how I feel, I will get this mesh out of my body. I wish I could turn back time and had done my research before I had the surgeries. I am sure thousands of women feel the same way. I am in the process of trying to locate someone that has even heard of the translabial ultrasound. Last week I made a few phone calls to different radiology departments in my state and in another state and they never heard of it. Well take care and God Bless.

      • Connie Gayer says:

        I have made my trip to LA and we loved Dr. Raz. He is so passionate about his work. I am having mine removed bye him in Dec. This is who i would recommend. He has done many removals so we feel very confident. I will let you know how it goes. Good luck on yours and i hope and pray you can find a way to go see him.

    • Audrey Loera says:

      Hi Connie,
      How was your appointment with Dr. Raz? I will be seeing him in March of 2015. Was he able to help you?


      • Connie says:

        Dear Audrey,

        I had a consultation appt with Dr. Raz in June 2015 and he scheduled surgery for October. I read where you asked Connie Gaynor to let you know how her surgery went with him and how she was doing.

        Did she reply? If so, please let me know how she is and if you have had surgery and how you are doing. I am in Alabama and not very happy about having to travel to CA for the surgery but I’ve heard Dr. Raz is the best. Want this monster mesh out but am so worried I can’t sleep.

        Please reply. Thank you Connie Thompson. connietee@bellsouth.net

        • Audrey says:


          I just had my surgery done last Monday. The staff at UCLA is outstanding!
          I’m praying the surgery was successful! I should know more in a week or so hopefully.


  4. Brina Luckings-Maurice says:

    Dear Connie Gayer and Gail McDonald

    Forgive the intrusion from the other side of the pond…. but like you I have been struggling with pain and complications following surgery in 2006. I’ve had 6 operations and nobody is taking responsibility for the debilitating effect this is having on my life. I would love to hear back from you with regard to Dr Raz… I am desperate for help.

    I would welcome any feed back from women who like me continue to suffer.

    Thank you so much.


  5. annonamous says:

    Please anyone does dr. raz except medical?? I am 28 yrs old an in complete misery this has ruined my life ab i need help from a good doctor who has experince in this area of mesh.

  6. Brooklyn Godin says:

    Why would anyone want to see the physician who invented the mesh that has destroyed so many women’s lives. I was desperate and traveled from Northern California to UCLA after a urologist in San Luis Obispo told me to go to UCLA and have the physician who invented the mesh remove it. When I went in for the surgery I insisted that he be the one to perform the surgery; instead, he had an intern remove only a portion of it in the center of the urethra. It was shrinking and it was horrible. I still have the mesh on both side and having intestinal problems because the mesh is rubbing on other organs. Try going to Mayo clinic or a female doctor who really cares about women. I still plan to visit him to get more information on my surgery and the name of the mesh manufacturer. Physicians protect physicians and will not help women in who are suffering. The only alternative is to sue the mesh manufacturers. Let’s all find out the manufacturers and list them. By the way, they tested the mesh on only a few animals and then started using it on women.

  7. Brooklyn Godin says:

    Find a urologist that specializes in reconstructive urethra surgery. Do a lot of research before you select a physician, because even Dr. Raz would not remove the mesh… during the follow up after a portion of the mesh was removed, the intern told me it was very dangerous to go in and remove the entire mesh appliance. Dr. Raz is getting very old so that could be the reason why he had an intern remove it instead. Meanwhile, all of the intense pain is reoccurring, my intestines are swelling, and I have to seek out more information to have more of the mesh removed.

  8. Debbie says:

    i am coming to learn of the continuing concerns as time goes on from my surgery. i do not want to go back to have leakage. i spoke w/someone who came to this doctor, because she had an extreme case of intrusion with her mesh. i’m not happy to learn of all the complications we can have with this. what is the outcome from having it removed?

  9. Tad Palmer says:

    So who can my wife see in the Dallas, Texas area? She’s had so much pain for years and just now figuring this all out? What about a lawyer in the Dallas area? Thanks…

    • Jane Akre says:

      Hi Tad… it is not always convenient to find the correct doctor…. here are some suggestions, Dr. Phillippe Zimmern in Dallas, Dr. Shlomo Raz at UCLA, Drs Miklos and Moore in Atlanta, Dr. Veronikis i St. Louis, Dr. Christopher Walker in Orlando, are a few…. lawyers in Dallas who are working up cases include Freese and Goss, Matthews Law. They are trial lawyers who take cases before a jury.

      • Robin says:

        Have you heard anything on a Dr. Varner at UAB Hospital or Kirkland clinic in Birmingham, Alabama?
        I ran into a lady in a store and she said that she had just had her mesh or some of it removed by him a couple weeks before and was already feeling better. I have a lot of it in me and having so many problems from it. I have cramps at night when I try to lay down that run from my hips all the way to my feet. It is not from lack of potassium because I take that and do not take any kind of diuretics and etc. I also stay in excruciating pain in my lower stomach, back and private area. Also have you heard of anyone having complications when having the mesh removed? Any info I could get from anyone out there would be appreciated. I just want to get it out as soon as possible.Thanks!

  10. i have went three times to try to get help with a cronic bowel blockage and pelvic inflammation and pain with intercourse. The problem there was Dr. Kim found to be very specific after the famous ultrasound. Imagine one day right after the ultrasound she’s saying lets schedule a plan of surgery. after looking at the other test which she stated showed inlarge intestines now she realizes the radiologist refuses to add the addendum regarding what she saw. She then backpeddled and refused to offer me see if Dr. Raz could help us get the right opinion incorporated into the report. The problem is a lot of the colon rectal Dr. wont even see me unless the report spells out the problem. They also wont listen to her opinion if it is different. I am in a grievance right now. calling to get dr. Raz to call us back, I don’t know what or where to go. She was so gun ho in the beginning when seeing the ultrasound showing the inflammation. After whe realized she couldn’t get the radiologist to agree with her. I think due to liability, she said maybe she wasn’t correct. Which I saw everything she showed me. I believe she is totally right.She said, I would only have a 30 tp 40 percent chance of getting better. Its like she totally changed her story from yeh lets do it to, im not sure. She also told my primary which was down right false. That I wouldn’t see a Dr. she recommended. None of them would see me. Due to the lack of correlating radiology report.She told my primary dr. I wasn’t willing to see any of the dr.s she recommended. I am so confused and frustrated. I am trying very hard to see Dr. Raz. I feel like she may be good. I don’t even know if I can trust her after all of this back and forth. Yet I am very very sick with autoimmune besides this mass that has overgrown in this pelvic area so bad. Any help in this situation. please let me know. Sincerely, Tamera Pelren

    • Jane Akre says:

      Dr. Raz is always a very good choice, especially if it is not a hardship to wait or travel there. Otherwise there may be options.

      • right now I cant seem to get anyone to respond to me reaching out to dr. raz. I asked if Dr. Kim would have him look at everything. Every time I try to eliminate. IT feels like the slipped mesh which im talking about the rectm side. Feels like its trying to cut into my rectum. Its horribly painful. I don’t know why when I’ve emailed and called and asked to speak to his ma and him. No one seems to be bothered with trying to help me. Its very hard when your in pain. Im not very excited to have it taken out. However , if it will help me in the long run im totally willing.Anyone has access to Dr. Raz easier than this. Please let me know. Unless you can in good conscious recommend me to another Dr. as good. I called Dr. Miklos and Moore. They said I would have to get them all the reports. I just wonder if they are as experienced. I also have gastroparesis. I believe. That’s why I need at least 2 doctors. That was my biggest problem with Dr. Kim seeing more of what was wrong. Yet the radiologist didn’t want to comment on the additional colon problem. I’m praying something better will happen. Im a very sick person.

        • Jane Akre says:

          Where are you located and do you have insurance? There may be a doc in your area. thank you

          • tamerapelren says:

            I finally fiubd a dr. Outside of ucla to agree with dr. Kim I had major colon rectal problems. But she backpeddled. Went from saying I need the mesh out definitely .She say the bad inflammation to oh I cant help w the colon problems maybe I can get a colon dr.no radiologist there would revisit it.to now there not willing to let dr. Raj even look.there in alliance.he told me thru his MA sarah.We ll do whatever dr. Kim wants. I was reluctant at first.she came in telling me I have a foreign body that needed to come out.Then wen she couldnt get me support says I need nothing.Now they are farming me to a newer surgeon for another opinion.I really don’t know what to do.

      • Robin Hurst says:

        I would love to see Dr. Raz but not sure if my Insurance would cover it out of state and also would be a hardship probably to get there. But I will do what I need to do. I had it done because of Pelvic Organ Prolapse and Bladder dropped in May 2008.
        After reading all the great things about Dr. Raz, I am about to afraid to go to anyone else except him.
        I thought the excruciating pain that has gotten worse over the last couple of years or so was because of because of a lower lumbar spinal fusion surgery that I had in June 2013. But as time has went on, I can clearly tell that it is not from the back surgery, but the mesh causing the problems. Now I can feel the mesh literally jabbing and feels like it is cutting my insides out. I know my family thinks I am exaggerating, but I am not. It is not like normal pain, as the pain in my lower back, hips, vaginal, rectal, abdomen, side and thighs is so bad that my strong prescription RX does not even touch the pain. I am also very weak and am a severe anemic. I have Fibromyalgia, gastro problems, severe headaches and hurt all over all the time. My Dr. ask me last week, when did I have my gastric Bypass surgery, because my iron started getting real low in 2008 and mainly 2009 and has stayed real low since. He says that next month he will probably give me an iron transfusion to try and get my blood up some. He thinks I am losing blood somewhere and has set me up to see a gastro dr. to see if I have bleeding in my intestines or stomach. It did not hit me when he told me when my blood got so low, but that put it as being right after I had the mesh put in. I had the Bypass surgery in 2002. I have been on pain meds for 3 years now and although I am not addicted as far as taking them to get high or etc., I know that I will have to go to rehab to get off of them.
        I feel like my ovaries and uterus is killing me except for I do not have any and haven’t since 1986(uterus) and 1994(ovaries). It feels like I am in hard active labor all the time and can feel the mesh sticking and cutting my upper vaginal walls and up in my rectum. My pain meds keep me constipated which makes it worse. I am not sleeping but three hours a night and then have to get up early for work in such severe pain, because I cannot afford to lose my job and especially not lose my health insurance. I have to see my Primary Dr. every single month just to get my pain meds and nerve meds since the pain has gotten so bad. He sends me to this and that Doctor. He will not take me out of work. Also, back and forth to the stomach Doctors and back doctor. With all the Co-pays and deductibles I have to pay out each month, I have not seen a Gynecologist in probably 3 to 4 years and now. I just kept putting it off, but now I cannot put it off any longer. I live in constant excruciating pain, so I can relate to all of you ladies. I also had gastric Bypass surgery in 2002, so I do not have a lot of intestines left in me and cannot afford to lose what little I have left in there.
        I do want to commend you Jane Akre for what you doing in helping all of us who have fell victim to the mesh nightmare. You and these other ladies have certainly given me Hope at the end of the tunnel for this terrible nightmare!! Ms. Akre, Bless you and all who are trying to keep us informed on this monster called Mesh! I would not wish this on my worst enemy!

  11. debbie gore says:

    I had mesh tape implanted in 2006 for incontinency. for several years I’ve had pain all over, but doc’s just say i’m getting old and its probably arthritis. joints, muscles, etc. was getting Charlie horses entire length of leg. asked dr who put it in, why all the commercials, he states ‘you know everyone wants to sue’. that wasn’t the answer I was looking for. I am high risk for breast cancer, so I went to primary to have mammos ordered. no pelvic for last couple of years. various things going on, not engaging in sex last couple of years, started to fool around few months back, husband asks what is that? end result, the mesh was protruding, filling up the inside of my vagina. I freaked. was recommended to a local/Houston doctor. he stated he couldn’t remove but only what is protruding. would be ‘like finding a needle in a haystack’ to remove what it’s attached to. I now find out, that he couldnt’/wouldn’t. I now find that its harder to get those points out if the center has been removed. I just had this surgery last month. I told dr I feel like i’m ‘gaping’ open, he says, no reason to feel that way. i’m incontinent now worse than I was before I had the mesh. i’m on some ladies groups that i’m finding more info that I wish I’d had in the beginning. I too don’t appreciate being used as a guinnea pig in all this. i’m 62, and used to call myself a horse rider, I have horses and i’m wondering if i’ll be able to ride again. cant life anything. i’m in Houston area, so I was going to start with the dr mentioned here, that my attorney gave me the name of also, dr zimmern. hopefully that will be some solution. following your posts here

    • Jane Akre says:

      Dr. Zimmern is a good recommendation. I’ve not spoken to him but many praise his skill as a removal surgeon. Personally i do not jump on the old equals sick bandwagon….that is naive.

    • Regina Holcomb says:

      Hi….I wanted to let you know I saw Dr Zimmerman in Dallas. He is a very sweet compassionate gentleman. But I left there feeling very defeated and crying….he had requested an MRI of my bladder area but when reviewing it where the mesh is located it was all gray and he couldn’t tell anything about it. He said the only way to see it would be to do exploring surgery and he felt that should be the last resort. He wanted me to see a pelvic floor pain Dr. And see what she had to say. I wanted to say ….Do you not get it I’m At my LAST RESORT ! I haven’t been back do to no money.

      • Jane Akre says:

        No ultrasound to see mesh?

        • Debbie g says:

          Since my post I’ve followed negative experiences with dr Zimmern , if that’s who you are referring to. From my research the only options I would do is surgery with dr RAZ in California or dr margolis on MO ( I believe that’s where he is) or there also a verinitkus something like that name who people on prolapse site ladies have recommended highly. One lady pm’d me and said Zimmern really cut her girlfriend up actually did more damage. I’m only saying this as by the way he’s commenting he may very well damage more than he would want to ny exploring. I know how you fell but I would be concerned on thst route.

  12. Michelle says:

    Is there a list of physicians that remove mesh? I had an appointment with Dr. Kim at UCLA last week. When I called to schedule with Dr. Raz I was told it was a six month wait for an appointment and six months for surgery. Dr. Raz’s office told me that Dr. Kim was personally trained by Dr. Raz and brings him in on cases when needed, and Dr. Raz taught her everything he knows. She also said he isn’t doing surgery as much as he used to as he is traveling and teaching. I can’t live like this for another year, so I went with Dr. Kim. She seemed good to me, she says there will be a neurosurgeon and a colon rectal surgeon in on my mesh removal surgery because of how complicated my situation is and how much mesh I have. I’m worried though now after reading the posts above about her. I don’t know what to do.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Michelle- Where do you live? We’ve got a growing list of surgeons who recognize mesh injuries and can deal with them to varying degrees. Dr Raz is very good but the wait may not suit you. janeakre@meshnewsdesk.com

      • Hello Jane, My name is Maria. I read that you may have a list of Doctors in other states to help with the Mesh Removal other than Dr. Raz, it would be greatly appreciated if you can send me that list. I need to know if mine needs to be removed as well. I recently found a new Urologist who performed surgery using The MedTronic InterStim in July 2015, it seemed to be working well in the beginning, but now unfortunately, it’s not working as well as expected. I need a Urologist that will listen and that understands. One who will be honest in the answers to the questions I have. I live in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Hope to hear from you, Thank You In Advance. Maria

  13. I’m sorry, I just looked back and realized that a Michele asked Jane for that list..

  14. Maria says:

    Hi Jane. I just wanted to let you know I have an appointment with Dr. Christopher Walker in Orlando Florida, on December 14th. I am so hoping he can give me some answers and I can finally get some help. Thank you for your guidance, support and sharing the information. I’m glad I stumbled upon this Website. Thank you again for all your help and keep up the good work, for all of us Mesh Survivors. Hope I can tell you some good news next month.

  15. Mesh Gone Wrong says:

    I’m so appreciative to this group and comments posted. I’m scheduled to see Dr Kim at UCLA on 12/18, but after reading the comment above about her not willing to go through with a surgery, I’m concerned. I had an appointment with Dr Christooher Walker but was going to cancel after reading that he didn’t remove all the mesh. Does anyone have experience with him Dr Walker and can vouch for what he does? Also, he said that he would attempt to remove the anchors so long as it wasn’t a detriment to my health and safety. I’m confused and need guidance. Please help.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Dr. Walker and no other doctor will attempt an aggressive surgery if there is a good chance it may cause more harm. That would not be ethical and unfortunately deeply embedded mesh arms have the likelihood of causing more harm during surgery to attempt to remove them. That’s part of the reason mesh is defective…… to not be able to remove it when there is a complication shows a blatant disregard for the welfare of the patient, in my opinion. Please call Dr. Walker’s office and talk to him.

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