Open Letter to Insurers Concerning Mesh InjuriesMay 19th, 2014 | By Jane Akre | Category: Mesh Reading Room Resource
Often readers of Mesh News Desk find it impossible to have their insurance companies understand the importance of having a referral to a mesh specialist, not just your corner gynecologist who may or may not understand the crisis that is currently underway. As there is more and more awakening to mesh dangers and dcomplications, insurers too need to be brought up to speed. Here is a suggested Open Letter to insurers to help them gain some understanding of this mesh mess.
To Whom It May Concern-
I’m writing as a mesh-injured woman who is desperately trying to seek help from a doctor experienced in mesh-related injuries. This might include a urologist or urogynecologist who has experience in removing pelvic mesh that has migrated, eroded, broken apart, perforated organs, folded, frayed and perforated nerves, not to mention the systemic issues such as autoimmune disease that mesh is linked to.
There are very few of these individuals around the country, but through the mesh-injured community, we are becoming aware of these doctors.
I am seeking a referral to a doctor who has experience in removing polypropylene mesh from the pelvic region, not just the closest and most cost-effective for the insurance company. This may be a matter of life or death – mine.
As you know these mesh was implanted in me and thousands of others to hold up pelvic organs that may be falling through the vagina. Like thousands of others, it has only cause problems that can be described as life-altering. As I write this, the mesh is migrating toward my bowel, a condition that can lead to fatal sepsis (as one example, use your own).
There are currently at least 70,000 lawsuits filed against mesh manufacturers for marketing a defective product without any FDA clearance for safety and efficacy. These are not lawsuits generated by hysterical women. The injuries are real and not imagined. In many cases they are permanent.
A jury in Dallas, after listening to the evidence presented against Johnson & Johnson, the largest of the mesh manufacturers, recently determined that one mesh was defectively design. All of the problematic mesh, whether for prolapse (POP) or incontinence (SUI) is made from polypropylene, no matter what label is on the box. They are all substantially similar. They were all approved by the Food and Drug Administration as substantially equivalent to a “predicate device,” the ProteGen, which was eventually taken off the market for being defective.
I should not be in this position. I should never have had mesh implanted for a condition, not a disease. I should have received true informed consent. I did not. There are safer alternatives that have been known for decades, before mesh manufacturers began coaching doctors on this new “minimally-invasive” technique that would yield them greater profits in the shortest amount of time.
I should never have to beg for my insurer to send me to the proper professional who very well may save my life.
But that is where I find myself.
A friend recently made signs and, along with her friends, petitioned in front of the insurers hospital to receive a referral to UCLA’s urology department, considered the most expertise win the world for mesh removals. Within about 20 minutes, she received that referral. Is that what it takes?
I remain adamant that I receive a referral to the specialist of my choice based on the recommendations of others who have had successful mesh removals. Together we can work on determine the best doctor to address my problems, as soon as is reasonably possible. Because of the great number of mesh-related injuries women are sharing stories of successful explants and competent mesh removal doctors around the country.
I encourage the insurance company to gain a better understanding of the breadth of the problem because women are requiring multiple surgeries when the first doctor, the one closest to the patient who is the most cost-effective, may leave remnants of polypropylene behind. That creates a “ticking time bomb” as the long-term effects have never been studied in clinical trials. We are essentially the lab rats. As is typical, one partial removal leads to another and then another adding unnecessary cost to the insurer and a burden to my quality of life. Isn’t it preferable to get the best surgical outcome initially?
Please advise me on the next step needed. I look forward to talking further with your representatives who have direct authority over my case and have the authority to issue a referral. Time is of the essence here.
I will follow up this week with the individual who has been assigned to my case. Again, I cannot stress enough the seriousness of this situation. There are more mesh injuries coming so please begin to understand the scope of what you are about to face as an insurer of these women. To deny them the proper medical care adds insult to horrendous injuries.
I am supplying you with stories that will back up my assertions here. Please read them and become knowledgeable about this issue.
Learn More Here:
Dr. Veronikis on Mesh injuries