Q & A Your turn ~ Ask me a Question, I’ll Post the Answers

May 29th, 2012 | By | Category: Your Turn

Hello Everyone-

I’m interested in starting an active Question and Answer section of this website.  Are you confused by the medical jargon surrounding mesh?  How about the legal issues?

People visiting this site come from all different backgrounds and have different levels of expertise and knowledge so don’t be shy.  If you have a question – I can find an answer by asking the experts in a certain area and passing that information back to the readers. I’ve been a journalist since 1979 so let’s put that background to use!

Thanks for your input.  I’ll post this on our Facebook site (here) and Facebook Page (here) as well.  Thanks for your interest in this important subject that has the potential to impact so many American families.

Jane Akre

Editor, Mesh/Medical Device News Desk

Or call and I’ll post your question and hopefully find some answers.  (904) 613-2828.

 

Stay well!!

31 Comments to “Q & A Your turn ~ Ask me a Question, I’ll Post the Answers”

  1. Meredith Robinson says:

    I’d like to know if pelvicol porcine dermal graft for a vaginal vault suspension
    is one of the meshes recalled by FDA and if it is included in the class action
    law suits.

    Thank you!!

    • Jane Akre says:

      Hi Meredith- Pelvicol porcine graft for vaginal vault suspension is not recalled to my knowledge. That is made from pig skin and may have a treated surface. It is irradiated as part of sterilization. Here is the brochure from maufacturer Bard. *Notice the misspelling of the word ‘prolapse” on page one of the brochure.. huuummmm…

  2. Kim Masters says:

    I have had a bladder sling since 2005. For the first few years I had many infections and took many antibiotics. Then for a couple of years the infections stopped. Since January of this year I have had three infections and in April I started having odd pelvic pain. I have had CT scans, ultrasounds, and a cyctoscope. I don’t really have any answers, but started Toviaz, due to OAB symptoms. The pain does subside some after emptying my bladder or bowels. I am a teacher and have been feeling better this summer but I am concerned about what will happen when I return to work in August. The more physically active I am the more pain I have. What type of test and doctor can determine if my sling is what is really causing problems?

    • Jane Akre says:

      Kim- The office at UCLA of Dr. Shlomo Raz is able to see mesh is my understanding from patients. Their number is 310-794-7700. Patients say they are very understanding .

  3. Tammy Pizzitola says:

    I had transvaginal mesh surgery Oct 2009, it failed in Nov 2011. Revision surgery March 2012. When the first mesh failed I started having intense hip pain. The revision surgery was to secure it again, not remove it. Hips were better for about a month and now the pain is worse than it ever was. Doctor not sure if the mesh is pulling in tendons or not. never had hip problems before the first surgery failed. Can’t sleep, hardly can stand up straight and sitting is almost impossible for an extended time. Will have pelvic floor/colon physical therapy (PlanA) and then back to doc (Plan B) if pain persists. Have you heard of this mesh pulling causing such intense pain? I need he pain to stop.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Tammy- With your permission I’d like to send you to a patient advocate who has had a similar experience. These are not doctors or lawyers and do not give professional advice… they only share what they went through and the avenues they took. I only pass on with your permission…I’m sorry for your pain.

    • AmyG says:

      you may want to seek an evaluation by a sports medicine doctor-they seem to understand how this mesh may interact with the associated tendons/ligaments etc and might order the appropriate imaging. Pubic Osteitis (an extremely painful inflammation of the pubic bone, affecting surrounding pelvic structures) was reported in one article I found to be “sponsored by urologists” I can’t help but think a material known to cause chronic and persistent inflammatory changes is very likely going to alter the pelvis and how it articulates with the femur.

  4. Linda Dodson says:

    Tammy,

    Please email me at lfsdodson@aol.com. In the subject, please type “Tammy – Mesh Problem.” I will be more than happy to talk to you about your mesh complications. If I can’t help you, I know several other ladies that may. Please don’t give up!

    Linda

  5. AmyG says:

    I was just diagnosed with a labral tear in the hip that will require surgery to avoid osteoarthritis and hip replacement at a later date. I can’t help but attribute my hip/groin pain on the shrinkage and tugging of the mesh in the pelvic floor. I never had problems with my hips popping or grinding until mesh was placed in 2007.

    • Tammy Pizzitola says:

      I agree. My first urologist said the gynecare prolift failed and was hanging, resulting in the constant pulling. I never had issues either and now I can barely play with my grandson and it breaks my heart.
      The second surgery supposedly reattached the mesh, I had relief for about a month and it’s even worse than before. I am going to an orthopedic to rule anything else out. Sports doc good idea

  6. Linda Rach says:

    I have had 3 surgeries. The first was for hysterectomy due to prolapse of my uterus after 2 children. The 2nd one was for a burch repair, obviously the first one didn’t work. The 3rd one was much more. When they opened me up abdominially this time, The mesh had adhered to everything. They litterly had to scrap off the mesh from my bowels, it was strangling my sigmoid colon and I had a lot of scar tissue that had to be removed. The basically pulled my intestines out cleaned them off then had to put them back. They used Marlex mesh. To this day I can’t have a good laugh without peeing myself and intercourse is painful. My last surgery was in 2007. Is there a lawsuit for this in Canada. I know that there was one in the USA. I have contacted 2 different lawyers but they only dealt with the vaginal meshes.
    Thanks for any help you can provide.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Linda- it only appears to be a matter of time before abdominal mesh implants also face scrutiny – afterall it is the same polypropylene mesh! The same mesh that is complicating hernia repairs! I’d love to do your story and get the word out about this huge discrepancy in legal representation.

      • Linda Rach says:

        Jane,
        I am sure there are a lot of women out there that are not talking about this yet. They think about it but decide their story is not worth telling. I didn’t think so at first either until a friend of mine told me to find out, so I did. No one knows what is going on inside their bodies after surgeries. You think that “ok, they fixed me so now I’m better”. That is not always true especially when they have to use foreign substances to fix you. How do you know that your body won’t reject it. I didn’t realize that I had so much scar tissue, but if you think about all the scars from cuts on the outside of your body, what is happening inside after how many surgeries and they start to heal…. The best thing you can do for yourself as a woman or anyone for that matter is to get a copy of the surgery transcription so that if you have an questions or concerns later you will have the answers. I have a copy of my first and 3rd surgery and will be asking my doctor for the 2nd surgery so I have it in my file. I can tell you my 3rd surgery is quite the read.

  7. Penny says:

    I had ruptured diverticulitis in June 2009 with part of my colon removed and placement of a colostomy. Had no complications and in August 2009 they did a reversal of the colostomy. I did really good no pain or discomfort at all, I was amazed at not being sore or anything. But about a week after the surgery I became extremely nauseated and each time I gagged it felt as if something inside me was ripping apart the pain was unbareable. I called the doctor and he said I was fine just take the nausea medicine. The next day i noticed down the middle of my stomach where the incision was looked swollen so I went to his office and he examined me…assured me I was fine but he did do a CAT scan just to shut me up I’m sure. A few days later he called and said CAT scan was normal except for the two wounds we were packing ( these were small). The next week I returned to doctor with same complaints… he had me lay on table and examined me… said all was fine. I asked him if I could stand and show him. After I stood up his comment was ” oh you do have a hernia”. So in January 2010 I had laproscopic surgery to repair. When I woke up the doctor told me it was a very large hernia and that the entire midline incision was herniated and I had a hernia at the site where the colostomy was. That surgery changed my life dramatically. After that I suffered from severe pain taking pain medicine every 4-6 hours. Unable to move without feeling like my insides were ripping apart.
    In April 2010 got married and my husband moved me and my daughter to another state since I was no longer able to care for her on my own. My 14 year old daughter had to bathe me, help me to bathroom, clean me and had to do all the things that a child shouldn’t have to do.
    After we got moved and my husband set me up with a PCP. The first visit with this doctor, he called a surgeon and sent me straight to his office. In June 2010 this surgeon did a exploratory laproscopic surgery. When I woke he said my pain was caused because my intestines being stuck to the mesh. He said he freed all the adhesions and some scar tissue. I thought this would be the end but it wasn’t…
    The pain continued so he sent me for injections into the nerves of my stomach to relieve the pain. I had went 3 times was series of shots with no relief. The doctor doing the injections said there was no reason to continue since it wasn’t helping. So I continued with the pain until I was sent to see a gastro doctor who did a scope he said all looked good at the connection site. I was then sent to yet another surgeon and in June 2011 this surgeon thought the pain was caused by the sutures holding the mesh in place. So I was sent for another surgery, he did a abdominal wall exploration. When I woke up, I was told he found sutures entangled in nerves and one that was constricting a muscle. So I was happy, I thought I was going to get better.
    After the soreness from surgery went away I was still in the same pain. I gave up and figured this was how I was going to be.
    Then my daughter came home from school one day and told me about her friend’s mother who had problems with diverticulitis and had nothing but good things to say about her surgeon. And most of all she was living a normal life where I was still dependent on others for almost everything. So I made an appt with this doctor in September 2012. He really impressed me because he spent time to go through the hundreds of pages of medical records I had brought with me. Each time he read a surgical report he would ask me “why didn’t this doctor remove the mesh”
    My answer was always ” I have no idea”
    Next he impressed me by having me stand to check for hernia… instead of laying down like all the other doctor. I just remember having that large hernia and it couldn’t be felt with me laying down. His opinion was that thee was a problem with the mesh and he wanted to remove it. So 3 weeks ago I had surgery to remove the mesh ( oh and gallbladder since I had problems with gallstones). His findings were of course the gallbladder, intestines stuck to mesh (again) and the mesh showed chronic inflammation. He removed the mesh and all the sutures and tacks holding it in place. He then repaired all the hernias ( I now had one on the lower right side of stomach). The repair was done using Strattice ( pigskin) mesh and absorbable sutures. I am extremely sore but he said I would be for a while with all that was done. I am just hoping for a life after recovery.
    The first mesh was Proceed… is this one of the recalled meshes and where do I go from here…

  8. Jenny Bodenstaff says:

    Hi Jane,

    I have had a vaginal mesh implant which has caused me a lot a pain. I was wondering if you could give me the name of the law firm involved with Julie Davis class action.

    Thanking you.

    Jenny

  9. Penny says:

    The link for legal support says page not found

  10. Bev says:

    I was admitted via emergency Jan. 2010 due to a ERCP scope that punctured my pancrease and I was sent home for 2 weeks – then I became septic. I went into cardiac arrest; spent 6 weeks ICU where my abdomen was opened and drained of 4 ltres of septic. I was in a coma for 6 weeks then 3 months in hospital; tracheotomy installed, lost my ability to walk, write, etc. I came home April of 2010 with rehab and daily community care. Due to my weak abdomen (so many surgeries to save me) I incurred a massive abdomanl hernia – required 36 sutures, mesh implanted and vac pac therapy. Again, Feb. 2012, I incurred another hernia on my right side due to the already existing mesh being stretched inside me The Feb. 2012 hernia mesh was infected 2 days after inplant. It is 9 months now, I am living with an infected hernia mesh; draing massively and dressing changes 4 daily and pain level is 100% 24/7. I have bladder/bowel problems and feel like millions of knives are cutting through my side/abdomen. My surgeon said ‘I am not a candidate for mesh removal surgery as my abdomen would collapse as it has incurred major trauma and scar tissue makes up most of my abdomen’. Do I have live with this pain forever or is there a way this mesh can be safely removed. I truly feel it may be twisted or stuck inside as I have debilliating pain. Is there any intravenous antibiotic that would help?

  11. Really you deserve a round of applause for this highly knowledgeable post in this segment of medical transcription. Thank you for such an informative post.

  12. Ruth says:

    Had a tot mid urethral sling (monarc) done in 2011. This is my second sling. Have had so many problems. But right now my main guestion is, after experiencing hematuria and vag irratation and some voiding discomfort, I decided one day to explore my vaginal area. I inserted my finger into my vagina and felt something that felt sharp and protruding. When I removed my finger there was bright red blood on my finger. Should I be able to feel this in my vagina? Is this what it is that is cuasing my husband his discomfort? He says it feels like sandpaper against his penis.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Ruth it sounds like erosion but any decent doctor should be able to tell you that…. Have you found one? Where are you located?

      • Ruth says:

        Betty, Thank you so much for your reply. I live in NC. I just had a urodynamics test done and will be goning to the dr for results on Oct 2. He is a urologist and is an associate of the dr that did the second sling. He has already commented on the fact that I should not be concerned about the hematuria. I sometimes get it so bad that it is gross hematuria. Also their office called before my appt to tell me that he was not going to be available to see me when I come in so I will be seeing a PA. This rather upsets me. I thought he should do a cystoscope. Wont that show wether there is an erosion? Or can a physical exam give them a clue? I am so confused. I feel like this dr is just passing me off.

        • Ruth says:

          Jane, I am so sorry….I read the wrong name. Please forgive me.

          Sincerely

          • Ruth says:

            Correction: this dr is an associate of the dr who did the “first” sling. They are all from the same practice. Concerning my hematuria, my primary seemed very concerned and she was the one that suggest urology follow-up.

  13. Ruth says:

    As for the first sling that was done in 2006. About 2 yrs after it was done I started post menopausal bleeding, hematuria kidney stones, vag irration and could not have intercourse with my husband because it was too painful. After many test and many dr.’s, I finally found a dr that eas treating me for my kidney stones and getting prepared for a cystoscope he did a vag exam and felt something sharp and proclaimed that he thought he might have foun my souce of bleeding. Upon further exams he confirmed his suppissions and set me up for an excission of the mesh. Well I have since learned that it is probable doubtful that he removed all of it, the anchors and all the mesh. He did tell my husband that he did not get it all and that I would probably suffer from sui again. He was right. Shortly thereafter, we moved to NC from MA, and I found another dr to help me. He told me that the tot was less invasive and I would most likely not have the same problems. I also told him I was still having some irratation from the previous sling and could he please remove any that he found. Upon waking, he told me there was no previous sling material left behind and gave me the all clear. I am now starting to feel abd pain, some groin and hip pain along with voiding disfunction. After all that I have read about, I am really frightened most about what was left behind. Just because he didn’t see it during the surgery, does that mean it is all clear or does a translabial us absolutely need to be done?

    Thank you so much for listening

    • Betty says:

      Hi Ruth,

      I’m sorry to tell you that the two slings you have had are made out of the same material – polypropylene. It is a byproduct of petroleum. When you had erosion with the first one, he should never have tried another one. You need to get these all out. Since you’ve had the first one cut into, it will be more difficult to remove. I highly recommend you go see Dr. Raz from UCLA. I know it’s a difficult thing to do. I have seen him 4 times already and live on the East Coast. The plane flights alone are enough to do you in. He does more than a translabial ultrasound for testing, but the translabial ultrasound does show much of the mesh. Sometimes it doesn’t show if there is too much scar tissue around it. But he is so good he can tell right away if there is mesh. I just do NOT understand Dr.’s who put one sling in on top of another. This complicates the issues. Leakage comes secondary to life altering products that are made to be permanent. I highly doubt your first Dr. removed it all and I agree that just because the 2nd Dr. didn’t see it – he wasn’t searching for it, he was installing another mesh (It is a blind procedure and they can’t see where they are going).. If he had spent time searching for previous mesh you’d be in no shape to have additional surgery. Mesh removal is brutal. I am so sorry you’re going through this – that we all are. I am not a Dr. and this is an opinion only. Blessings and I hope you get answers soon.

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