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St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Dr. Veronikis

dr v articleIn a front page story, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports on pelvic mesh removal doctor Dr. Dionysios Veronikis.

The headline “Women come from across world to have St. Louis doctor remove their pelvic mesh” by Michele Munz highlights the travels of two women from Australia who had mesh removal surgery with the urogynecologist.   the trip including travel ran about $30,000. The article says manufacturers take products off the market, which is true, but fails to say many are still on the market and are still used today.

The reporter says about 18 months ago women started finding Veronikis, who heads the female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, specifically Creve Coeur.  The article says the women get together after finding each other online and links to the Transvaginal Mesh Support Group, which is linked to a lawyer website http://lawsuit-vaginal-mesh.com  with no link through to the law firm website. The last posting on that group was in February so it is unlikely that this group, which is little known, is actively providing conversation to the mesh-injured.

Caz Chisholm, 45, flew from Perth Australia relying on loans, her savings and credit cards to see Dr. V.  There are no well known mesh removal surgeons in Australia that the online groups discuss.

Interestingly, Dr. V says the mesh sling, which hit the market in the late 1990’s was a “good thing” if done by experienced urogynecologists.  The reporter does not mention any manufacturers by name.  Dr. V says more mesh slings hit the market as did larger mesh kits with arms that are anchored in the body, the more mesh complications were seen.  Additionally doctors were trained in a weekend clinic and told the medical devices were safe and easy.

The article correctly states Dr. V has had a 20-year career and as trained at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is board certified in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery which is a subspecialty within obstetrics.

Dr. Neeraj Kohli, a surgeon in private practice in Boston who was the chief of urogynecology at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital  says Dr. V is at a top of a list of capable surgeons around the world who can remove pelvic mesh. “A society is sometimes judged by the way it treats its women and children,” Veronikis said, “and I think this was a dark chapter. These women’s lives are altered permanently.”

 

Learn More:

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/health/women-come-from-across-world-to-have-st-louis-doctor/article_0deb184e-007a-543c-8cd4-884620c1263d.html

Please comment so the editors know you are out there!  

Here is where to comment

http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/health/women-come-from-across-world-to-have-st-louis-doctor/article_0deb184e-007a-543c-8cd4-884620c1263d.html?mode=comments

 Mesh News Desk interviews Dr. Veronikis, December 2013

http://meshmedicaldevicenewsdesk.com/medical-news/mnd-interviews-dr-veronikis-mesh-injuries-explants/

 

8 Comments

  1. msm says:

    Visit his website. There is a link to ask questions. He not only responded to my email on a Sunday afternoon but was also very helpful and not at all condescending. He also did not jump to say I should run there to have the mesh out. He wanted the records and to carefully consider if removing the remaining mesh would likely help. I am impressed.

  2. Diane Bueler says:

    I had a mesh sling implanted 6 years ago. Within 2 months, the mesh had eroded into my vagina. Take a look at the list of adverse affects and I could put a check mark by each and every one. My gyn told me I had drawn the “short straw”, these complications just didn’t happen, and there was nothing that could be done. I lived like that for 4 years until I saw the TV ads and realized I wasn’t alone. To complicate matters, my gyn conveniently left the erosion and other adverse affects completely out of my medical records.

    I live 2 hours from STL and decided 18 months ago to search there for a urogyn who could help me. God put Dr V in my path. I initially just wanted him to take a look and offer an opinion, but he held my hands and told me the mesh MUST come out. It was infected, it would never heal and would always hurt. He thought it might take 2-3 surgeries, but he was able to remove it complete in just one. His last words to me prior to surgery were “Let’s get this mesh out of your body TODAY!”.

    When I returned for my 2 week checkup, the pronounced me healed and more surgery would only be required if I began to have bladder infections (the mesh damaged my urethra). I have only had one bladder infection in 18 months, although I do suffer with both retention and leakage issues (as he said, they do co-exist). After the exam he told me to “Go have fun! Go be a girl!”. What a moment. He will always be my hero.

    Sadly, I had mentioned Dr V on this website over a year ago and was kind of slammed because he “wasn’t Dr Raz”. This isn’t a competition between doctors. I am thrilled Dr V’s work is getting this recognition, the more publicity he gets, the more women will find their way to him and healing.

    Of course, I ditched my gyn of 20+ years who had betrayed me and began seeing a gyn recommended by Dr V himself for my annual exams. I like her a lot, she is very competent, friendly, and approachable. I should also take the change to say that the Mercy facilities are fabulous, state-of-the-art. And so well managed, you won’t sit around hours waiting here.

    My best to each of you, it is indeed a journey. Please do find your way to Dr V if you are able.

    • Dee says:

      Hi, my Mom is suffering from a vaginal mesh for 4 hrs now. She is not sure who to seek for advice in San Diego Ca. Pls reply. thanks!

      • Jane Akre says:

        Dee… the problem is there are so few experts and even fewer who an do a complete explant. Look up urogynecologists in your area. Ask them if they recognize and are seeing mesh injuries. Ask them if they use mesh.. Ask them if it is the same mesh having the problems. IF they tell you it is different mesh, run don’t walk. Answer- it is all polypropylene mesh, you should know that. Ask them “Is it polypropylene mesh?” Ask them if they know many meshes (polypropylene) has been found to be defective…. see what he/she says……~ja

  3. Tammy says:

    I had a mesh bladder sling implanted in 2008. The worst mistake of my life. I have been in tremindous pain every since. Not knowing what could be the cause of the pain at the time. In 2010 they done a full hysterectomy on me at the age of 38 because of the pain. Well guess what the pain was still there. Not until after that is when I seen the commercials on TV. That is when I realized the mesh was my problem all along. I went to Dr. after Dr. Then finally the University done a partial removal on me. I still had the horrible pain. So then I started doing research. I called Dr. Raz office in California. Wouldn’t talk with me at all. And very rude. They just told me I had to come in for a consult. Well that is kinda hard when u live 2000 miles away. So then I found Dr. V. I call his office. They were the most wonderful caring people. I think I talked with his nurse for a hour on the phone. I had also emailed Dr V. and he emailed me right back. I sent him all the records he needed and they called me and set up my consult one day and had surgery 2 days later. Since I live 6 hrs from St Louis. He told me he wasn’t sure if he could get it all out since I had the partial done but guess what HE DID. He is the most amazing surgeon I have ever seen. I am now mesh FREE as of Sept. 5 of 2014. Yes I am still in some pain but it is better then before and seems to be getting better day by day. He cannot fix everything the mesh has already damaged. I am so happy I found this DR he is the greatest.

    Best wishes to U all. Please give Dr V a chance if any way possible.

  4. tooblunt1 says:

    Dr. Veronikis did my removal and I have to say he was wonderful. He walked me through the whole thing. His bedside manner is possibly the best i have seen in a doctor. He really does care about the women he treats. He also takes Medicare and medicaid which is a big help. I had some strange questions after surgery and his staff was more than wonderful with helping me. I wouldn’t trust anyone else to do this surgery and the surgeries that i still have to have. His staff even helped me with questions I had before I was his patient. I was very scared about removal but he was very reassuring and he definitely gained my trust. I couldn’t have asked for a better doctor.

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