February 20, 2013~ When CTV News (Canadian Television) did a story last April on transvaginal mesh injuries, the number of women coming forward stunned the reporter and producer.
Avis Favaro- CTV News
So the network did a follow-up Tuesday, February 19.
Medical/Health Reporter Avis Favaro (background here) and producer Elizabeth St. Philip found more women speaking out to say they’re living in agony from transvaginal mesh implanted to treat pelvic organ prolapse or incontinence.
Many were suffering in silence thinking they were the only one.
It is the same basic four or five companies that make polypropylene mesh to treat U.S women that is also used in Canada, and just like the U.S., Canadian women are having complications.
The lack of any solution is another problem for women in both countries.
As in the U.S., the problem in Canada is that there are few doctors who know how to treat women after they’ve experience a complication.
Removal is often suggested if the mesh migrates or perforates organs, causes infections or does pudendal nerve damage, but Canadian women went public last November (see story here) saying there are few options for them and they wanted the Canadian government to pay for mesh removals at UCLA where Dr. Shlomo Raz appears to be having the most success in these difficult procedures.
The government denied the women’s request.
Saskatchewan resident Ruth Olson was one of the women speaking to her government.
She had mesh implanted in October 2011 during a hysterectomy after suffering with a leaky bladder.
Her pain began almost immediately.
“I had pain coursing through my body,” Olson told CTV News. “Burning pains through different parts of my body. It was strange, unbelievable and inexplicable.” Olson traveled to Los Angeles to have the mesh removed.
The surgery at UCLA costs about $30,000. Dr. Raz and his urology group at UCLA have reportedly removed mesh from around 500 women with a waiting list of women from around the world. CTV reports:
"However, some Canadian doctors are surprised that women are going south of the border. Dr. Jacques Corcos, a urologist at Montreal’s Jewish General Hospital and a professor of surgery at McGill University, said he and other surgeons in Canada are capable of treating patients suffering with complications from the mesh, and is “surprised” at suggestions to the contrary.
“I think each province in Canada has sufficiently well-trained physicians to do this kind of work,” Corcos told CTV."
See the rest of the story on CTV here:
And be sure to add your name to the comments below the CTV story, which the television network will see. The more the media sees this story hits a nerve (sorry for the analogy) the more they will see the wisdom in covering this important topic. [Editorial comment *ja]