She is a woman who was implanted with transvaginal mesh years ago. Today she is suffering the consequences, including pelvic pain, chronic infections, as well as some autoimmune complications that mysteriously cropped up after she had the implant.
Kathleen has talked to countless doctors about her mesh removal and feels that her experience has helped her become well-versed in the questions that any woman should ask before considering the removal of her pelvic mesh.
First, are you having complications? Unlike what Kathleen is currently going through, many women do not experience complications of pain, chronic infection and mesh erosion, at least not initially. Experienced mesh removal doctors say complications may take years to emerge. According to Dr. Shlomo Raz of UCLA, a leading mesh removal doctor, he is seeing complications up to a decade after an implant.
Some percentage of women have complications initially, but that number is unknown because no one is tracking the big picture. Because the pelvic region is rich with blood vessels, nerves, ligaments and because a mesh implant is a permanent, blind procedure, it is fraught with potential problems.
A surgical nick to the bladder is not uncommon and will eventually heal, but an injury to the colon during the placement of a mesh in the posterior pelvis may not heal. Sepsis is a very real possibility and a serious problem. Sepsis is a very severe and fast moving bacterial infection of the blood that originates from fecal matter. There are also the nerves, which may become impinged by a mesh placement or become encapsulated by scar tissue.
So what should you ask your physician to get the most complete removal in one surgery?
First, make sure he or she is one of the few experts at removing mesh.
Kathleen suggests you sharpen your interview skills and she suggests you bring along a friend. She did. The friend was a woman who had already undergone a removal and a reconstruction of her pelvic floor.
These are suggested questions. Find the words that work best for you but it truly is NOT a time to be shy.
Mesh News Desk, June 5, 2018, Transvaginal and Hernia Mesh Still Used Today - What Should you Ask?