Better Understanding the Female Body with Dr. Una Lee Offers Help to Pelvic Prolapse Patients

//Better Understanding the Female Body with Dr. Una Lee Offers Help to Pelvic Prolapse Patients

Better Understanding the Female Body with Dr. Una Lee Offers Help to Pelvic Prolapse Patients

New Day segment King-TV, Seattle July 22, 2015

New Day segment King-TV, Seattle July 22, 2015

 MND, August 25, 2015 ~ King 5-TV in Seattle did a health segment in July on pelvic floor problems including prolapse and incontinence.  Featured was Dr. Una Lee of Virginia Mason Hospital, a urologist who trained under Dr. Shlomo Raz at UCLA.

“Better Understanding the Female Body with Dr. Lee”  was sponsored by Virginia Mason Hospital.

See it here:

Dr. Lee says she sees many patients who are uncomfortable about their pelvic area. She wrote a blog, “Five Things Worth Knowing About the Vagina,” to help educate day info

Childbirth injury and aging can cause the pelvic organs to prolapse.

dr lee twoThe patient featured in this segment, Amy Cunningham, noticed discomfort when she stood. She was experiencing prolapse and had no idea what was going on. In her case, she tried a pessary and kegel exercises.  Dr. Lee performed a vaginal hysterectomy and repair of the prolapse using fascia. She tells the segment host, Margaret Larson, she believes in starting conservatively.

Dr Lee believes in the judicious use of synthetic mesh and uses it in rare circumstances. Instead, she prefers alternative therapies such as native tissue repair.image

Virginia Mason does research in the area of pelvic floor disorders. For example, Cook Medical is working on a clinical trial currently using a patient’s own cells removed from the thigh to grow cells to regenerate the urethra part of natural regenerative therapy.  There are 20 sites in the country and Dr. Lee is part of this trial.  Dr. Lee is a member of SUFU, AUGS.

Patient Amy Cunningham says she “feels great,” and can play tennis and hike. Her recovery took 3 or 4 months to return to herself.  #



Dr. Una Lee, Virginia Mason Hospital, Seattle

Dr. Lee on Facebook

Dr. Lee- Five Things Worth Knowing About the Vagina


By | 2015-08-25T16:18:49+00:00 August 25th, 2015|Media Reports|22 Comments

About the Author:

I’m National News Editor, Jane Akre and I began Mesh Medical Device News Desk aka Mesh News Desk (MND) in the summer of 2011 just after the Food and Drug Administration issued an explicit warning to the public that complications associated with surgical mesh used for prolapse repair (POP) and incontinence (SUI) are NOT rare! That was the starting point for the litigation you see today and thousands of lawsuits have been filed by women whose lives have been altered, some permanently, by the use of this petroleum-based product.


  1. Mary Pat August 25, 2015 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    I can tell you, firsthand, that Dr. Una Lee is a kind and compassionate doctor. She is honest and caring. She is precious and rare amongst physicians.

    Jane, thank you for sharing this article!

    • Jane Akre August 25, 2015 at 10:27 pm - Reply

      You are so welcome. I will try and interview her soon! She is a real find I believe. Yeah!!

    • Rhonda September 6, 2015 at 3:23 pm - Reply

      Hello, I just wanted to add that I went to see Dr. Una Lee in August and am scheduled to have surgery for my explant on Friday 9/11. She definitely is a very compassionate doctor. My mesh has eroded into my urethra and Dr. Lee will be removing the mesh and then reconstructing part of my urethra.

      • Karen February 15, 2016 at 4:30 pm - Reply


        My name is Karen. I am wondering if anyone has had their sling removed and if so what you the post operative issue they have experienced after surgery? Two month after surgery? A year after? I would really love to talk to someone who has had their mesh or sling removed. It can’t be any worse than having the sling in place in my body. So sad and uncomfortable!



        • Rhonda February 16, 2016 at 12:55 am - Reply

          Hello Karen, Dr. Una Lee removed the sling from my urethra on September 11th 2015. The first month was rough because I had to come home with a catheter to allow my urethra to heal after the reconstruction. The catheter was really the worst part for me, I really didn’t have much pain in my vaginal are that I noticed because it was just the bladder spasms after the surgery that were painful and bothersome but I didn’t need to take any pain medicine so obviously it wasn’t too bad. After the catheter was removed I had a lot of incontinence and I’ve had to wear incontinence pads since the surgery. Intercourse is still painful and will probably always be somewhat painful but I am still able to have intercourse, unlike so many others so I am grateful. Also most of the symptoms I was having from my immune system going crazy for the mesh went away as well. Good luck to you, be sure to find someone that specializes in “mesh” removal and if you haven’t already joined the Facebook support group Fighters and Survivors of All Transvaginal Mesh and Hernia Mesh/Plugs, this website was a God send for me. You will meet very supportive people with a lot of great suggestions.

  2. tammy August 25, 2015 at 9:43 pm - Reply

    Im homeless now i have lost every thing i cannot aford the doctrs thay say they care this sad an insane to say the least its been 6 years i have been goimg threw this hell o just want it to stop please help me lord stop this madmess the lie are driving crazy its not fare what om having to go threw an no one gives a damn so why dont you just stop this so sad

  3. tammy August 25, 2015 at 11:31 pm - Reply

    None of the good doctors are going to see a poor person thats a fact so sick of this but just keep doing what you do at least i can look at the ones who can get help the poor ones that got butcherd will just have to live with it

    • Advocate August 26, 2015 at 5:16 pm - Reply


      There are financial options to help you see the doctors who are helping the mesh injured. Your responsibility is to speak with your attorney firm and insist they comply with your wishes to be seen for treatment. Many attorney firms have hesitated to refer their clients for treatment, because of the unknown in settlement awards. By that I mean, they didn’t want your medical expenses to be grater than the settlement would be.

      Now, we all understand that recommended medical procedures are accounted for in the settlement amounts. This is why we see “number of surgeries” as a type of financial guide to case settlement offers. Jane has pointed out the flaw in this method and it appears you may be in that web, when women such as yourself, need care yet lack the financial means of obtaining it from qualified doctors. You are not less injured than those with surgery revisions, you are less fortunate in financial abilities.

      It is important for all injured women to know, there are a few dozen doctors across the country, who possess the skills and experience of the doctors that have been mentioned in many of Jane’s articles. Your challenge in seeing any of these doctors will be two fold. First, they may not be in your immediate area and therein require some travel, by land or air. Secondly, the costs of the revision or revisions, will take up a large part of the offers currently out there. That means you must decide if the treatment now, is more important to you than money later. The settlement offers being discussed right now, will not provide for both.

      I hope you will reach out to your attorney and ask them to help you. If they are unaware of any of the non “loan” services that help with medical bills, get a list from Jane and supply them with that information. None of this is easy and perhaps you’ll have to do a little bit of the work, but that would be a small price for gaining some physical relief of your suffering.

      I pray for you and a chance to find some relief from your suffering.

      • Bejah B August 30, 2015 at 3:08 pm - Reply

        I just remembered something also that may help. Are we all aware of Angel Flight West and Angel Flight East? As I understand it, because I inquired for myself several months ago, there are owners of private aircraft that participate in a volunteer program where they volunteer to transport qualified individuals from where they are living to a medical facility and or physican a considerable distance away at no charge to the person being transported. One needs to demonstrate need but it is not a complex or demanding process. I expect that one could lay down if needed to minimize what I will call “BumPain”. This may present an important option to those of us who have no where else to turn, who may, for example, have identified a doctor who is willing to do a consult and perhaps a surgery (Even in the same visit) working within the financial ability of the patient to pay. It is an antedote to hopelessness that may be important to consider. Continuing with this idea, I wonder if we could negotiate with airlines that are repositioning aircraft to fly individuals that demonstrate need, to other cities for medical care. Our situations are uniquely qualified for such consideration because there is still only a small number of surgeons that are qualified to remove (ALL) the mesh and relieve our symptoms. Just a thought. We would need to present as an organization like “The National Organization of Mesh Injured Women” or some such thing, for example. Food for thought?


        PS Personally, I love trains. It takes longer but is cheaper than the greyhound bus and more comfortable, you can walk around for a change and there is food and drink on board or you can bring your own. A cabin is more expensive but includes meals which are quite good, and you can just stay in bed if you need to. There are attendants assigned to every cabin to attend to your needs. I like to pretend I am a mystery woman travelling on the Orient Express!

    • kitty August 29, 2015 at 8:11 am - Reply

      Dear Tommy. I just learned from a post from Bejah that u are thr “Tammy” that representsted all of us this past year in WV. Thank you so much. HAVE THE OTHERS KEPT IN TOUCH WITH U? You need to get help. You are depressed after this terrible let down. PLEASE Girl—-. YOU GAVE US SO MUCH HOPE AND HERE WE ARE– WITH PLASTIC Traps–spasms in The front —spasms in the back– stuck in middle with u –with no place to go. GO TO ER NOW.

  4. MarieAnn August 27, 2015 at 10:35 am - Reply

    I find it so unsettling that women are not informed at a young age on what POP is and how it can be PREVENTED! I believe it is because it is a women’s issue, it isn’t deemed as important ? During childbirth, When we are doing our best to push our babies out, could there be measures to help protect the pelvic floor? I do believe with the “push” for natural childbirth there seems to be more and more of us suffering from pelvic trauma. My mother woke up and had babies, she had four children, never had to have a hysterectomy, wasn’t incontinent… I have read that coached pushing that is done in delivery rooms now, could be contributing to the tearing of pelvic ligaments, muscles, etc. I read one article that said the laboring woman is to LET the urterine contractions Push the baby out, the woman is to only push to deliver the head. Prolonged pushing destroys the pelvic floor. The major effects do not present until the woman is older, but some women after just birthing one child have incontinence….

    I am so sorry for all the women so damaged by TVM. I know your pain….unfortunately, most of the time it is not reversible. So tragic.

    • Bejah B August 30, 2015 at 2:44 pm - Reply

      MarieAnn, Very good points! I am in an emotional funk today so I will guess that men can always get a new younger, healthier wife and have more offspring so generally a high value is not placed on us. We are not thought of as sacred or valuable thus the thoughtless implants and the position of many physicans, judges, manufacturers, and main stream media regarding our well being or the abuse and unrelenting torment we must endure. We should remind them all who carries the culture in the world’s nations. We should remind them that there was a time when women were greatly valued, respected and were lawgivers and peacekeepers and tended to the economic wellbeing of their kingdoms in deep antiquity. The saddest thing is that in ou time many women do not even value themselves.


  5. Bejah B August 27, 2015 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    Thank you Jane and Mary Pat, This piece is so hopeful. This is the direction we need to move in on this matter. We need to shine a light on the good doctors.

    It is so much more tempting to rage against the bad ones and the midguided ones and those that have given in to temptation and those who are fearful. Fearing that your own patients will strike out against you when you have done nothing wrong is a sign that you are losing your grip on reason, on your oath, on your personal honor. I am willing to bet that very few of us have ever sued a doctor before this matter.

    I should have sued the medical center that did this to me, but I did not. Primarily that was because my attorney, until this year, told me not too, that it would interfere with their filing against the manufacturer. This year they told me I could file against the medical center and surgeon but it was too late. The statute expired in 2014. Was I misled or did they relent because surgeons were finally being sued and may I add it is almost always appropriate to do so.

    I think my surgeon was pushing this mesh and probably got some kind of bonus, perhaps she was even pressured by her department head. I know they had close ties to the manufacturer.

    Why I continue to wonder, did my attorney tell me “no” until it was too late. We do not want to sue doctors but there are times when it is appropriate. If we had a physician like Dr. Lee we would never have had to. It almost seems like doctors fear litigation but find it perfectly acceptable in many cases to not treat us well. What is the effect on care when there is no trust between doctor and patient?

    For me this piece is very poignant. I was born at Virginia Mason hospital. My mother was born there. And the hospital is evidently deeply involved now in these women’s issues that are so central to our being. It somehow makes me sad and I am not sure why. But I am thankful for every bit of hopeful news. You learn to be thankful for every little thing that still works in your life.

    Tammy girl, I am really worried about you. You seem to be in a downward spiral. You must pull yourself out of it. Make a list of your bliessings, you may not have many now but things are constantly changing and you are capable of saving yourself. A lot of people are homeless. When I had to sell my house as a short sale because of mortgage fraud I thought I would have to live under a freeway in a refrigerator box and I actually fanticized about getting really nice refrigerator boxes and connecting them together so I would have a little house. I imagined dining al fresco using my BBQ and watching the stars every night around a fire with other homeless folks. A lot of nice people are homeless these days and I have a feeling that more difficult days lie ahead for the nation’s economy and the world economy. I feel like something is coming, a great storm or something.

    People do care about you. Most people are very caring. You need to reach out for help from social services, etc. You can rescue yourself. You know this community cares about you. Remember how positive you were when you paricipated in the protest? What happened to that woman, so full of fire and life. This blind raging is not what you need and it is not what we need to hear from you. Please take good care of yourself. You sound like you are self destructing. We all need to take this a day at a time, not knowing what the future holds or even what tomorrow will bring. We need for you to be strong because then we know we can be also.


    • Jane Akre August 28, 2015 at 2:17 pm - Reply

      Bejah, you are so prolific.

      • Bejah B August 30, 2015 at 2:31 pm - Reply

        Dear Jane, It has always been a blessing and a curse. The good news is I promise not to share any of my poetry! 🙂


  6. Disgusted August 30, 2015 at 10:08 pm - Reply

    I would like to know how the new slings are implanted, if they are not mesh that is an absolute plus. But, if they still are going in blind, that sounds wrong to me. Do we have an understanding of how these are implanted and how they work? I would suggest an article on basic anatomy so we can get a better understanding of what has happened to us. Just a thought. Thanks so much Jane for your holding on and not giving up.

    • Bejah B August 31, 2015 at 2:35 pm - Reply

      Think about the advertising phenomenon in this country of the “New and Improved” product. Be careful because the product may not be either. As another noted, consider the “recalls” in the automotive industry. The comparasion was made between the polypropelene mesh and the automobile: Even in the auto industry recalls are done but not where the implants of this material are concerned. The auto industry does not seem to refer to a new model years cars as “New and improved” but we are expected to accept that where devices implanted in our bodies is concerned? It may be acceptable for a tin of baked beans but not for much else. It seems that there is no improvement that can be made to this material that would allow this victim to ever consider it for any reason. Just IMHO, a warning in the vacum left by the FDA’s “Failure to launch”..


  7. Still Standing September 1, 2015 at 9:16 pm - Reply

    I have heard the comparison to auto recalls often when referring to the mesh product. But think about this for a minute. When there is a recall, we take the notice in, they replace the defective part and we go on our way. That is absolutely impossible with the mesh where removing it in non symptomatic women would not be in their best interest and removing it in women with adverse reactions to it is not quite as simple as removing a few nuts and bolts and putting in a new part. This is just so much more complex than automobile recalls.

    • Jane Akre September 2, 2015 at 12:27 pm - Reply

      The point is it is traceable…. currently it is not.

  8. kitty September 3, 2015 at 6:22 am - Reply

    Jane—we moved and I lost your P O box in

    Fla. Would u e mail me?

    • Jane Akre September 3, 2015 at 6:14 pm - Reply

      PO Box 3553, Ponte Vedra, Fl 32004

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