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Canadian Women Beg Govt. for Mesh Removals in California

Three Saskatchewan women petition govt., CBC News

November 28, 2012 ~ Canadian women who feel they cannot have the transvaginal mesh that’s ruining their health completely removed in their country today petitioned the government to pay for transvaginal mesh removal in California.

The women are from Saskatchewan and they appeared before the health minister to say that no Canadian doctor is willing to remove all of the synthetic mesh which is causing serious complications.

The urology clinic at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), and specifically Dr. Shomo Raz, is considered the premier doctor for complete mesh removal in the world.  UCLA offers a translabial ultrasound which can see the mesh that can not be seen with an MRI. That tool is generally not available elsewhere.

One of the women, Marika English, tells Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) “We are angry, we are sick and we are in pain.”  She has book surgery in California next week at a cost of $30,000.

In response the Minister of Health said treatment is available in Canada. Many doctors in both the U. S. and Canada are reluctant to remove all of the mesh because they do not have a translabial ultrasound and they fear causing more complications.

Besides English, Ruth Olson and Stephanie Brad say they have experienced mesh erosion into the bladder, a damaged urethra, nerve damage, and an inability to sit without debilitating pain. The only removal in Canada the women are aware of is a partial removal offered by a doctor in British Columbia.

All three women say their doctors have referred them to UCLA.

Read the coverage:

Global TV

http://www.globaltvedmonton.com/health/women+beg+saskatchewan+government+to+pay+for+surgical+mesh+removal/6442762174/story.html

CBC News

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/story/2012/11/28/sk-mesh-operation-1211.html

Dr. Shlomo Raz- UCLA

http://www.uclahealth.org/body.cfm?id=479&action=detail&ref=4843

Stop Transvaginal Mesh- Press Release

http://www.transvaginalmesh.ca/

 

 

8 Comments

  1. InAz says:

    In the light of these women’s efforts, I hope more doctors in Canada (and US) will realize the need for competent mesh removal doctors, optimally full removal if possible and be trained in the process.

    If the clinic/hospital/office has any brand of an Ultrasound machine for common exams like ob/gyn, arterial/venus etc, they too have the capabilities of having translabial ultrasound. It is just that most techs do not know how to perform it even though it is just simple placement of the probes, and the Radiologist do not know how to read/look for the mesh. Also there is no CPT code to bill it out to insurance, they have to use a generic code and many times it needs to be sent with addl documents or appeal to the insurance companies.

    • Jane Akre says:

      That’s very interesting, thanks for the insight. So they are not prepared to deal with mesh casualties but are prepared to deny the women from going elsewhere……

    • You know we actually HAVE sate of the art ultrasound equipment here in our province but they dont even know what its capable of, much less have the expecerience to locate mesh with it. I would love to see our province take leadership in this and train someone to be the Canadian expert with the same perfeted techniques as UCLA. Apparenly we live in the dark ages and its ok to blindly cut and pick away at us with a maybe tihs will work outcome. Its Sick!

  2. Patty says:

    Why not have the manufacturing company pay for the bills? California needs money for schools. Its time for the makers of these meshes to step up to the plate and its costing private health insurance and medicare too much to pay for these mesh removals. Hell when all those tires went haywire a few years ago thr government made the tire manufacturers pay for the damages. Are tires more important than mesh victims?

  3. I am so angry! Our Government doesn’t even listen to us… They don’t read the letters we write or the articles we send if they did read them all in their entirety they would not have turned us down. It doesnt take a rockey scientist to see how dangerous and serious this is and how difficult removal is. When my borther found out we were doing a press release he decided to do some research on surgicla mesh and translabial ultrasound (I should mention my brother works at a hospital his job is to repair electronic equipment such as ultrasound equipment). It didnt take him long to find articles of the imporatance of the translabial ultrasound and how impossible mesh removal really is when inexperienced surgeons attempt to remove it. He said to me “its like going in the dark without a flashlight thats crazy” he also found a YouTube Video of removal and said anyone who would watch that would be convinced. Then he said “so finding this mesh… its like a needle in the haystack, only when you’re done there is no haystack left?” YES!!! Exactly No Haystack left, that our bodies totally mutilated and destroyed after the surgery. I dont want that. Why force me to choose between destroyed or destroed??? I want FIXED becasue FIXED means I can get my life back.

  4. Jane Akre says:

    Additional information here for those who would like to get involved:

    If anyone would like to shoot off a message to our minister of health, the Honourable Dustin Duncan, in support of our cause, his email address is minister.he@gov.sk.ca or dduncan@mla.legassembly.sk.ca The NDP Health Critic, Cam Broten, is trying to help and raised the issue in question period; his email address is cbroten@mla.legassembly.sk.ca

    It was a hard sell to try to convince them that the partial removals we were offered in Canada were insufficient.

  5. dc says:

    All they need to do is read a few patient profiles… do just a little research – and they will see how serious this matter is. My research quickly led me to horror story after horror story from women who had partial mesh-removal surgery after surgery – and became worse and worse. The lucky ones eventually found their way to UCLA, and by then they often already had permanent damage that even Dr. Raz could not fix. Permanent damage could mean not being able to walk, or sit, or have sex, or to void without self catheters, constant pain… the ability to work… be independent… etc. We are talking MAJOR quality of life matters here!

    I had a specialist in my area (NY) tell me it wasn’t even possible to remove my entire mesh sling, and especially not the part in my thighs. They didn’t know ANY doctor who would… and, they never heard of a “translabial ultrasound”. I was told a partial removal “might” help me and would be quick and easy “to try”. It wasn’t real reassuring. Yet, Dr. Raz at UCLA told me he could remove the whole sling, including the part in my thigh/groin which seems to be cutting into my obturator muscle. He not only recommended full removal, but he HAS removed hundreds. I was even told that he type of mesh I have is one of the “easier” to remove. So, who would YOU want to go to? I already can hardly walk – and am in pain 24/7… I don’t want to be like this, or worse, for the rest of my life. I am only46 and have two boys… a husband… this is already impacting every facet of my life. I know, from talking to other women how much worse and longer suffering could be. It was pretty clear to me that my best bet was to go to UCLA. Luckily, my insurance did cover out of state surgery… not the travel costs… but, the medical bills.

    So, I am flying across the country to go to UCLA… and I’m waiting MONTHS for Dr. Raz’s first available date. He is pretty booked. Why? Because there’s NOT enough other experienced doctors to go to! Many women, even in the States can’t get their insurance to cover out of state. They, and the women in Canada should have the option and choice to go to an EXPERIENCED doctor for mesh removal. How would the Honourable Dustin Duncan like it if this was his wife/mother/daughter etc., dealing with these situations? Wouldn’t he want HER to have an option to go to the best for help – especially with such high stakes on the line?

    I agree that there should be better options and MORE doctors with experience with FULL mesh removal… closer to home. However, the fact is that currently there simply is NOT. So, in the mean time, there should AT LEAST be the option of going to UCLA in California or to any doctor that they think IS best qualified to help them out of this horrible situation that never should have happened in the first place.

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