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Open Letter to Surgeons Who Have Implanted Mesh

Eglise e Saint-Maimiboeuf de Montbeliard, Courtesy Thomas Bresson, Wikicommons

November 7, 2012 ~ The following is an essay by a mesh survivor who does not want to be identified. Her Open Letter to Surgeons is an important reminder that doctors have a commitment to put his/her patient first!

Each of you who blatantly disregarded your patient’s pain and suffering has broken the oath, “First, Do NO Harm.” You have harmed us many times over. And will continue to do so until you take the time to educate yourselves beyond what a pharmaceutical representative tells you.

What, exactly, did you KNOW about mesh before you advised your patient? Did you KNOW that it’s supposed to be permanent? Did you KNOW that mesh might not work well for everyone? Did you KNOW that mesh was inert, or that it wasn’t? Did you KNOW if mesh could shrink, curl and damage surrounding tissue as it moved? Did you KNOW if the patient would have a foreign body response to the mesh? Did you KNOW that a bad reaction might cause repeated infections and or bleeding? Did you KNOW what the possible complications were associated with blind insertion of mesh? Did you KNOW if the one-size-fits-all kits would work on everyone the same, regardless of body type or size? Did you KNOW that nerve entrapment or injury was probable? Did you KNOW that if an adverse reaction to mesh occurred that the only way to alleviate the symptoms was to remove the mesh? Did you KNOW that the resulting pain of nerve injury and or reaction to the mesh would cause your patient to LOSE quality of life? Did you KNOW how many of your patients might die due to complications arising from mesh implantation?

Did YOU know?

Surgeons, Wikicommons

If you didn’t you should have. If you did, you forgot to mention this to us.

Failing to tell us any of that, how could you belittle us when we begged for help? Is there something written somewhere that this is due course when a patient comes to you for medical assistance? We came to you, as a person of trust, to help us find answers to why we were left in this horrible condition after an operation you claimed would lift our quality of life. Instead of answers we had pieces of eroding mesh yanked and cut from our most private parts without any numbing agents.

Then we were sent to pain clinics where we were given painful shots in our abdomens and sensitive pelvic areas, that gave little to no relief, and pelvic physical therapists who caused more pain. And when these actions didn’t alleviate our symptoms we asked if the mesh was the cause. Our question was not appreciated which resulted in our being disrespected, treated to eye rolls and told it was all in our head.

Woman, Courtesy Victor Nicholas, Wikicommons

In some cases you walked out on us, told us to leave or were physically and or verbally abusive. Yet many of us continued to believe in you even though, in our hearts, we knew different and have suffered needlessly because of it.

Many, if not all of us, have been told we were the “only” patient who ever had problems. How can hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands (the total numbers are unknown) of people each be the ONLY one who has had adverse reactions to mesh?

How many complications were you aware of but didn’t bother to mention because you were told they were rare and this was the GOLD STANDARD of treatment for POP, SUI and Hernia repair? If you are finding many more patients than usual do not trust your advice it is because you have forced us to look beyond you, to look for answers you are either unwilling or unable to give.

YOU are the doctor, the one who is supposed to know the medical answers and if you don’t then it is your job to find them. It is not the patient’s responsibility to determine whether a product or drug is in their best interest, to know what is safe. That is YOUR responsibility, why you get paid the big bucks! Just because a representative of a pharmaceutical company says it’s so, doesn’t make it so.

And just because the FDA has cleared a product through the 510(k) doesn’t mean that it’s safe for patient use. It’s time to go back to treating patients as human beings instead of quotas on the insurance gravy train.

And if you can’t or won’t, then maybe it’s time for a new career.

 

21 Comments

  1. Diane says:

    Absolutely and brilliantly written! Each and everyone of us suffering from Mesh can relate to this letter 150%!

    It is sad that its all about the almighty dollar, but it is …Someone I love dearly states, “IT’S CASH OVER CARE”

    Truer words were never spoken…

    I hope all of you Dr’s/Surgeons that use mesh as the “gold” standard re-evaluate your position on Mesh…Or maybe have a mesh implant and then a couple of years down the road when you are barely able to function, let us know what you think of mesh!!! I guarantee you would not think its the gold standard !!!!

    Please hear our cries and put an end to the unnecessary suffering and complications of Mesh!

  2. Nonie Wideman says:

    well said !!!! wish every doctor could be sat down and made to read this!!!

  3. Stephanie B says:

    Perfectly worded… like it camefrom my mouth.

  4. Carmel Berry says:

    To you that wrote it. I LOVE you !! you are the WHOBODY for the people. we don’t need any more somebodies, and we know we are not nobodies.. we all need a whobody. thank you. thank you.. thank you… xxxx love from Carmel in New Zealand.

  5. anurse says:

    Thank you for putting into words what so many people harmed by mesh have wanted to say to their surgeons for years!

  6. Betty says:

    Well said! Too many of us have lived this same scenario. It is such a shame that the wheels of justice have halted in this case and others. A company who gets fined 1 billion $ for knowingly causing death and selling off label obviously doesn’t care. That Dr’s fall back on them for the “expertise” is unthinkable. There are too many in “the know” now. For this to continue is criminal. It is not a politcal issue – it’s ethical. Obviously that has escaped so many. I cannot understand why there aren’t any criminal charges pending. Boggles the mind.

  7. Dawn brown says:

    I AM …………….. I AM a MESH survivor !!! I AM a STRONG WOMAN !!! I will FIGHT till I get Answers.. I AM ALIVE !! I AM ANGRY ! This should not have been done to me because I AM ….:(

  8. Lucille says:

    This letter is what we all feel and believe and they shld be sent in the mail to all the doctors offices!! Everything writtten here is so very well spoken and hats off to you for putting this out!

  9. Liz Reece says:

    Superbly written. We can all identify with this if we have been harmed by mesh, and if not, then this should be a warning to those seeking information about its risks. This should be compulsory reading for all medical students and all who think they ‘know’ how to use mesh i.e. those consultants who glibly treated us with this ‘minimally invasive’ monster.

    Very well said. This site is a fantastic resource – well done Jane for enabling so many voices to be heard.

    Liz, UK

  10. top_bard says:

    All mesh injured individuals can relate to these comments. Consultants comment serious mesh complications are the minority but if they had the honesty to admit they are wrong and they know fine well we are the majority. All mesh individuals are experiencing the same excruciating minutes. We are all now moving in small triangles when we were once able to move in large circles. Every aspect of every minute you know you are meshed up. So to the professionals hold your hands up and do something to alleviate our miserable minutes. Thanks Jane for this resource. Fact my consultant deals with two mesh complication surgeries per week. To anyone raising awareness regards mesh complications you are saving someone’s minutes keep up the good work.

  11. JMW says:

    I HAVE A MESH IMPLANT AND HAVE BEEN HAVING COMPLICATIONS FROM DAY 1 WITH. CONSTANT UTI, BACTERIA, AND BLADDER INFECTIONS. NOT TO MENTION SHARP ABDOMINAL PAIN. I THOUGH I JUST HAD FEMALE PROBLEMS AND WOULD FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. I DONT KNOW WHO TO TURN TO OR WHAT TO DO WITH HAVING IT REMOVED. THE PHYSICIAN THAT PUT IT IN IS TRYING TO CHARGE ME TO REMOVE IT….PLEASE HELP

    • hope says:

      Jmw, I am 1 that has also suffered from mesh and my health went down so fast, The mesh was protruding in vagina, the pain and abcesses, and wanting answers. I was more angry , I thought than most, and no one understood, HOW THIS MESH STOPS, WOMEN’S LIVES, AS IT DESTROYS THEIR LIVES AND THEY GET WEAK FIGHTING INFECTIONS.

      i HAD MY FIRST , PIECES OF MESH REMOVED LAST MONTH, I was so afraid, , not knowing the what would happen afterwards, I had the best, I believe that I could have found in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA OR ANY WHERE. IN ANY NATION.

      I was told what to expect, NO LIES , I have gone for 23 days , since surgery , no abcess, the first time, in 4 years that every week, I fought some so painful, I cried, The doctor and his team of nurses and everyone at that hospital and all that worked with him, you could not have found more caring men and women . I know without a doubt, they did their best to the best of their knowledge to get what mesh they could out. and I know even though

      I AM STILL HAVING SOME PROBLEMS, i AM BETTER , THAN IF i had not found this doctor and his team of nurses and those that work with him. It’s not over , I know, but what they did in my surgery, I am better than what I was before the surgery for sure, it was as far as what they did , I had the best doctor and team that works with him, and most caring, I have ever seen any team that works in medical field, with this mesh. no doubt america’s best was in that surgery room with me, and most caring.

      I don’t know what state you are in, but if you can get to VANDERBILT HOSPITAL IN TENNESSEE, THAT HOSPITAL , HAS THE BEST, WITH THOSE THAT CARE FOR WOMEN AND TRIES TO HELP THEM, i DO NOT THINK THEY ARE SECOND TO ANY IN THEIR FIELD, AND I MET EVERYONE THAT WENT INTO THAT SURGERY, ROOM,, from the one who puts you to sleep, those before and after surgery, It took a long time for me to find the doctor, and they all work together with him, tests and more. to see what is going on with you.

      i DON’T KNOW WHAT IS NEXT, i AM STILL HEALING, FROM SURGERY, but I am better that I was before the surgery, still weak, but trying to get strength back, 1 step at a time. . That whole team, was good to me!

      it is hard I know, some women are still searching for doctor’s that do try to remove the mesh, they could not get all of mine, at this time, I DON’T NOW IF ANOTHER SURGERY WILL BE ADVISED, .As I said there are still some signs still of mesh problems, but I am better than what I was before the surgery. For those that can get to VANDERBILT HOSPITAL IN TENNESSEE, YOU WILL FIND THE BEST, AND MOST CARING THERE. THAT DO THEIR BEST, TO REMOVE MESH, IF THEY CAN.

      GOD BE WITH ALL ,

  12. Caroline says:

    Wonderfully written, since I had the mesh implant for urinary incontinence six years ago, I have had multiple infections groin and thigh pain and painful intercourse, incredibly every Gynecologist, including the surgeon who did the surgery, gave me a different explanations for the problems I was experiencing, the last one I saw was two years ago, not once was there a suggestion of the tape causing the pain etc. Reading other women’s stories has given me the courage to demand this tape be removed.

  13. hope says:

    I am not my best tonight, it will be 6 weeks since my surgery, , I hoped I would continue with no infections, no cramping , no nauseation, , it started back up, last week, , infection, and crampng pain. NO ANSWERS,

    It did not work and the doctor seems not to care at all,

    Has anyone heard that the mesh companies , that made the mesh gave doctors and nurses, vactions and more, to use their mesh, expensive trips etc, if this is true no wonder doctors are saying it is not the mesh that is causing the infections and all that women are suffering . If this is true did they offer those FDA EXPENSIVE GIFTS TO , . SOMETHING IS MOST DEFINITELY WRONG, with some doctors, I do not know about the other women, but I KNOW, THAT i WAS NOT IN PAIN, NO INFECTIONS, OTHER THAN AN INFECTION, AS MOST WOMEN DO HAVE AT LEAST ONCE A YEAR. .

    MY BODY IS FIGHTING WHAT EVER IS IN THIS MESH INSIDE OF ME., AND THE FDA , KNOW THAT THE WOMEN , HAVE TO BOW TO THEIR STILL BEING THE ANIMALS TO TEST THIS MESH ON. IF THIS MESH IS NOT THE REASON FOR EVERY DAY INFECTIONS, AND THIS WAS NOT GOING ON BEFORE THE MESH, NON STOP FOR 4 YEARS, . IT HAS GOT OT BE THE MESH CAUSING THE INFECTIONS.

    iF DR. RAZ , IS TAKING THE MESH OUT, AND THOSE THAT HAD IT TOOK OUT NOT JUST PART, ARE THEY STILL HAVING INFECTIONS. i WANT TO KNOW, AFTER YEARS OF SUFFERING WITH MEDICINE OT HAVE HAD TO GO MONTHS SICK , AND NOT 1 DOCTOR COULD i CALL FOR ANTI BIOTIC.

    iT HAS BEEN TO LONG, TO HAVE TO KEPP ON AND ON , THIS IS CRUEL FOR THOSE IN MEDICAL, THAT YOU CANNOT GET SOMETHNG TO RELIEVE PAIN AND INFECTION, NOT EVEN A CREAM , JUST WHEN THEY FEEL LIKE IT, WHEN YOU FIND A DOCTOR THAT WILL GIVE YOU MEDICINE, NOT A WAY ANYONE WOULD WANT TO SUFFER. NEITHER WOULD THE DOCTORS AND NURSES, THAT HAVE HAD ATTITUDE WITH WOMEN SUFFERING FROM INFECT. AND MORE,

    i HAVE NEVER BEEN TREATED SO CRUEL BY DOCTORS AND NURSES, AS ONE DOCTOR TOLD ME, THAT SHE WULD NOT SEE ME UNLESS MY SURGERY CAME OUT WITH NO PROBLEMS, WHICH SH KNEW THAT NOT LIKELY WOULD i be as I was before mesh was put in,

    IT IS GETTING TO ME, , i DESERVE TO KNOW WHAT WAS ALL DONE IN MY SURGERY, i CANNOT GET A RETURN CALL BACK, . WHY DON’T THEY JUST GIVE US A MERCY SHOT, A SLOW DEATH , WITH THOSE IN MEDICAL SO CRUEL, DAMN THEY EVEN GIVE ANIMALS A SHOT TO KILL THEM, TO GET THEM OUT OF PAIN AND SUFFERING, A HUMAN IS LESS MEANING.

    i WOULD RATHER  BE KILLED WITH A SHOT , THAT ANIMALS GET MORE MERCY, IN PAIN, HUMANS GET NOTHING HUMAN AT ALL. . IN 4 YEARS i HAVE SEEN SOME OF THE MOST MERCILESS DOCTORS AND NURSES, i KNEW THERE WERE SOME, WHY ARE THEY SO CRUEL TO THE WOMEN , THAT DOCTORS PUT THE MESH IN, AND ARE SUFFERING? IT DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENSE, WHEN THEY WERE NOT THE ONES THAT PUT THE MESH IN. i AM NOT HOLDING 1 OF THEM RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT ANOTHER DOCTOR DID, , THE MEDICAL BOARDS NEED TO FIND OUT. WHY, i HAVE HAD SOME TO LAUGH IN MY FACE , WHEN i TOLD THEM HOW i WAS SUFFERING WITH NO ANTI BIOTICS AND MORE MEDICINE FIGHTING THE DIFFERNT INFECTIONS.

    IF YOU WOMEN HAVE GONE THROUGH WITH WHAT i HAVE, YOU ARE HOLDING ON TO YOUR MIND WITH A THREAD. SOME PEOPLE CRUEL WHEN SOMEONE IS DOWN, THEY KICK THEM HARD, THAT’S THE WAY i FEEL MEDICAL FOR 4 YEARS HAVE DONE TO ME.

    what I have gone through, with trying to find even a primary care docttor, I can’t find one, as one said I asked to many questions, what about their oath to help people that needed their help. 2 have said they did not have to see me at all, their choice, , because of bladder mesh.

  14. hope says:

    i AM SICK OF THE MESS, AND THE MESH, AND EVERY ONE THAT HAS TURNED WOMEN THAT IS SUFFERING INTO A CARNIVAL. .

    i NEVER HAVE CUSSED LIKE i have in the past 4 years. I am a human not an animal for FDA, chemical companies, doctors nurses , medical research, ATTORNEYS , JUDGES , POLITICIANS . I am sick andd weak fighting this damn mesh inside of me.

    I AM A HUMAN, SHOW ME AS MUCH MERCY AS YOU DO AN ANIMAL YOU GIVE A SHOT , TO GET THEM OUT OF SUFFERING, , SLOW DEATH FOR DAMN GREEDY, RICH,, CAN GO TO HELL WITH THEIR DAMN MONEY.

    EITHER GIVE ME MEDICATION TO FIGHT WHAT EVER THIS DAMN MESH HAS DONE , OR SHOW MERCY, AS YOU DO AN ANIMAL,SINCE SO MANY SEE HUMANS AS ANIMALS ANYWAY,

    • Lupita Tagle says:

      Hope, I know what you are going through it’s very painful and also the bacteria infection, I learned you can only take so much of antibiotic medication for infection. I am trying to try some kind of home remedies. Back in 2007 I saw Dr. Stephen R. Kraus,M.D.,F.A.C.S a urology and he told me he could not do surgery because I had 2 (two) problems bladder prolapse and incontinence. He had done surgery to a lady I spoke to and had done the surgery with her own tissue or her muscles. Well 4 or 5 years later OB/GYN Dr. Gabriel Medrano, M.D.he is at the UT Medicine and also with UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL IN SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS told me he could do it that it could be done. I made myself very clear in front of LVN Nurse Juanita that I did not want any kind of mesh or any other object inside my body. Then Dr. Medrano has the nerve to tell me that the mesh that the FDA is talking about on the report on July 14, 2011 is the bad on. He said the one the UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL uses are the good ones and are approved by the FDA WHAT A LIE.HE STILL WENT AHEAD AND IMPLANTED THE MESH. When I wrote to the HOSPITAL I ASK THE MEN WHO EVER REC’D THE LETTER, WOULD YOU DO THIS TO YOUR MOTHER,WIFE OR DAUGHTER? They are taking our rights form us. I hope this Country doesn’t turn like some other countries where the people don’t have any rights. Some one needs to come up with something we can’t take this lightly. THIS DOCTORS ARE MONSTERS, With everything that did go wrong now I have an ulcer due to all the stress I am going through and I know all of you are very stressful also. Well I pray and ask THE LORD TO GIVE ME STRENGTH AND I PRAY FOR EVERYONE ELSE THAT IS IN THIS SITUATION. Wish the best to everyone of you and MAY GOD BLESS YOU !

  15. jacqui scott newzealand says:

    thank you to the person who wrote this you have said everything i have wanted to say and more but ive never had the guts to do so you have inspired me to keep pushing back when we get crap answers from the surgeons we have to deal with

    thakyou xx

  16. Kathleen says:

    Yes, very well written. Dr. Raz is the best Dr. to do a full removal. He is willing to go where others aren’t – the obturators. It is a very dangerous surgery. Although it doesn’t feel all that dangerous when you talk to him. Dr. Raz saw me several times, he missed a small piece of mesh that ulcerated and bled for over a year. He had to take care of “complications of removal of mesh”. The reason this happened is because I had a partial removal. I emphasize it has to be all, not just the part that is acting up. Dr.’s are not saying this. Even in the trial they put out that “estrogen cream” helps erosion most of the time. YEAH . . . SELL ME SOME SWAMP LAND . . . I did not have “a reaction” to mesh it was in way too long for that to be the answer for me. IT SHRANK. I was recommending it before that happened. I went through all the denials, lies, and it’s too high (pain). After every surgery I felt better . . . a lot better, until I became active and the mesh moved again. Lies – that it doesn’t migrate. I saw with my own eyes that it migrates. Do we get incisions the length of the mesh? Then why is it Dr. Kavaler said it comes out through the incision line? Hang in there everyone, there is hope. I thank you anonymous for a well written letter.

  17. Mercedes says:

    Suffering the same, Magnificent letter describing our situation, all doctors cover each others and we patients are the ones in pain,we are just an insurance number a dollar ,here in Florida I’ve not found an honest doctor willing to help. Still looking ,if know any doctor in south Florida please let us know.

  18. Ingrid Hardacre says:

    Hello

    this is a good website, neat and tidy with good links. thank you for being out there for all the sufferers who are looking for help and explanations on their unfortunate surgical Mesh history. You have been a great help to me with your information and keeping up to date with developments.

    Thank you.

    From a grateful follower and mashie.

    xx

    • Jane Akre says:

      Thank you so much Ingrid. I appreciate hearing from you, I’m sorry for the conditions under which we meet. I hope you have adequate if not outstanding medical help on your road to healing….. Please stay in touch… ~ jane a.

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