The headline “Women come from across world to have St. Louis doctor remove their pelvic mesh” by Michele Munz highlights the travels of two women from Australia who had mesh removal surgery with the urogynecologist. the trip including travel ran about $30,000. The article says manufacturers take products off the market, which is true, but fails to say many are still on the market and are still used today.
The reporter says about 18 months ago women started finding Veronikis, who heads the female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, specifically Creve Coeur. The article says the women get together after finding each other online and links to the Transvaginal Mesh Support Group, which is linked to a lawyer website http://lawsuit-vaginal-mesh.com with no link through to the law firm website. The last posting on that group was in February so it is unlikely that this group, which is little known, is actively providing conversation to the mesh-injured.
Caz Chisholm, 45, flew from Perth Australia relying on loans, her savings and credit cards to see Dr. V. There are no well known mesh removal surgeons in Australia that the online groups discuss.
Interestingly, Dr. V says the mesh sling, which hit the market in the late 1990’s was a “good thing” if done by experienced urogynecologists. The reporter does not mention any manufacturers by name. Dr. V says more mesh slings hit the market as did larger mesh kits with arms that are anchored in the body, the more mesh complications were seen. Additionally doctors were trained in a weekend clinic and told the medical devices were safe and easy.
The article correctly states Dr. V has had a 20-year career and as trained at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is board certified in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery which is a subspecialty within obstetrics.
Dr. Neeraj Kohli, a surgeon in private practice in Boston who was the chief of urogynecology at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital says Dr. V is at a top of a list of capable surgeons around the world who can remove pelvic mesh. “A society is sometimes judged by the way it treats its women and children,” Veronikis said, “and I think this was a dark chapter. These women’s lives are altered permanently.”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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Mesh News Desk interviews Dr. Veronikis, December 2013