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Urogynecologist Dr. Walker Talks Mesh Removals and Worst Offenders

dr walker high resolution photo

Dr. Christopher Walker, urogynecologist

Mesh News Desk, June 8, 2015 ~ Dr. Christopher Walker is a Urogynecologist located in Orlando, Florida. His practice focuses on urogynecology and female pelvic reconstruction.  
His office link Besturogyn.com is here.  This month he is also a supporter of Mesh News Desk. 

Mesh News Desk editor, Jane Akre recently interviewed Dr. Walker who has patients from around the world visiting his Orlando facility to undergo mesh revision surgeries.

Currently he is doing about 30 to 40 a month. To make their trip as comfortable as possible, he has assembled a team to take care of flight arrangements, ground transportation and hotel accommodations. He has created an alliance with many surgical centers in an effort to decrease the patient’s bill and make the process of pelvic reconstruction financially feasible.

Dr. Walker spoke with Mesh News Desk editor, Jane Akre about his practice.

Q: Do you take insurance?

I take insurance. A lot of women do not have insurance and are suffering from complications which need a surgical intervention. We therefore have options for them to help them with their financial burden. My goal is to get them back on their feet and restore their lives.

 

Q: A lot of women are told by their doctors, they’ve never seen women with pain after a mesh implant – you’re the only one.  Of course it’s impossible that they are the only one. There still seems to be a great deal of denial even among urogynecologists that a procedure could have gone wrong.  Do you hear that?

I hear it all the time.  I think the answer is two-fold. First, the ego of the doctor. He/she cannot fathom that a procedure they performed caused harm to their patients.  The second factor of concern on the part of the physician is a potential malpractice claim against them as an individual.  As a result of these two factors, some physicians defer the root cause of a patient’s symptom away from a defective transvaginal mesh product and link it to another diagnosis.

What physicians need to understand is that the problem stemmed from a defective manufactured mesh product and like an automobile with a defective transmission, such a product if proven to be defective, gets recalled. Many mesh manufacturers knew the design of the mesh had innate problems and instead of initiating a product recall, they continued to have physicians implant defective devices. Thus, physicians need to be transparent with their patients and admit the fact that they implanted with no mal-intent a defective product and then assist them to find the experts in the field available who can correct the adverse complications that may have arisen.

Personally, I always consider what I would do for my wife is what I would do for any patient. With that said I changed my treatment algorithm for pelvic organ prolapse. Instead of implanting a transvaginal mesh product as a first line option, I implant in over 97% of my patients a human biologic product and resort to a mesh option as my last resort and only in the right circumstances.

 

Q: What kind of injuries are you seeing and how has that changed in recent years, if at all?

The injuries I see are mainly centered around nerve injuries and the mesh product eroding into organs or becoming exposed in vagina. The result of the above is significant pelvic pain.  The nerve related pain usually starts immediately post op or about 6 months to a year after the implant, when the product has scarred in and nerve entrapment occurs in the scar. Patients will often complain of having a persistent chronic pelvic pain which may radiate into the lower abdominal area or down the leg. They may also have lower back pain and sciatica. Patients will also state that they are no longer capable of engaging in sexual relations especially vaginal penetration.  Some patients will experience an abnormal vaginal odor or discharge; incomplete emptying of the bladder resulting in symptoms of urinary urgency and frequency, recurrent bladder infections and having to void multiple times at night. Many will say they have to lean forward when sitting on the commode to empty their bladder.

 

Q:  In your interview with Drugwatch I think you said you’re still using mesh?

In 99 percent of my patients I perform the reconstruction procedure vaginally using a human biologic tissue graft. As a last resort, I will use an abdominal approach to place a mesh product to address pelvic organ prolapse. The human tissue product comes from the dermis of a human donor. It is also used for burn victims and in breast reconstruction procedures. The FDA does not classify it as an implant but as a graft….. simply put it is not a permanent lifelong foreign body being placed in a patient’s body; after six (6) months the graft is replaced by the patient’s own tissue.

I take particular pride in ensuring I am not implanting a product that is being called biologic but was harvested from a pig (porcine) or bovine source since those products are also considered to be implants  versus what I’m using which is considered a graft.colo logo

 

Q: Tell me more about the human graft that you use?

It is a dermal graft obtained from a cadaver- usually harvested from the side of the thigh or the back.  Coloplast Corporation then processes the harvested product so that there is no risk of infection or any rejection of the tissue. It’s like a framework and six months after placement of the product it is replaced by the patient’s own tissue.

Axis Coloplast, cadaver implant

Axis Coloplast, cadaver implant

(For further information you can read about this product at http://www.coloplast.us/axis-en-us.aspx)

 

Q: What about harvesting fascia from the patient, in other words using their own ligaments?

If I am doing an abdominal surgery I will harvest some of the rectus abdominis fascia and use it as a sling. However, in most of my patients I perform vaginal surgeries and thus I use the grafts as I described before. In addition, by using the donor graft versus harvesting from a patient, it allows me the ability to make fewer incisions for the patient. Thus the recovery time is significantly less and patients are able to resume their lives much faster.

 

Q: What trends are you seeing in terms of mesh usage and complications?

The trend I see is it’s becoming more prevalent. More and more people are now realizing this is the cause of their problem because of the World Wide Web, they are able to seek help and a lot of patients are coming in with complications.

dr walker three

Q: What I hear is some women are being told the lawsuits are lawyer generated as a way to discount them.

That is very unfortunate. In my opinion women who are truly suffering from the effects of defective transvaginal mesh products have no reason to lie and go through the arduous process of a lawsuit.

If they are faking their symptoms it will be quickly identified by an expert physician and the lawsuit will be dismissed.

In my personal experience I see on average 30-40 patients a month who present complaining of symptoms possibly related to a defective mesh product. Of that, less than one percent are faking it or they have symptoms that are not the result of the mesh product but are suffering from another condition such as diverticulitis, endometriosis etc.

So I strongly object to that statement and as an advocate for women, I implore them to seek expert help and get second opinions if they truly feel they may be suffering from complications related to a mesh implant.

 

Q: Have you notice patients reporting autoimmune complications among the others? I’d say two thirds to three quarters (who I talk to) have some autoimmune reaction. Have you noticed that?

I have seen it. It’s very interesting. Dr. Shlomo Raz in California (UCLA) presented his personal finding where some of his patients developed an immune reaction to polypropylene.  Some of my patients upon presenting to me have already seen a Rheumatologist or an Allergist because they have generalized joint pains and a low grade fever. They may also complain of malaise and fatigue.

In some of my patients I have given them a course of steroids and I have seen an improvement in their symptoms- specifically relief of the joint pain or a low grade fever.

So with that said, I will like to see further research being conducted into this interesting finding by the medical community, major centers such as myself and others that have a high volume of patients who have mesh implants should collaborate and conduct a study to figure this out. My personal belief is that some patients do have an allergy to polypropylene.

 

Q: The TVT-O, has been found in a couple of courts been found defectively designed. Would you agree with that?

200 percent!  It’s an innately bad product. What makes me sad is the manufacturers knew it was a bad product to begin with.  The design in many ways was faulty. Everyone has a different anatomy. Therefore every pelvis is different …. So how can you design a trocar to be used for every patient knowing the exiting points of the trocar are going to vary?… sometimes the trocar will either hit a nerve or come in close proximity to a nerve.  The inventor of TVT-O in his own paper expressed these concerns so why was it allowed on the market?  In my opinion, that thing should be banned.  If a doctor does not have the training to do the TVT retropubic approach, he/she shouldn’t perform that form of surgery.

They don’t need huge trocars going through multiple muscle groups. The TVT-O goes through four muscle groups and comes close to pelvic nerves. I have seen multiple cases involving mesh sling complications and in most the problem is related to the obturator approach which gives some surgeons the false hope that it has minimal complications. To the contrary the mesh arms become tight, nerves get injured at the time of the surgery or become entrapped, resulting in the patients suffering from pelvic pain.

The manufacturers tried to simplify the complex process of pelvic surgery so they could send doctors on a weekend course to learn on a cadaver and then practice on their patients. They don’t understand this nonsense should not be allowed. It is critical for surgeons to understand the complexity of pelvic anatomy and to be aware of the bio-mechanics of the available products on the market prior to attempting these forms of surgery.

 

Bard Avaulta Mesh

Q: Which others are the worst offenders in your opinion?

All mesh kits with arms going through multiple muscle groups especially those that come in proximity to the sacrospinus ligament and pudendal nerves and vessels should be banned, every one of them.

The vagina is a clean contaminated area. If you put a mesh kit in the vagina, the mesh will be infected with bacteria resulting in a state of chronic inflammation arising over a period of six months to a year. This in turn will result in the mesh tightening decreasing its initial volume by 25-30% especially the mesh arms. The result is excessive tension on the genital tissue and pelvic pain.

If you are going to put in something with mesh, do it via an abdominal approach which is sterile- example a sacrocolpopexy. Of course it is still imperative in my opinion for any mesh product to be the last resort…. i.e use it when everything else has failed.

 

Q: How often do you have to put in a PP mesh?

Prolene mesh

Prolene mesh

I would say once every six (6) months.

 

Q: And that’s because her tissue is poor and she has numerous failures?

That is correct. So in my hands I have a treatment algorithm. I use physical therapy in my office for mild genital prolapse followed by the use of human biologic grafts and only as a last resort using some form of mesh implanted via an abdominal approach after giving informed consent to my patient.

I also offer my patients who are no longer sexually active the option of a Colpoclesis procedure which simply means- surgically closing vagina

 

Q: What I hear from some doctors is in the proper hands, the TVT still is a good option? Do you agree with that?

I don’t agree with it. Knowing what we have today, I would not implant that in my wife.

The absolute last resort should be any mesh product. I would like to suggest to my colleagues to look at the option of surgically placing a biologic sub-urethral sling using human tissue.

Truthfully the process of implanting a mesh sling is much easier and faster versus placement of a biologic sling. However, if we remember we took an Oath to do no harm….bearing that in mind I rather spend the extra time putting in a product that is best for the patient in terms of the potential adverse sequelae.

It’s important for us as a medical community to put patients first and treat them like your own family.  Spend extra time in the room, give them an extra five minutes of our time. Some doctors are quick to send patients to the psychiatrist and pain management. Just pause, take and look and say ‘what would be done if this was my wife or my mother?

 

Q: Have you ever been a consultant, or a preceptor for any mesh maker?

Excellent question.  I have never been a consultant for mesh. I was a consultant for Gynecare for their balloon endometrial ablation system known as the Thermachoice System. This system is designed to stop abnormal uterine bleeding.

 

Q: As you know, many members of AUGS (American Urogynecologic Society) serve in the capacity of being a consultant for mesh manufacturers

That’s correct… they are consultants for manufactures and we therefore have to be careful to interpret the AUGS position statement…. Which states that mesh is the Gold Standard in the treatment of stress urinary incontinence. Gold Standard is not a medical term when I was trained, we didn’t use that terminology, it’s a marketing term, and it’s an industry term. So the term Gold Standard should not even be used.

Dr. Dennis Miller, urogynecologist

Dr. Dennis Miller, urogynecologist

Q: My question is how many members (of AUGS) have been polled for their opinion… But you’ve got Davila, Miller, Nager, Visco who are aligned with industry, who are also the people coming out with the position statement. 

I can say that the AUGS position statement does not represent my opinion and that of many AUGS members. An exact number I cannot give you.

Further, it is my belief the term “Gold Standard” should be abandoned.  Each patient needs to be treated individually and thus receive the best surgical option for her presenting complaint.

 

Q: Insurance is part of the problem isn’t it?

Insurance companies and managed care has been a source of the problem. It is unfortunate for Managed care not to understand the technical skill and experience required to remove a mesh implant and so they reimburse more to put it in a mesh implant versus taking it out.

That’s a problem… a surgeon can receive about $350 to take out mesh which can take sometimes 4 to 7 hours. Occasionally the mesh revision/removal surgeries have to be performed in multiple steps.

The answer is however simple…. When I ask myself what I would do if the patient were my wife/mother I resort to a biologic approach as my first line and I remember money is only a tool; God gave me a surgical talent and I try to serve him by helping my patients to the best of my ability. #

 

 

 

53 Comments

  1. Janis Urban says:

    Excellent…Great interview Jane…..Thank you

  2. Stopmeshimplants says:

    So glad this doctor has been interviewed! What

    a blessing this physician is for all mesh injured!

    Thank you for this information on this incredible truth telling

    physician. Thank you Jane and Dr. Walker!

  3. Refreshing to read this interview! Kudos to a doctor with a higher moral and ethical standard than what many doctors have exhibited to so many suffering women. Thank you for bringing hope to many women with interviews with doctors that advocate for skilled treatment for mesh problems. !

  4. andagain says:

    Excellent, and really reinforces that I feel more confident with Dr. Zaslau WVU, Morgantown, choosingsing cadervious tissues in my recent surgery, this is exactly how he explained it to me. Thank you

    • Jane Akre says:

      Thank you for the name of another doc. I’m putting together a doctor directory. Please sign up for the newsletter and you’ll receive it. Page one Mesh news.

      • andagain says:

        You are welcome and he has been wonderful for me. I have the newsletter coming to my email. I have to say this site has kept me sane. thank you

  5. Lucy Loo says:

    I am struggling with moving forward and attempting to find a surgeon who will try to remove as much as possible. I do, however, have a good surgeon who listens to me and through four surgeries has helped me to some extent. However, he only will go after a problem area and has told me I will probably have many more surgeries “Until my body stops spitting out the mesh.” Basically, he won’t attempt to remove as much as possible. Any advice? Anyone in the same situation?

    • Janelle says:

      I am in the same situation. I too have a great specialist/surgeon. I have altogether had 2 surgeries to try and remove as much mesh as they can, but I am now told that they can’t get anymore. What I am suffering now is what I am left with. If only there was much more urgency and honesty about this problem here in Australia.

      • Lucy Loo says:

        Janelle, there isn’t a lot of talk in Australia? Do you know why? I feel the same way about resigning myself and making do, but part of me says, no.. I have to keep fighting to get this crap out of me. So far they’ve removed half of the mesh from around my bladder and some from my rectum. I have a nasty little piece that is finally through that is extremely close to the opening of my lady part and I have so much pain when sitting or doing much of anything. So, another surgery this year I am sure. Now, I am struggling with shingles! I am 44 and have shingles.. I don’t understand. I take one step forward and three steps back.

        Don’t give up, Janelle.. ( I just read what you posted. I feel for you, and I pray that you can find someone to help you.)

        • Bejah B says:

          So sad to hear of what you are coping with Lucy. I remember in another post you seemed so dismayed about the “settlement conference”, etc. Don’t give in to resignation or the sense of defeat or hopelessness. For one thing your body will respond to what is going on in your mind and spirit. The mind-body connection is far deeper than we imagine. And remember that just because a person or organization says something is true that does not mean it is. They may think it is, or they may want you to believe it is. Find your own truth and stay hopeful and on the offensive. That will strengthen your body. Also, I really do not understand why some people, including some doctors, even urogynecologists try to assert that the mesh does not migrate or break apart or release toxins into the body. Clearly there is a great deal of testimony and evidence that it does. I do something that may seem silly. I talk to my body, I rub my poor little abdomen and say soothing things to it. I believe it helps, it helps me generally. Read Candace Pert, Molecules of Emotion if you have not. It is not a new book but it remains very powerful. She is a physician and researcher. There are many days when I feel that I am dying and I sleep a lot, I guess my body needs that…I just keep going, keep moving, You are not alone in spirit; I think all of us would tell you we are there with you in some way. Close your eyes and think of the power in that.

          Bejah

    • Disgusted says:

      Go to a Dr. that will get it out in one surgery. Dr. Raz will do that, rarely he has to leave some in if he can’t get to it. Partial removals make things worse.

      • Jane Akre says:

        But we suspect some meshes fall apart and disintegrate. They are not supposed to but have you seen the mesh sling just opened and within date that had flakes coming out of it? Not all meshes go in and come out fully intact, even if a doc removes it all is the suspicion.

  6. linda wilcox says:

    Jane. Excellent reporting.

    Dr. Walker speaks the truth.

    ….tragic situation…the pain

    has ruined my life !!!!!

    Linda wilcox.

  7. Faith & Blessings says:

    Just diagnosed with Osteoarthritis. I can bearly walk at times because my joints hurt really bad. Thank you Jane for this interview. I now know that a lot of my health problems can be traced back to the Bard TSL Pelvicol Collagen Acellular sling I had removed after almost ten years. When it eroded it was smelling and protruding. I went from doctor-to-doctor complaining. I was told by several doctors that there is nothing wrong. Until the Spring of 2013, I demanded a local urogynecologist do her own testing and she did. My bladder was being strangled by the sling and I was getting major UTI’s so she had to remove it. If she had not taken the time to listen to me and finally remove it, I think I would have been dead. Currently, every time I go to see my primary doctor she finds something wrong. My medical bills are out of the roof! I pray for all of the women that are suffering everyday. RIP Joan Budke!

    • Bejah B says:

      Faith, A lot of us are diagnosed with osteoarthritis as we get older, I hate to say it is normal because it is not but I can not say it is not uncommon. Take calcium supplements and Osteo B-Flex and eat more calcium rich foods, it helps a lot. Losing weight helps also, of course, but as far as I know this is not caused by the transvaginal mesh. It may sound counter intuitive but the more you move your body the less it will bother you. Did you get a copy of the imaging done so you can see yourself. Also get a copy of the radiologists report and read it then file it at home. Always get copies of everything. I find mistakes all the time. If you can, get in a pool and move or swim a little, do whatever you can. If you can invest in a piece of equipment there is a special bicycle, I have forgotten the name of it, you are almost horizontal in it and it is stationary so you could work that while watching TV or something, even for a half hour a day. That will help strengthen the spine and supporting muscles and ligaments, etc. and help you feel better.

      Bejah (I think the bicycle may be called a riciprocating bicycle and they are available at several price points)

    • kitty says:

      HI Faith. Read your post about the osteo atthritis. If u have been diagnosed with Erosive Inflammatory Osteo Arthritis it usually starts with the hands.

      Autoimmune is.suspect–so do your research. SOME doctors will treat it like Rheumatoid although it usually does not show rheumatoid factor. As I stated some Docs treat with low dose Methotrexate or Humera

  8. jbrokenbody says:

    I’m from Lakeland,Fl. I need this dr. Close too home and cheaper. Do I get my specialist too referred me too him for help.?

  9. Abandoned says:

    God is bringing more and more truth in to the light. Jane this is an excellent interview….great to see his courage as a surgeon to speak out about this issue and not shy away from AUGS position statement by Dennis Miller that was posted on LinkedIn almost immediately after FDA changed the classification. Thank you for keeping us informed.

  10. Alison Wright says:

    I had sutures only used in my sacrospineous hysteropexy, my consultant didn’t want to use mesh, but I still rejected all of these over a two and a half year period. I have other mesh inside me and an immune response disease. I am particularly interested in ascertaining if I might be allergic to polypropylene. I suspect a simple skin patch test might show up the allergy as I know I get eczema with certain fabrics. If you are doing any research I’d love to participate.

  11. Mary Pat says:

    Jane – this article gave me tears of joy. A long time coming. A doctor who actually looks at his patients and offers them the same care he would want for his wife and mother. He is outstanding. Thank you Jane and thank you Dr. Walker. More importantly, Dr Walker actually cares about what God thinks and Dr Walker takes his oath “to do no harm” seriously. Imagine that mesh makers and AUGs mesh supporters! He puts you to shame!

  12. lisa says:

    I am amazed at this awesome interview. I have been to hell n back. So many Dr’s telling me that they can’t help me. I’ve been pasted around like a whore. So many lying Dr’s, that wasn’willing to say I made a mistake or I don’t know. Reading this interview caused me to cry. Brought back so many memories. The smells, the permanent nerve damage, losing a foot of my colon, scheduled for a 4th surgery to remove something that the doctors say dont exist. Constant pain, bleeding, therapy, psyche’s, husband walked off, job fired me, medical bills, bad credit,the list goes in n on. I’m tired m beat down. My life will never be the same.

    • Barb says:

      My sympathy Lisa!!!! And it just appears to me that the one’s with the COMPLICATED CASES are going thru HELL………….excuse if I offend anyone. I too feel like I have been so exposed, we do have modesty!! It took me 8 years until I finally put my Sh^^ kicking boots on, I think that thought I was crazy!! I finally became a person I have always stuck up for myself however I was discharged from a specialist whom I was sent to to fix my prolapse and incontenence, cycstitis she made me feel like I was a complainer, she refused to fix my prolapse/incont/and claimed I did not have cystitis oh no I wasen’t the crazy one I asked her if any of my pelvic pain could be caused by mesh, she said what are you a Joe Bornstein client, I said no!! However she was wrong in me being incont, she said she could feel my mesh and it was fine, she gave me a test for cystitis said NO SIGNS!! She said it’s your colon MMMMMMMM interesting that I have rectocele prolapse that she didn’t put 2-2 together!! When I went to my PCP she said I thought you were being taken care of by Dr. Martin, I said never send me back she avoided evrything……the 3rd specialist first visit found MESH erosion, and tested me to see if I had cystitis, results positive!! So now yes I do have Joe Bornstein for mis-diagnosed!! It’s not about the money it’s making a statement that when a patient is referred to you for reasons that your PCP can’t handle shame on your for not doing your job 100%. She told me I was over weight 5’7..170………..don’t think so!! I also think lisa that when the MDL are settled it’s going to not go the way we hope, no big awards no special needs trust after attorney fee’s and paying back Medicare we will be lucky to have $20, 000……………Not happy in Maine

  13. Angry says:

    Thank You Jane for taking the time meet with Dr Walker. He is a amazing Doctor. I truly believe with out him I would not be here today.

  14. MarieAnn says:

    Doctor Walker has been a blessing to me in managing my continued pelvic health issues. I am post mesh removal by another outstanding physician that is across the country. I was so happy to be told of Dr Walker by another mesh injured lady in FL.

    He is very compassionate and kind. Very knowledgeable regarding treatment options and in the use of compounded medications. He truly cares!! God bless you Dr Walker!!

  15. Janelle says:

    Unfortunately here in Australia, my initial surgeon that performed the surgury, denied any problem until the mesh eroded through my vagina. To this day he still has not reported the case to the TGA here in Australia. There is a class action case of about 400 women here and still no support or counseling. Instead it’s hideous fees to be under a pain management specialist, that writes scripts but cannot see me improving. There isn’t even appropriate counseling by someone who is even aware of this mesh issue.

    I have resigned myself to suffer in silence and try and hold on to what I have left of a normal life.

  16. Karen Shepherd says:

    This is exactly what I am experiencing with the exception of the chronic pelvic pain. I have moments of intense pain in my lower abdomen then it goes away. I have had “as far as we know” all mesh removed, but I am still experiencing these problems. I feel like doctors think I am making this up, so to see this in writing is a relief. Any suggestions on how to proceed with these problems.

    “Patients will often complain of having a persistent chronic pelvic pain which may radiate into the lower abdominal area or down the leg. They may also have lower back pain and sciatica. Patients will also state that they are no longer capable of engaging in sexual relations especially vaginal penetration. Some patients will experience an abnormal vaginal odor or discharge; incomplete emptying of the bladder resulting in symptoms of urinary urgency and frequency, recurrent bladder infections and having to void multiple times at night. Many will say they have to lean forward when sitting on the commode to empty their bladder.”

  17. Lucy Loo says:

    Dr. Raz is located in which state?

    • Kitty says:

      Very nice reporting Jane

    • Advocate says:

      Lucy Loo, Dr. Raz is in Los Angeles at the UCLA system. There are a dozen or so skilled surgeons, dealing with this mesh problem across the country. Jane has interviewed a few of them already for this site, still others are available. Perhaps if Dr. Raz is not in your area, one of the others will be.

    • Sandra says:

      Dr Raz is in Los Angelos California. GREAT doctor!!

  18. Lisa (Florida) says:

    Excellent Interview! I’m lucky to have Dr. Walker just minutes from my home. I’m currently working with his office to get the funding required for a consult and possible removal of my mesh implant. A little worried about the funding though, we’ll see! I’ll post my opinions when I find out more. Thanks Jane!

  19. annonynous says:

    This is great information. I went yesterday for a post op follow up..I was upset when I told my gynecologist the pain I’m having..she looked st me as if I spoke in foreign tongue. Did my exam and said everything was good. No it’s not good I’m in constant pain. I realize she removed the mesh that had eroded into my bladder…but I hurt I have list 40 lbs and feel awful. Everyday of my life is horrible. ..and there are so many of us going through the same…please ask the Dr to consider going on a talk show to bring the attention to the media…I pray that every woman suffering.

  20. stopmeshimplants says:

    Dr. Raz is in Los Angeles, California. He is the most amazing surgeon.

  21. Disgusted says:

    Hi Jane,

    I think we need to start finding excellent pain doctors. Once the mesh is removed, pain subsides to various degrees depending on the person/circumstances/mesh used etc. For those of us still in life stopping pain after removal we need help finding pain treatment that work. I feel like a guinea pig all over again as they experiment, trying to find an answer to the damage. I never signed up for the advancement of science.

    • Jane Akre says:

      well put. And there should be a recognition that there will be a lifelong need for these people so you don’t get characterized as a pain med junky.

  22. Just tired says:

    I have a question…if you develope Auto immune issues while the sling is in and spend years fighting these issues, then have the sling removed should the symptoms of the Auto Immune Issues then retreat or is it a case of “you already started the ball rolling”?

    • Karen Haney says:

      I would like to know this also! I have been totally disabled because of fibromyalgia and dysautonomia. I had the removal done, but the surgeon told me he couldn’t get all of it. That I would have to have more surgeries. I wonder if this would help me!

  23. Anji says:

    I would love to see this doctor! He actually cares.

  24. Dorothy says:

    Auto Immune Issues often but not always start after some kind of jolt to our systems. Once turned on they’re pretty much here to stay. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia long before the mesh inplant so I’ve studied the conditions, there are about 60 of them. Find books that sound like you’re symptoms and do all you can to get comfortable. Good luck

  25. Paula says:

    i have had a sparc inplant in 2006 and I had a apogee and periogee in 2008 …numerous revised surgeries..

    i see no daylight…my life has all but ended..no sex since 2009,, before i would bleed and cramp and hurt to the point of walking hunched over..

    before mesh…i had a great life , sex life..I am a beautiful 54 yr old woman and I think i am going to my grave never having to be held or made love too. all because of this mesh.

  26. Sandra says:

    Great interview Jane. This doctor sounds wonderful and ethical. Nice to have him on our side.

  27. Bejah B says:

    I do not really know the best place to post this so I add it in here for maximum exposue. In a continuing effort to detemine the array of effects of petroleum mesh on our bodies we would probably do well to mention to ou community any new symptom especially when we have the sense that it is suspect. I am not sure that is the case here but I land on the side of probability and bring it to your attention for consideration.

    Nosebleeds are not uncommon but they can be frightening. This excerpt below is from a website simply called PATIENT. I woke this morning and took my medicine, did not blow my nose, run into the refrigerator nose first or get head butted by my dog. Suddenly for no evident reason bloo started pouring out of my left nostril. I was able to stop it but wonder why it happened. I do not have nosebleeds, at least not until now. So here is a list of possible causal factors if anyone in our community has had nosebleeds and dismissed them you may want to re-consider that.

    Wishing all a peaceful Sunday

    Bejah

    Occasionally a nosebleed indicates a more serious underlying disease. Often no cause is found.

    Causes include:

    •Trauma to the nose (the most common cause) – especially nose picking! Insertion of foreign bodies and excessive nose blowing may also be seen as trauma. The latter is likely to occur with a cold when the nasal mucosa is congested. Sinusitis causes nasal congestion.

    •Disorders of platelet function – thrombocytopenia and other causes of abnormal platelets, including splenomegaly and leukaemia. Waldenström’s macroglobulinaemia may present with nosebleeds. Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) can occur in children and young adults.

    •Drugs – aspirin and anticoagulants.

    •Disorders of platelets are more likely to be a problem than clotting factor deficiency.

    •Abnormalities of blood vessels in the elderly arteriosclerotic vessels prolong bleeding. Hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (Osler-Rendu-Weber syndrome) causes recurrent epistaxis from nasal telangiectases.

    •Malignancy of the nose may present with bleeding – juvenile angiofibroma is a highly vascular benign tumour that typically presents in adolescent males.

    •Cocaine use – if the septum looks sloughed or atrophic ask about use of cocaine. The drug is usually taken by inhalation and it has a very strong vasoconstrictive effect that can lead to complete obliteration of the nasal septum.

    •Other conditions – Wegener’s granulomatosis and pyogenic granuloma can present as an epistaxis.

  28. Teri says:

    I can state with complete truth and confidence, that Dr. Walker is the real deal.

    He doesn’t just treat you with the utmost respect and dignity, he also truly cares.

    I would suggest that if your complications are from the mesh, look for a Urogynecologist .

    If your Dr. doesn’t sit and listen then leave, remember, you are paying them for their services.

    After being sent on a run around for over two years, I was fortunate enough to find Dr. Walker.

    I am going in for my fifth surgery in July. I know he is doing absolutely everything he can possibly

    do for me. I hope and pray that anyone suffering from this horrendous implant can find the help

    they truly need. Still suffering in O Town, but with a team that I not only believe in, but they believe in me.

  29. Janice says:

    Wow, this was interesting + informative , especially the auto immune part+TVTO part! Thank you x

  30. Angry says:

    Teri I too have been blessed by his care and I mean this from the bottom of my heart. I knew early on I was in good hands.

    • Teri says:

      Hi Angry, Even my husband adores him. And he knows all of my immediate family members names!

      He is a god send, but I do miss Ashley!

      • Angry says:

        Teri what’s not to like right? I too miss Ashley she was so understanding and helpful. The two of them were the perfect team.

  31. Thankful Patient says:

    I am a grateful pt, a year ago Dr Walker operated on me. I am forever thankful to him and his staff, they were professional and took care of everything. They were helpful with all my concerns and questions. Dr Walker actually took the time out to talk to me and I was very at ease with his bedside manner.

    Thank you again.

  32. Janine says:

    Oh these posts are so disheartening. I had a Minarch sling and had problems from the start and it us only this year -4 years on that mesh was found in my urethra… A lovely erosion. So 6 weeks in I have new pain down the side now and I just can’t begin to get my head around what my future holds. I cannot fathom a life of mesh surgeries and erosions and I’m over the media and doctors simply not caring. Someone out there must be able to increase our cause in magnitude. So many women… Such sadness and depression. It’s like having a piece of barbed wire inside you every day… There MUST be someone in Australia that will do full mesh removal… Surely it can’t be about insurance/Medicare and item numbers. Is it as simple as that? Someone has to help us

  33. Mesh Gone Wrong says:

    Was Dr Walker able to remove the sling fully or in multiple operations? Also, does he take pictures of what he removed?

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