My Own Mesh Removal Surgery

In the last few days women are so angry and there has been such an uproar all because of a post by Jane Akre recently put on her site about Estelle Tasz’s mesh removal surgery. She wrote things there that have had women so upset because they do not know WHY she would write such things. I don’t either except perhaps it is for one reason. Loan referral fees. By now women have realized that when they are ‘led’ to a company who will give a loan against a case, the people doing the leading are making money. By now women have also realized that when they ask that person about any monetary gain, the answer is either highly evasive or they do not receive any answer at all.

The referral fees must be a fair amount for so many to want to jump on the band wagon. Women have been kicked off support groups when they complain that people were openly selling their wares even after women yelled that it was not right for them to do so on a support group. I totally agree. Support groups should be a place where women can meet others who are going through a very difficult time because of medical mesh and like to share what they are doing to help themselves. The reason why this should not be allowed is because where else can women go and feel safe and talk about their pain. Support groups sound like a great idea except when the people running them or people who are planted on them begin selling their products. This has been going on since these support groups were set up and it is time for it to stop. But right now I want to deal with one issue. Which doctor you should or should not choose to do your mesh removal.

Here’s the deal. You can and should choose whoever you want to and it is YOUR business who and why you choose a particular doctor. If you have been smart and asked a lot of questions before you settle on a doctor, then you should feel very comfortable about your future. My statement to you is talk privately to as many women as possible about all doctors before you make that decision and I hope these women will tell you the truth as to their surgery and healing. Talk to as many women as possible who have been to different doctors around the country. This is why support groups are good because you can find a whole group of women with mesh complications in one place. Do not go along with hype. ASK QUESTIONS of women privately before you make your final choice.

If you are a woman who had surgery by any removal doctor and are asked questions in private, I hope you will give an accurate account of the surgery itself and the healing process. It will take you three to six months before you can accurately know how you are doing. Any surgery will be hard on your body it is true but if only one sling was removed we should all come back and heal by three months UNLESS there was a problem. I know women who actually went back to work after eight weeks after they had mesh removal at UCLA. However it all depends on their state of health before they had removal surgery, how difficult it was and what they do to try to come back once the removal is complete. A good supplement plan is the greatest gift you can give yourself to heal your body.

Because Jane Akre made statement such as how mesh can be removed, I decided to share my own mesh removal photo with you. It is not something I planned ever to do because I am not into gory things or posting surgery photos, but this time I am doing it so that women have some kind of an idea of what their body should look after a TVT mesh removal surgery at UCLA. Everyone is different in the type of sling and how it is anchored and if you want to understand more about your mesh, Google the brand and type and add patent
information and begin searching. Most of them will come up and you will find the name of the company or inventor and a sketch of what the mesh part looks like along with a detailed description of how it is anchored. The latter is highly important because knowing how it is anchored gives you a better chance at choosing a doctor. I do know there was at least one sling that did not have any way to anchor it to the body, but how it stayed there I have no clue. Perhaps sutures. However most of these products do have anchors or arms if you prefer to use those terms. When you had the original surgery you should remember if you had any small blood crusted areas across your pelvic area. I do remember mine as it took a while for them to heal and go flat against my skin. However, I could still feel them on the outside of my body with my fingers. Dr. Raz of UCLA felt them immediately when he did my consult appointment and he knows just about if not all types of slings and how they are anchored. You will need to take your operative report with you for your consult.

The incision to remove the anchors was made on my lower pelvic area and was about 5″ across. It was the ONLY cut made to remove both the anchors and the mesh sling was removed through my vagina. Most women will have two cuts with an area not cut in the center. Mine was all across because Dr. Raz had to unpick it from the nerves and muscles it was hooked up into. I took this photo a few days after my mesh removal, after I got in the shower to remove the incision holders. Now however you cannot tell where the incision was as I healed so well. I had one sling in my body made by Boston Scientific, called TVT Advantage Fit. My surgery took around two hours total by Dr. Raz due to his skills as a mesh removal surgeon.

I asked my daughter to edit this photo so that it was presentable for this blog. I took the photo for one reason. I wanted to remember that a simple little non invasive surgery can turn into a nightmare with a scar. I wrote in a past blog that I used 40% zinc baby diaper cream every day on my scar after I took a shower. It healed fantastically and even my daughter could not find it yesterday. I used the cream because it kept the scar soft and did not dry up and crack and break open or become irritated in any way. The cream did not sting nor cause me any discomfort because it is designed for a baby’s tender skin.

I do not know how other women’s bodies look after mesh removal but many women have told me over the phone this is similar to theirs after removal at UCLA. I am 100% confident that Dr. Raz removed it ALL including the anchors. If you are concerned in any way about your own mesh removal, talk to the doctor who did your surgery. Your surgeon should answer any questions you have, to put your mind at ease.

I can tell you this. The surgeons of UCLA Urology use the translabial ultrasound before surgery to detect where the mesh is so that it makes it easier to find BEFORE the go in. I wish I knew other places across the country where you can get this done because I know many women would save up to have this test done, even if it was cash pay, just to ease their minds. I have a theory as to why this test is not being used elsewhere. I believe it is because doctors do not want to know about the damage caused by mesh. After all if you don’t know, you don’t have to stop using these products. Turning a blind eye is so much easier than taking new training to fix women without the use of mesh.

I hope this blog has given you some peace of mind and I hope Jane Akre will choose her words wisely from now on ESPECIALLY as she has read all the great testimonials from women who went out to UCLA, just as I have. The surgeons at UCLA are doing great work and women are being helped and cared for. If you feel that way about your removal doctor regardless of who, then that is all that matters.

So Jane Akre and all you folks who are using injured women to pad your lifestyles stop it. To read more on the war at UCLA read here

6 Comments

  1. Donna

    Thank you Linda for your valuable information. I don’t know if this information will help anyone but I requested a trans labial ultrasound in Ohio after getting the information from you about this procedure. I was able to have this test done in a Beachwood Ohio hospital. The radiology department looked up trans labial ultrasound in one of their medical manuals and simply followed the directions, I also printed the information from your blog about this ultrasound and they were happy to read it and understand what I needed done to see the mesh still in my body. I was very pleased with the outcome.

    Reply
    1. lavalinda

      Thank you Donna. They must be more open minded about the issues with mesh and I am glad you found someone to do it. The Urology department at UCLA will provide instructions as to how to use the translabial ultrasound to detect the mesh. They use 2 different heads when performing this test. You can read more here http://meshangelnetwork.com/2012/10/ucla-tests-before-mesh-removal-surgery/

      Reply
  2. msm

    Good morning. I couldn’t get a straight answer from that “other” site. I signed off for good citing too much drama ! (Understatement). I am trying to figure out logistics for getting to UCLA in the (hopefully) near future. For what should be an uncomplicated removal of the remaining ends of a TVT, about how long could I expect to be away from home? I know there are a lot of variables with travel and surgery schedules but if I could just know an average or “ballpark” figure I would have a starting point. Thanks for educating those of us who have been duped ! I’m pretty angry about the time I wasted.

    Reply
    1. lavalinda

      MSM I have written many blogs for the journey and all you need to know to go out there and I will come back and give them to you in a new update blog. I will work on it today.

      Reply
  3. Jeanne

    So I read you have incontinence now completely from having the sling out. I am so discouraged about all this. I never was told about any issues I barely wet my pants when sneezed yet in 04 they suggested this. I wonder when all these issues started to come forth Right now I have urine retention I have for yrs and yrs The dr that put this tvt in said not related What!! I am on the 3rd dr who said yes it is and I am self cath now He may want to cut the sling as said it is too tight I also have it hitting in my vagina 3 drs have felt that and never said this is erosion. I don’t even know what to do with this anymore or how to feel. I have so many problems with my spine to deal with all this is just hard. Just makes you want to cry to know this is in you and not know what is ahead. Hope you are well.

    Reply
    1. lavalinda

      Jeanne it is only a small percentage of women who wound up like I did and it all depends on how much damage there is, mainly to the urethra. I also was like you and cutting it caused other problems which they don’t tell you before they do it. The truth is it needs to come out but the wrong doctor will really screw you up. I didn’t need the sling either, but I am afraid they think you need it. I don’t know what your situation is but if you can make an appointment for UCLA, I know the whole thing is scary but in the end we don’t have a choice. I am sad for you and understand where you are at right now. I am doing so much better as it will be 2 years next month since it was removed. I have no regrets as I don’t think I would be here without removal as my complications got so bad over time.

      Reply

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