Bad Mesh Alternatives

Can you imagine what it feels like to go through mesh removal and then discover that you just stepped into yet another nightmare? Well I can’t either but yesterday I read a comment here on this blog that made me realize that that is just what is happening to some women at the hands of their mesh removal doctors. This is that comment.

“I had my mesh bladder sling put in, in 2012, it was one of the faulty one’s, it caused me a lot of pain and painful intercourse. Dr Gary Gregerson here in Nampa,I’d did the surgery to completely remove old mesh and replace it with the pig skin a little over 2 weeks ago on 3-2-15 so with 7 incision’s I am still in a lot of pain, he said it’s a 6 week recovery. Today he told me he just found out the pig skin he put in me had expired 2 days prior to surgery, and that there were several law suits due to that. What are my options at this time? What should I do? I have tried to do research on this and coming up with nothing. Thank you”

First I decided to find out who this doctor is and what State he practices because I had never heard of him. This way if you went to this doctor and/or live in this State, you stand a chance to ask many questions that need to be answered. I found out he practices in Indiana. You can review him here

I do not know if the mistake was his fault or the fault of someone at the hospital or clinic where he did the surgery who was responsible for reading the expiration date, but it should NEVER happen. I also wonder why this doctor has not kept up with any product that already has lawsuits BEFORE he does his surgeries and INFORMS women by giving them full details and a pamphlet with all details long before he does the surgery. This is why I am giving you his name because the woman gave it openly in the comments on my blog. Therefore it cannot be considered hearsay.

First bell that went off was reading that she said hers was one of the ‘faulty ones’. If you are searching for answers before you have a mesh sling put into you, be aware that all are faulty and don’t believe the crap when a doctor tells you that the new kinds don’t have these issues. THEY DO! I know this because I hear directly from the women who suffer after they have been put into their bodies.

Immediately I put in Google pig sling complications and up pop in lawyers ads. It took me all of a few seconds to find what is going on with sling made of pig material. This is why every woman BEFORE she submits to any removal or prolapse repair surgery should ask her doctor for complete information and should be handed a pamphlet with the name and details of the product when she visits him/her in their office, NOT just before surgery but far in advance. Then YOU do the work. Start researching on your own and take your time. If you find it overwhelming, take a break and then do more research. This is your life and your future so do all you can to protect it.

Now I have taken on these products before and written blogs to help women and I did if while I was recovering from surgery and I will post the links at the bottom of this blog for you to read. However I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for women to read and reread anything about their own complications and to fully understand the mesh that was put into their bodies and how it was put into them, long before they go for removal surgery. If you don’t do the homework, you can wind up in devastating situations with nowhere to turn. It is because of dealing with pain that I say read, read, read because often it is difficult to take it in and remember what you have read when you are in pain. Don’t make quick decisions because you want the mesh out of you once and for all. Take your time because your future depends on it.

So what is the problem with slings made of other tissues? Anything foreign whether it be mesh, cadaver tissue or animal tissue our weakened immune systems can reject and cause other health issues. We often kid ourselves into believing things because of words such as organic and I just found this question written by a woman and answered by a doctor. I am not going to put the link because I know nothing about this doctor nor what he is trying to sell to women or if indeed he is. So to me that information is irrelevant. This is what I read.

Question. I’m going to get an organic bladder sling made of pig’s skin. Are there any more risks to getting that kind instead of the mesh kind?

Answer. Both synthetic polypropylene and acellular porcine dermis (pig skin) mesh slings are considered safe and effective for the treatment of female stress incontinence. In general, I advise patients that their main priority should be choosing the surgeon and then let the surgeon decide upon the details of the operation and materials to use.

To me this last part is all wrong. You should decide what should be used based on the material pamphlet he gave you and your own research. It is YOUR body and YOUR decision based on informed consent.

I believe that the process that prepares the pig skin is meant to remove all the cells and living material so that only collagen (an acellular material) remains. The FDA has reviewed and approved this process. To my knowledge, this material is not “organic” in the culinary sense, but it’s just not a synthetic product. I have used both of these materials and had very good outcomes with both, however detailed questions about surgical risks should be directed to your surgeon.

So do not let words become your guide and trust no one but yourself. How long did he follow his patient after the surgery? It can often take years to know how a woman is doing and many times her ill-health is blamed on other things and not on the product that was used. Also was the good outcome in his mind or is it the real truth? As we all know doctor’s lie to suit their careers.

Next up someone asked me about another product that was put in her body during one of her mesh removal surgeries. That product is called Repliform. So I quickly did research that took me two seconds and came up with the fact that it was recalled. This is what I found on yet another lawyer’s site.

Repliform Recall

FDA Recall of Human Tissue Products-LifeCell Corp

September 30, 2005

Recalled Products: AlloDerm, Repliform, and GraftJacket made by LifeCell Corporation of Branchburg, New Jersey

LifeCell Corporation initiated a voluntary recall of certain AlloDerm, Repliform, and GraftJacket product from the marketplace on September 30, 2005. The recall was prompted when internal quality processes raised questions about the donor documentation received from one tissue recovery organization. Specifically, the company recalled all lots of product that were produced using tissue from Biomedical Tissue Services (BTS).

Life Cell promptly notified the FDA and all relevant hospitals and medical professionals. All other BTS inventory remains on hold until the discrepancies in the donor documentation can be resolved. LifeCell works with more than 40 other tissue recovery organizations that are not affected by this recall.

The Repliform recall was prompted after concerns were raised about donor documentation received from one tissue recovery organization. It was determined that some of the donor tissue was harvested from individuals who had not consented to donate before their death.

As you can tell it is tissue made from a cadaver. Is her type one to worry about? I have no clue, but my suggestion if you are reading this blog and have a lawyer, first read your operative report and find out EXACTLY what was put into your body and read the date and number. IF you are then fearful contact your lawyer and ask them direct questions and make sure you get the right answers. Also do even more research so that you are completely aware of what you are dealing with.

Now here is yet another issue you should think about. Dr. Raz has had to tell many women that he cannot put in a sling when he removes the mesh because there are many issues to consider. First is the swelling. Second is the inflammation that removal causes and third you may not need a new sling at all so why go through the risks if you don’t need it. He tells them to wait ¾ months before they decide on another surgery based on do they really need it. I know many, many women who did not. I just spoke to a woman who he removed her mesh in January to see how she is doing now and she told me fantastic and she is NOT incontinent at all. That for me is great news and she also had the mesh in her for more than ten years.

This tells you hugely about his skills and they were not learned overnight. This does not mean every woman will have great results after her removal because it all depends on what mesh has done over time, how it was put in your body and damage done at that time and the person’s skills when removing it.

I spent time out of my own life to research and write this blog this morning because I know how many women have suffered for years and the last thing they need is to suffer more. If you feel your situation is in violation of any ethical standards you do have options and you can read about them here

I have written about types of sling materials and informed consent.

Link for the blog I have already written about various surgeries to fix prolapse

10 Comments

  1. Laurie

    nampa is in Idaho

    Reply
    1. lavalinda

      Thank you Laurie and I stand corrected. I had never heard of this place before and glad you told me.

      Reply
  2. krisstee

    I have a consultation Scheduled with Dr Raz at ucla on July 14th I live in Oklahoma and I was wonder if anyone who has used him knows if he will schedule my surgery for removal of the mesh close to thst date or will it b month or so out from my consultation? Trying to schedule this around my work so I am not sure if I need to just take off longer in July to stay or will I have to go back for surgery at a latter time . Plz text me 9187720060 with info or email me at krissteep@yahoo.com

    Reply
    1. lavalinda

      Krisstee a consult is only to find out what is going on and then surgery is scheduled, so you can fly home immediately after. You will probably wait 3/4 months but should get the date at time of consult. This will tell you all about consult and what you need to take. http://meshangelnetwork.com/2012/06/mesh-dr-raz-u-c-l-a/

      Reply
  3. sabie

    I need help I am in Indiana I had a monarc sling placed in 2011 and have had several complications from it but I am just know putting the puzzle pieces together. I want to have this thing removed any good doctors in Indiana to evaluate the damage? I don’t know where to start.i have extreme pain , bowl issues, infections, numbness fatigue, abdominal pain and suffering from many more symptoms.

    Reply
    1. lavalinda

      Sabi I know you want to stay close to home but it will be a huge mistake. Read this. http://meshangelnetwork.com/2015/05/mothers-day-2015/

      Reply
  4. Valerie

    I had a repliform bladder sling in 2003
    It was from life cell, how can I know if it was from undocumented tissue from biomedical? I know life cell used them

    Reply
    1. Linda (Post author)

      All I can say is, talk to a lawyer who may know about this.

      Reply
  5. Pam Beauchamp

    I have read all of this with the exception to one link that could not be found. I fully agree with every word posted here. I am one who had the great experience with a bad surgeon. Dr. Raz has helped me so much, however, the infections from the mesh and AlloDerm have caused so much damage. It is very difficult to get someone to represent you. Thank you Linda for all the information you provide for all of us, and to those of you who contribute. You guys truely know what you are talking about. We have experienced it, and live it daily. If not for this site, I don’t know what I would have done. Thank you to all who contribute.

    Reply
  6. Dariole Gordy

    Please contact me if you had a nightmare as I did from the REPLIFORM product pelvic sling. My REPLIFORM was put in 2005. I’ve had numerous surgeries since. I still have horrible problems. I have an appointment for March 2019.

    Reply

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