Dr. Kim UCLA

Lately I have seen more comments on this blog about Dr. Kim and women are searching for alternatives to Dr. Raz because of the long time waits for consult and then surgery. It may surprise you to know that the waiting time has not changed dramatically since I went for consult and removal with Dr. Raz. I saw him for consult on June 5th 2012 and had surgery just over four months later on Oct 11th that year. Now it is around five months between the two. But of course it is a very hard wait when you are living in pain and it seems forever.

I have always stated it is not my place to choose who does your mesh removal surgery nor is it any of my business. I do know women often choose someone based on how close they are to home and it is not always the wisest choice. You should always consider if the doctor will continue to help you after mesh removal and if you need it, will they fix any problems or prolapse. Those are questions you should look a doctor (any doctor) in the eye and ask. I also know women have based their decision on mesh removal when a doctor offers that it won’t cost you anything out of pocket, or very little if you sign against your case. That could be a huge mistake but once again it is your choice and you should not rush it before you have time to think.

I know there are doctors who fly around the country and are doing quite well from removing mesh. They have surgery privileges in more than one hospital and they ask you to put up your lawsuit against the surgery costs. However, once you receive an offer for settlement you may find yourself being shocked at what you will be left with, if anything. Something that sounds too good to be true, often isn’t. Will this doctor guarantee it was all removed? Well the only way to know is to have a translabial ultrasound a few months later if you think your mesh removal surgery is questionable and these doctors do not offer it. Yes, the mesh should be measured and recorded at time of removal and should be in your operative report. Are they doing this correctly? I honestly don’t know. Then what do you do if you wind up with a prolapse? Will your doctor fly back to fix your problems? These are all questions you should address before you consent to surgery.

This is why I want you to know more about Dr. Kim at UCLA. She did not do my mesh removal, Dr. Raz did. Because he was so up to his neck in removals and I did not want to take a removal surgery slot away from a woman who was in agony just like I was while it was in my body, I decided to go to Dr. Kim for my reconstruction surgery. But I do know she is now doing many mesh removals and is very competent.

But I do want you to understand how UCLA works before you make a decision or try to switch doctors to speed things up. Officially the UCLA administration, not the doctor, has set up a plan for you to see any doctor. Most of the time, you must first go out for consult and be examined and take your operative reports for them to read, before they determine if you need to have your mesh removed. I have heard rumors that some women have it removed even when they don’t have any problems and to be honest I feel this is foolish. These surgeries are not easy, unless you only have a small piece clipped out of the center. There is a time for healing and you cannot rush it. Therefore it is unwise to have it removed if it is not causing you pain, continuous infections or is disabling you.

If you went to any doctor at all for what you considered to be mesh removal, please go to the hospital as soon as you feel better and get your operative report from the records department. Do not rely on what a doctor tells you. If you wonder what took place because the operative report is not clear, then go and talk to your doctor. You hired the person and you have rights to know what happened to your body. If the answers are vague you need to go somewhere else to find out if it was completely removed or not. I have learned over these years, that doctors often lie.

You should know that if you switch doctors at UCLA because you can see one sooner, you may be required to go for consult again with the doctor, so ask questions first. If you are coming in from overseas you will be required to pay cash beforehand. However, they will make arrangements for consult, tests and surgery to be done at one time. You will also go through someone who deals with International surgeries and I do have an email address for this department if you would like to leave a comment and ask. You do not need to leave your name to ask for it and I will send it to you via the email address you leave on this blog.

I met two women from England while I was out at UCLA last month and although the cost are very high, they had gone through so much in that country and the mesh and the anchors were still in their bodies giving them continuous pain. So they made a giant decision to take their savings or do fund raisers by asking friends to help them, to get it all removed. I also know another lady from England is flying in this month to have hers removed. This is your life and you have a right to do all you can to live it without terrible pain. Don’t let those on support groups in your country interfere with your decision.

Flying far from home is not easy and I know because I flew from Texas to UCLA and a straight flight is 3 ½ hours without stopping off. To save money we did stop off the first couple of times but I regretted it as it was so much harder on my pain level, even more so after surgery. After those first flights, we spent the extra money to do nonstop flights. It was so much easier on me and I am glad I did not have to sit long spells in airports waiting for a connecting flight.

I know woman often base where they go for removal due to a family member’s opinion. This is YOUR life and you should base your decision on what YOU feel is right for you, not on someone else’s choice. I am not writing this blog to persuade anyone to do anything they don’t wish to. Once again, it’s your life, your choice.

If you would like to learn about Dr. Kim’s background before you make a decision, you can read this
There is a link on there for her complete CV.

For help with costs of hotels and other expenses I have recently written a blog that may help you. This is it

18 Comments

  1. Ellen

    I agree with everything that you wrote,and I also agree Doctors do lie.You wrote a great blog some women just don’t know what to do.Or it could be hard to travel and have someone there for them.That is so sweet that you are passing on the info that women need and asking for nothing in return.Bless your hearts.We need more people like you.Have a great night and thanks again

    Reply
  2. Valerie

    You wrote it would be foolish to have it removed if you are not in pain. What about the arguments that exposure to the mesh can cause irreversible autoimmune diseases with exposure? What kind of reconstruction are you having done? Will they use mesh?
    Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Linda (Post author)

      Valerie if you have any of those kind of symptoms then you should definitely get it removed. However you should weigh the odds of what mesh removal can do especially if you don’t have any immune symptoms or you go to a doctor who does not remove it completely. If you do that then you will be worse off than you are now. Some immune disorders like Lupus definitely can be caused by mesh reaction if it was not there before implant and I have written about those. The rule of thumb is that if you did not have such a condition before implant then it is the mesh doing it. I had reconstruction and repairs 2 1/2 years ago and my own tissue was used. Dr. Kim did that surgery and no mesh was put back in my body. Learn all you can and be sure of who you go to for mesh removal.

      Reply
  3. Patty

    I had mesh placed two years ago. I had a revision a year ago. I seemed to be getting a little better and had a surgical date of Oct. 1, 2015. Upon my preop, Dr. Raz , wanted to wait to see if it might settle down. Since that time, I have had more and more pain. a very bad kidney infection. I am so tired and exhausted from the pain. I have had ultra sounds and ct scans which all show nothing. Im sure all this is coming from the mesh. I have an appt. Jan 12, 2016 but the pain is just overwhelming. I’ve waited so long to get the best of the best Dr. Raz, but it’s just so hard to be in this constant pain. I really don’t know why I’m writing this, but I guess it’s just to see if someone else has had this experience. I feel so bad for my family, because I can’t be the wife, mother and grandmother I want to be. If anyone has any answers for me, I look forward to the encouragement.
    Thank you

    Reply
    1. Linda (Post author)

      He must have had his reasons for wanting to wait, but you should ask why. Perhaps it is to do with your overall health.

      Reply
  4. Jim

    First my wife and I would like to thank each person that has contributed to a wealth of information about this issue. My wife was two weeks from surgery with a local surgeon and would have received mesh kits to “correct” POP. Fortunately several red flags popped up during the consults and she cancelled surgery and we began extensive research. After months of research we discovered that the best practice for POP surgery was at UCLA so we flew from WA State to UCLA for a consult with Dr. Kim. My wife was scheduled for surgery within two months and Dr. Kim did an excellent job, according to my wife. It was a seven hour laparoscopic surgery. It has now been 15 months since her surgery and my wife is quite satisfied with the results and counts her blessings that she did not have to endure the horror of the transvaginal kits. The information about the great work by Dr. Raz and Dr. Kim, the Tiverton House for lodging, recovery stories, etc…, allowed us to make choices for the best possible experience. Thank you all. And yes, Dr. Ja-Hong Kim has our endorsement.

    Reply
    1. Linda (Post author)

      Thank you Jim and I am so glad your wife did not end up like so many. This is why I continue to write and warn. I am thrilled you both have a life and marriage without mesh.

      Reply
      1. Tia P

        Linda, Thank you so much for all the work you do. I am trying to sort out what to do next about my own mesh hell. Wait time is a bigger concern than distance. Is it possible for you to email me? I would so appreciate it. I apologize if your email is already listed somewhere. I couldn’t locate it. Thank you.

        Reply
  5. Jo

    Hi,
    Thank you for this site. I am learning a lot. Please email me the contact details for Dr Raz and Dr Kim.

    Reply
    1. Linda (Post author)

      I sent you the information. Glad you are spending time learning.

      Reply
  6. Erica

    Thank you for this blog. I am seeing Dr Kim next month for a consult and have heard wonderful things about her on other blogs and support groups. I am ready to get this mesh OUT!!

    Reply
    1. Kelly

      I have an appointment with Dr. Kim in June, can you give me insight on dsys to be there abd hiw yoye vusit went. Im coming from Illinois.

      Reply
  7. Shauna

    Hi Linda. I am new to this site. I am considering going to dr Kim at ucla for mesh removal. It sounds like you were happy with her. How was the removal process for you?

    Reply
    1. Linda (Post author)

      I have sent you an email.

      Reply
  8. crystal

    Hi Linda I just got on the schedule with Dr. Kim for Oct looking for some more info about the process. Can you email me maybe we could chat if you have time.

    Reply
    1. Linda (Post author)

      Crystal I will email you.

      Reply
  9. Dorothy

    9 months ago, despite telling the Doctor I didn’t want the mesh that was causing all the problems, I had a bladder sling operation for stress incontinence. 6 months later, the mesh is extruding through my vaginal wall. I am not in pain, but I can feel irritation and burning once in a while. I am scheduled for a repair. I do not know what to do. Everyone is telling me no, it will only make things worse over time -remove it all and the sooner the better. I am having a hard time finding a doctor in Michigan that even does complete removal. Now, I read this. I have no idea what to do or where to turn.

    Reply
    1. Linda (Post author)

      Dorothy. Sadly just telling a doctor you don’t want mesh, gives them free reign to make any decisions for you and there is nothing you can do about it. The other sad news is, one you have it in you, it is a forever journey, without end. Many of us wish we could turn back the clock, but sadly we have to live with it, for the rest of our days.
      You say you are scheduled for a repair surgery. Have you asked what will be done to you? I can tell you from listening to hundreds of women since the day of my own implant surgery, that all that will happen is, it will be snipped off and left to continue it’s journey through your vaginal wall. Probably within a year, or less, you will be right back to where you are now or even worse off.
      I am not sure who ‘everyone’ is, but I have a feeling you are listening to other women on support groups. If this is the case, why listen to anyone and why not choose your own destiny? You obviously are conflicted and filled with anxiety. No one can tell you what to do or where to go, but I am going to give you questions, that you need to answer for yourself.

      Why have you not asked more questions of the surgeon? Are you afraid to?

      How much do you think your life is worth? Are you not worth the cost of going to a surgeon who may be far from home, but can save you thousands of hours of agony?

      I also want to say that the chance of finding a good doctor who knows what they are doing and won’t make things far worse, is like seeking a needle in a haystack. So why are you wasting so much of your life, doing this?

      You deserve to live a better life without continuous pain, so base your decisions on hope, rather than what Everyone else thinks.

      Reply

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