An interview with Ann Becker Schutte, Ph.D Last year, for the first time, I attended Stanford...READ MORE
For the Women Who Suffer From Transvaginal Mesh Complications
We’re spreading the word about women’s health & pharmaceuticals in honor of Women’s Health Week.
If you didn’t know already, women keep this world running. The only catch is women suffer some of the worst injustices — like a pharmaceutical world that neglects to perform clinical testing equally for both men and women. It’s called “Disproportionate Harm.” Women suffer more unnecessary health complications due to pharmaceutical negligence than men.
It’s time to change that. We’ll start by speaking up and sharing this information with our friends. The medical implant devices known as transvaginal mesh may cause lifelong, life-wrecking pain and health complications that require endless (and often unsuccessful) revision surgeries.
This is “her” story.
She was told that transvaginal mesh was a relatively quick and easy repair for her stress urinary incontinence (SUI) or pelvic organ prolapse (POP). She was told that the problem would go away, and that the surgery was so minimal that she would be in and out of surgery in no time. She was told it was a “minimally invasive surgery,” that it was nothing to worry about — that it definitely wasn’t a “surgery – surgery” and that it required minimal recovery time.
Transvaginal mesh was a “product re-work.” Polypropylene surgical mesh was first studied, developed and tested as a hernia repair device. You’d think if the manufacturers wanted to start selling the device to women and their doctors, they would have first thoroughly tested it and made any necessary tweaks so that the mesh could transition safely from a device for hernia repair to a device for pelvic floor or uretheral sling repair.
But, alas, no. All of that necessary studying and testing and product tweaking was not performed. Instead, it was more like a rebranding. Something you might expect for a potato chip standby or an old fashioned cookie trying to market itself to a new audience… but a medical device used to treat stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse?
To say the least, women deserved better.
Instead, all too many women who were implanted with transvaginal mesh began to suffer greatly. All too often the implants failed because it would erode and/or protrude, causing a great deal of pain and a severe and increasing difficulty in the woman’s ability to keep up with her normal daily activities.
So the women did what any of us would have done. They talked to their doctors and many of them decided to have the implant removed, a surgical necessity, as they saw it.
Which leads to the next major problem behind transvaginal mesh implants: They are extremely difficult to remove. Some surgeons have even likened its removal to removing delicate pieces from concrete — a total impossibility. Like delicate pieces embedded in concrete, the implant erodes and becomes connected to nearby tissue, becoming so impossibly entwined that full removal becomes impossible.
It was supposed to be a simple, outpatient surgery. If only.
If you or someone you know is considering treatment for your stress urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse, we encourage you to consider and share this information.