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I just signed up yesterday with a post about problems with vaginal mesh 4.5 months after surgery, and now I'm really confused. What is vaginal mesh erosion? I did a Google search, and all the articles either don't apply to me and/or are very scientific.
Also, does anyone know the name of the "dissolving", not permanent, mesh they use to support the vaginal vault in prolapse repair during the hysterectomy?
I still have green discharge (cultured as normal) and discomfort 4.5 months later, I can FEEL my vagina when I move around and it feels abraded, as if the walls were rubbed with sandpaper are rubbing against each other. When I feel around with my finger, it all feels normal to the touch, except that the tissue feels firmer about 3/4" inside (the mesh boundary). I am moist due to using Vagifem.
All my doctor is saying is that it's taking a longer time than average (which is 2 months) for my mesh to dissolve and to use Vagifem because the estrogen is supposed to be the best thing to help things along. But I was better off at 3 months (no discharge and less discomfort) than I am now. I just don't have a good feeling about this at all.
ragtime, do you know the kind or name of the mesh your doctor used in your vaginal repair? Your surgeon should know the type s/he used. You can also ask for a copy of your surgical report from your hospital directly. Also, did you have both anterior and posterior repairs done? Most of the vaginal mesh erosion problems I've read about were for the polypropylene, non-dissolving type. If you find out what yours was made of, please let us know. The autologous one, made of one's own body tissue, is supposed to completely dissolve as well as the other 'organic' types (cadaveric, bovine, porcine). Ideally, the scar tissue left is supposed to be the main support for your reconstructed pelvic floor areas. If you do a Search on our website here at HysterSisters in this forum for "vaginal mesh erosion", [top righthand corner of this page in the purple bar] you will find several threads of discussion that deal with this quite a bit. Hoping for the best for you and sending a quick ...........
Thanks so much for the informative reply. I have a message in to my doctor now and an appt. in 2 weeks. I'm just going to get some lidocaine gel up there for now to see if I can get some relief from the burning feeling. I would not have expected this much trouble from a dissolving mesh, but I'm always the 1 in a crowd of 100 that will react to something in an unexpected way! My curse, I guess!
Please let us know what your doctor says about what kind of mesh your doctor used. I just had an appointment today and discussed all the types of dissolveable mesh and my doctor swears that none of them last for more than 8 weeks - now I wonder what he would say to you....... I will be looking for your post as I am having surgery sometime this fall. Hugs.
I must find out what kind of dissolving mesh this is! I will post as soon as I know.
Can you believe it? How is a person supposed to make a decision when there are several opinions out there? My doctor, who is very "groovy", swears that everyone she knows in the field likes the dissolving mesh. But, when she told me about it way before surgery, I had a little red light go off in my head that said "is this just one of those fad things that they later find out isn't so great after all?" I decided to trust her, as she is a very trustworthy sort, and went with it. I may be fine in the long run, but I know I am on the outer parts of the curve (whatever you call that) of average healing time for this sort of surgery. My body didn't dissolve the suture material very well at all, either. I must have gone into the office 4 times in all to have sutures taken out well after they should have dissolved.
Good luck with all this, and I'll remember to post as soon as I find out. It is a very nerve-wracking decision, I know as I took 3 years to get around to it!
Please PM me about what your Doctor has told you about the different materials. I DO NOT want another woman to go through what a lot of us have gone through on this board. I am not in the medical field, but if I had done my homework before surgery, I would have found out that I didn't need it in the first place and I would have researched the different mesh material that Doctor's are using.
In all of my research since February, I came across an article that's about 80 plus pages long. It was written for Investor's and it talks about how long the female babyboomers are living and how many of us are going to be having surgeries to correct pelvic floor problems. It lists the names of the companies that make all of the different types of materials that they put in our lower bodies. No where in this article did it ever mention the complications, pain and suffering that WE "Babyboomer's" are experiencing. The company that made my mesh states that they have 6% of patients with mesh erosion. Excuse me, but the company isn't taking into consideration that most Doctor's don't report mesh erosion and most consumer's, like myself wouldn't think about it. However, with the internet available and the wealth of information, I knew exactly who to call when I knew I had mesh erosion and my Doctor wasn't revealing it to me. It was only after several examines without him mentioning it to me that I finally told him that I had mesh erosion. He wanted me back in his office in two days when his laser sales representative was going to be there teaching him how to use the laser. I guess he thought that I was stupid enough that I was going to let him and a sales rep operate on me. My current Doctor told me that if he had tried to remove that in an office setting, I would have bled too death, not to mention the infection that I might have gotten. I was only number four patient that the Quack had used this type material/procedure on.
Please educate yourself and go for a second and third opinion before you make any final decisions.
Hi Ragtime. You have many legitimate questions you need to ask your Dr to answer. There are many, many types of sutures. Some are permanent, some dissolvable and some "delayed dissolvable". I previously had done some research and found that there is a dissolvable mesh used in prolapse repairs made from Vicryl sutures. The success rate is smaller due in part to the fact that the sutures may dissolve before scar tissue has formed to hold everything in place.
From reading your post I think your vagina feels firmer because you still have the mesh in place. Even though it is presumably dissolvable and there is an optimal time for it to dissolve, everyone's body is different and yours sounds like it's taking awhile for it to breakdown those sutures. As far as vaginal mesh erosion the first line of treatment is vaginal estrogen to promote healing of the vaginal tissue. Surgery is usually done only if the estrogen is not helping and the erosion is increasing in size. I think it's really important for you to sit down with your Dr and discuss your concerns. For me it always helps to formulate a plan so I know what to expect and when and how we will proceed.
Twinsisters, you present some very valid information. I know you feel very strongly about the manufacturers and their stats for erosion and failure. But let me pose this question to you. Right now mesh is the best alternative to standard colpporaphy which has a high failure rate. Let's suppose the manufacturer had a mandatory adverse effects reporting system in place and you knew the accurate percentage of erosion. Which would you choose? It seems to me that both interventions come with their share of risks and benefits but the only way to avoid them is to live with the prolapse which women hundreds of years ago did without choice. The truth is that pelvic floor surgery is elective and only emergent to women with procidentia(complete organ prolapse)Research is ongoing and someday a product will be developed that will perform better with less risk of side effects. Until then I, like many, have taken my chances knowing the risks and side effects in the hopes that I will be able to lead a more comfortable life.
The FDA does have a compliance reporting system in place, for the consumer and the Doctor. However, my point with the mesh company saying they only have a 6% failure rate was stating that not everyone reports mesh erosion, and these numbers are very low. I agree with you, for those women that have complete pelvic floor prolapse's, they have few surgical options. For me, I just happen to stumble onto a Quack that needed to make some money. I had a one degree cystocele and two degree rectocele. Based upon what I know now, I did not need surgery. I went to the Gyn to get HRT and three weeks later had this surgery. I was in the process of moving to another state and the Doctor said that it was a "walk in the park". He did not tell me that he was putting mesh in me nor did he explain the procedure. I'm 54yrs old and I did not have incontienence nor did I have frequency issues. I was a very healthy woman that worked out at the gym 10-12 hours a week, with intense weight program and 30 minutes on the elliptical and 30 minutes on the bike and/or threadmill. I do take some responsibility for not having asked questions. My only excuse is...........my plate was full. My husband was injured in two car accidents, in the same day and has permanent disability from that accident and we were relocating to be close to our children. Also, a friend went to this Doctor and she highly recommended him.
To this day, I do not understand why I didn't ask questions. I did have a very minor problem with completely emptying when I had a BM, but stressed to the Doctor that that was it. I did have a few UTI's a year, but contributed that to working out and possibly staying in my wet gym clothes too long. There were many year's that went by that I was not bothered by a UTI. As soon as he examined me he said that he could feel the small rectocele and that he could fix it and before I knew it, he could fix everything. Ten month's later, four surgeries later and I am now dealing with IC that I did not have prior to this Doctor operating on me. I also do not have any energy and cannot exercise.
I am very angry with the Doctor for a number of reasons. The Gynecare mesh company have on their web site that the Doctor's must given all their patients the brochure that explains their products, the risk's, which does include mesh erosion. I was never told I was having mesh and was not given a brochure. I devleoped a hematoma right after surgery, it went undiagnosed and the Doctor overdosed me on Dilaudid, I was not properly monitored and coded. I was three breaths away from dying. He lied about the overdose, saying I was allergic to it. He wished he had given me 2mgs and not 4mgs of Dilaudid. He's told quite a few lies.
If I've learned anything this year, it's the importance of having that little pulse ox on your finger anytime that you and/or a loved one is in the hospital and receiving narcotics.
I'd like to finish by saying to any lady on this board that is a babyboomer OR not and if you read the investment report I did, you would be angry. It seems that their are a lot of Doctor's and Medical Manufacturer's that are just out for the money. I am not against new Scientific Technolgy, when it's proven that it's safe and effective.
Michele, my heart goes out to you and all of the other women that are having serious problems with these issues. It sounds as if you did your homework and that you did make an informed decision about the risks that you were possibly taking. Unfortunately, I put a lot of faith in a Doctor, believing that Doctor's hold themselves to a high standard. I learned a hard lesson. I have empowered myself with knowledge and I hope that I will never make the same mistake twice.