My Transvaginal Mesh Surgery


My Story – Submitted by: Mary

I am a 53-year old woman who had a hysterectomy for cervical cancer at 27 and chronic bronchitis in my 40’s. This caused my incontinence and I was told I would get relief if I had the transvaginal mesh implanted. I had the surgery in 2009, both bladder and rectal repairs.

Since then, I have had nothing but problems. The mesh is eroding out of my vagina, my bladder has fallen again, I cannot empty my bladder totally, have the urge to urinate often and I leak constantly. I also can’t be intimate with my husband without pain. That is not even close to being the worst of it.

In October of this year (2012), I was hospitalized for 13 days with sepsis and pneumonia. I didn’t know I had a bladder infection (???) and it crossed over into my blood stream. It caused me to vomit for 24 hours before I finally went to the hospital and my throat was so damaged it looked like I drank acid.

Since being released from the hospital, I am on my fourth back-to-back bladder infection and now acute bronchitis too. My doctor says I have an elevated white blood cell count and may have CLL, a form of leukemia that makes it harder for me to fight infections. I have no insurance and bills totaling $35,000 to date. I can’t believe my life and health are threatened like this all because I didn’t want to pee myself.

I am applying for the Federal Affordable Care Act preexisting condition insurance (still expensive) and hope to be able to see a urogynecologist soon. That is the type of doctor I have researched that I need to see. I’ve found ONE in the state of Missouri. No one will see you without any insurance.

I’m sharing this to warn other women about this surgery and to see if anyone else has any information or resources that might help me. Thank you for reading!

Webmaster’s Note: On January 4, 2012, the US FDA issued an order requiring makers of implantable surgical mesh used to surgically treat stress urinary incontinence in women to study its risks. You can read more about the use of transvaginal mesh from the FDA here.

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