Like thousands of women have done, Suzanne took her doctor’s advice without question and saw a urologist who surgically implanted a TVT sling to treat her incontinence. After a simple bladder test in his office, the urologist said she was a “good candidate” for the transvaginal mesh and that there was “nothing to it”.
"...there is some light at the end of this transvaginal mesh tunnel"She had the procedure in early 2011, before many doctors—and their patients--were aware of serious complications caused by defective vaginal mesh and subsequent TVM lawsuits, particularly with Bard’s Avaulta mesh and Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon and Gynecare TVM products.
Suzanne says that after she did a lot of research on revision surgery and finally found an “incredible” doctor, she is on the mend, but it took a long time. “I was even diagnosed with depression due to this transvag mesh,” she says.
After the initial TVM surgery, Suzanne had a lot of post-op pain, and she went home with a catheter. “I’m a nurse and I found out later that this was not the norm,” she says. “After living with pain and bladder infections and even more incontinence than I had before (I couldn’t even walk without wearing a garment for protection), I went back to the urologist.
"He didn’t even come into the examining room. Instead a nurse practitioner came in with a handful of pills. I think he knew that this transvaginal mesh was a defective device or perhaps he knew that something didn’t go right during the procedure. Anyway, I freaked out in the office and demanded to see him—to no avail. So I walked out and left all the meds on the counter.”
It’s no wonder that Suzanne was clinically depressed. She couldn’t walk anywhere because it was too painful. She couldn’t go to the gym anymore and gained 12 lbs. To top it off, Suzanne is a single parent with two jobs. “After I had this TVM, I felt like I was 89 years old,” she says. “I am very active and I couldn’t imagine living my life this way. I told my daughter that I was feeling suicidal.”
Fortunately, Suzanne went back to her GP, ostensibly to get treatment for depression. “I talked to my doctor about this botched surgery and she begged me to see a surgeon at the University of Virginia,” Suzanne explains. “This surgeon is a gynecologist but her specialty is women’s incontinence and bladder and pelvic surgery. She gave me tons of research about pelvic surgery and said she could do a procedure to fix it. “
After reading the research from Daniel Morgan, MD, including a paper he reviewed on Excision of Vaginal Mesh, the procedure to remove mesh from the vagina (author Laurie Crimando RNC,MSN, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan), Suzanne decided to have the revision surgery. But not before she spent thousands of dollars—even with her insurance—on bladder tests and more.
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"It was a difficult and painful recovery but after about three months I had no more incontinence, no more pain. This doctor saved my life. I want your readers to know that, although a second surgery is risky, there is some light at the end of this transvaginal mesh tunnel.
"I’m no longer depressed but I’m still angry. I am still paying medical bills and this urologist is still advertising on TV and as far as I know, he is still doing this TVM procedure to other women. I just started looking online for a transvaginal mesh attorney-- I would like to try and recover some of my medical expenses. That would make me feel much better."