Pam’s bladder had dropped after having had four huge children and she was desperate for a treatment to stop the leakage. “My surgeon wanted to use the transvaginal mesh - he even had a piece of the mesh on his desk,” says Pam. “He didn’t mention an alternative because this TVM was ‘the best and greatest,’ and I believed in him.
“My surgeon also talked me into having a hysterectomy at the same time as the mesh implant. He said it would be easier to get to the bladder with ‘those parts’ removed, i.e., my uterus and cervix. He also said that most women opt for a hysterectomy; he made it sound like part of the normal aging process. I wanted to be compliant so I said yes.”
Pam realizes now that she shouldn’t have put so much trust in her doctor; she should have gotten a second opinion. Adding insult to injury, Pam discovered after she had the transvaginal mesh implant to treat urinary incontinence that she had urge incontinence, which cannot be treated with transvaginal mesh surgery.
The first thing Pam noticed after the TVM surgery was something white and stiff like dental floss hanging out of her vaginal wall. She called her doctor and he said it was just a piece of the mesh; there was nothing to worry about and he would take a look at her six-week follow-up exam.
“He clipped it and told me that it was no longer there,” says Pam. “He also told me I couldn’t have sex for at least another two weeks, and that put me at the two-month mark. I had a fiancé at the time (he has since passed away) and we tried having sex but it was at least another three months before I could tolerate it - and it hurt him too.
“It still hasn’t healed, five years later. It feels like an ulcer where that piece of mesh stuck out. I was 52 when I had the mesh implanted and thankfully I didn’t have any more periods because inserting a tampon would have been impossible. And my sex drive has diminished.
“But now I want to have the transvag mesh taken out because it is preventing me from having sex. It makes me feel freakish. I feel like some of my femininity has been taken away; I don’t even walk the same way. In a way it is comforting to know that I am not suffering alone: the amount of women suffering from this mesh erosion is staggering and this many women can’t be making up these transvaginal mesh side effects. Thank god the attorneys are trying to get the mesh taken off the market.”
Pam signed with an attorney about six weeks ago. She paid $80 to obtain her medical records from the hospital and she has granted her attorney access to all her medical history. Pam really needs a successful transvaginal mesh lawsuit - it even caused her to lose her job.
“I was fired soon after I returned to work,” Pam explains. “The surgery also messed up my head: I couldn’t focus and I got confused. Maybe it was a hormone meltdown or a reaction to the meds. Fortunately, I qualified for state health insurance after I lost my private insurance so now taxpayers are paying my medical bills and that doesn’t sit well with me: I have always been independent and now I feel dependent.”
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“My urogynecologist explained the problem with this transvaginal mesh. It becomes one with your body tissue but she is going to get as much removed as possible,” Pam says, somewhat relieved. “I understood that she is going to put new tissue - not more transvag mesh but from my body - over the part that is ulcerated. Even if she can’t get it all out, if I can at least get some positive sensation in my vaginal wall rather than a constant ache, I will be happy.”
And even if all the mesh could be removed (which is almost impossible), Pam will still go ahead with a transvaginal mesh lawsuit. “This mesh should never have been approved; I just hope my story can prevent more women from getting TVM put into their bodies.”