The Australian Pelvic Mesh Support Group was created in November 2014. The majority of the group are injured by urogynaecological mesh. The group was originally created on Facebook to find and support mesh injured women with severe complications that necessitated full mesh removal surgery.
It was my (Carolyn Chisholm) intention of finding a Urogynaecological surgeon in Australia who would invite a well experienced full mesh removal surgeon from America, Dr Dionysios Veronikis MD, FACOD, FACS, Chief of Gynaecology, Director Division of Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery, Program Director, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, to come to Australia and remove the prolapse meshes and SUI meshes from mesh injured women.
The group focuses on supporting each other through women’s emotional and painful experiences. The APMSG also involves providing education, research and current information related to pelvic mesh. Our members understand the isolation, abandonment and complications in relation to mesh injury and we are passionate about helping our members and equally in preventing this from happening to others.
Australian mesh injured women are in a crisis. We believe that urogynaecological mesh should be abolished in Australia.
The APMSG believe that the regulatory system is failing to meet its own guidelines, thereby putting the health and safety of women at risk of permanent injury and debilitating pain and suffering caused by permanent pelvic mesh implants which are used for prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.
There have been increased warnings from all over the world about urogynaecological mesh yet these devices continue to be used on women.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand college of obstetricians and gynaecologists admit that ‘there is very little information on the efficacy and long term safety of polypropylene mesh’.
There are NO full mesh removal surgeons to fully remove prolapse mesh implants from the pelvis and the groin when severe complications arise.
- PARTIAL REMOVALS LEAD TO MORE HARM.
- WOMEN ARE SPENDING OVER $40,000 TO TRAVEL TO THE USA FOR FULL MESH REMOVAL, INCLUDING TRAVEL EXPENSES, ACCOMMODATION, HOSPITAL RATES
I (Carolyn Chisholm) have personally travelled to St Louis, Missouri, USA to have my TVT-O implant for Stress Urinary Incontinence fully removed by Dr Veronikis who has removed more than 2000 mesh devices and he has video evidence to prove removal. I spent over $35,000 IN 2014. Gravely ill women all over Australia are desperate to get their mesh out. For instance, OVER 40 women from Australia have flown to Dr Veronikis for full mesh removal and more women are seeking his help. Women with explanted mesh are still in recovery. This is what our medical system has done to us. Neglected us to the point where we have nowhere to go but to America.
Many, stories are told by mesh injured women about spending years in pain, going from doctor to doctor, having multiple blood tests and scans and yet nothing in their results point directly to mesh unless it eventually erodes through the vaginal wall or cuts the urethra or creates chronic infection. Even then, it is treated as no big deal by the doctors. Their pain is immense, yet there are doctors who are treating women as if they are drug addicts and that they are only seeking out pain killers to satisfy their addiction when in reality, they are suffering chronic debilitating pain and need relief. There are women in the group who have told their doctors that they believe it is the mesh causing their pain and they have requested 3d/4d translabial ultrasounds. These are the only screens that can see the mesh. There are very few specialists in Australia who can read these ultrasounds. So mesh detection is difficult unless the operator is fully trained in reading these reports.
Mesh can harden like wire, attach itself to tissue, damage nerves and organs, has the potential to cripple a woman and yet many are not able to be fully removed by the specialists who implanted them when such complications arise. Is this ethical? Women are prescribed antibiotics when infection occurs however, the infection does not go away once antibiotic treatment stops. What does a surgeon do in this case? The mesh needs to be FULLY removed, not partially removed. Partial removals cause more pain, more complications, more infection, more bleeding, it is a vicious destructive cycle. When surgeons do acknowledge that a patient’s mesh is causing problems, (sometimes this is not recognised for years even though the woman has complained of pain all this time), the surgeon cannot help the woman. Since partial removals are all that most surgeons know how to do, the woman then has to endure multiple surgeries.
There are mainly two categories for mesh; mesh for Stress Urinary Incontinence and mesh for prolapse. There are different meshes used for differing prolapses. It is vital to know which mesh you have so you can speak to an appropriate surgeon who can provide you with options
- Cystocele (bladder prolapse)
- Enterocele (small bowel prolapse)
- Rectocele (rectum prolapse)
- Uterine prolapse (prolapse of the uterus)
- Vaginal vault prolapse.
Currently in Australia, SUI meshes are able to be removed by only a few surgeons. Prolapse meshes are far more complicated to remove and only a very specialised surgeon should attempt removal. I always only recommend Dr Veronikis.