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Vaginal mesh implant: Perth woman on how prolapse surgery ruined her life #vaginal #mesh,vaginal

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‘Vaginal mesh implant has destroyed my life — it’s just so hard to go on’

STELLA Channing was a self-confessed gym junkie who really “loved life” and lived it to the absolute fullest.

Now the Perth mum-of-three is housebound and in constant excruciating pain in her vagina, rectum and legs after having a vaginal mesh implant to treat her post-childbirth prolapse.

But instead of helping her condition she has endured a living hell for the past almost six years, as the implant slowly disintegrates inside the once active 58-year-old.

What is the point to my life? I just feel like I no longer add any value anywhere, she tells Kidspot. My future looks bleak.

Removing the mesh is not an option as Stella says there s no surgeon in Australia trained in the procedure.

Only one doctor in America is trained to do a full removal but not only can I not sit for that long on a plane I can t even afford the airfare.

Stella was addicted to the gym and had just studied to become a personal trainer five months before her botched procedure. Picture: Leesa Smith Source: Supplied

What is a vaginal mesh implant?

The mesh is a hammock made from a plastic called polypropen. It has four hooks that are put into your hips to secure it to your bladder.

The idea is to help the pelvic floor muscles keep the internal organs in place, but more than 200 women have reported an adverse event to the Therapeutic Goods Administration as a result of the procedure.

In 2005, the TGA approved the use of pelvic mesh in Australia, but instead of trialling the product before making the decision, the Australian regulator simply followed the US s approval in 2002.

The TGA later admitted the approval was not mature and lacked rigour , Fairfax reported.

Stella, with her kids Michaela, Tristan and Philip, in her pain-free days. Source: Leesa Smith Source: Supplied

The doctor told me it was low risk

A month before Stella had her operation in 2011, the TGA issued a high risk warning about the Johnson Johnson mesh kit that she has.

But I only found this out after the operation. The doctor told me it was low risk, she says.

The following year, Johnson Johnson announced they would cease global supplies of meshes. However, other meshes are still being used.

Stella doesn’t even see her family much anymore because of her unbearable pain. Source: Leesa Smith Source: Supplied

More than 200 women have filed complaints

A federal Senate Inquiry is now gathering evidence into what Senator Derryn Hinch has described as one of the greatest medical scandals and abuses of mothers in Australia s history .

The inquiry is looking into just how many women are suffering from the mesh implants.

One mother who appeared on The Project described the unbearable sensation as wearing a steel tampon .

A Facebook support group for mesh-injured women has grown to more than 700 members.

I knew something was wrong when I woke up

Stella knew as soon as she woke up after the surgery that something wasn t right.

I asked them why I had holes in my buttocks I was told I was just getting tape from my vagina to my rectum. I didn t know I was going to have long arms like crochet hooks blindly going through my pelvic nerves.

Stella s mesh immediately started eroding but the surgeon had no solution to stop her bleeding and horrific pain.

The distraught mother compares the sensation to burning petrol and broken glass in both her vagina and rectum.

Stella Channing — vaginal mesh implant story. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

From a fun-filled life to loneliness

As Stella s condition keeps worsening as time painfully ticks by she eventually had to quit her job two years ago.

I ve gone from earning $80,000 a year to living on a disability pension, she tells Kidspot.

Her life has gone from being very busy and fun to extremely isolating and pointless.

I can no longer go out to socialise and people don t know what to do when you are like this so they just drift off, she says.

If I have to go grocery shopping I need to use a cane because I need to take the pressure off my pelvis as much as I can.

Stella s debilitating situation, which no amount of drugs helps to alleviate, has seen her spiral into a deep depression.

I have thought about ending it but the only reason I haven t is because of the impact it will have on my kids. I just couldn t do that to them especially my daughter who lives with me.

If I cook a meal I cry from the pain

Michaela was just 16 when her mother had the operation and has seen her go from bad to worse.

She wrote a victim impact statement saying that even when she goes out all she think about is her mum at home in pain.

Stella was so much into fitness that just five months before the disastrous operation she completed her Certificate 4 in Personal Training.

Yet now she is in agony from just standing let alone the short morning walk from her bed to the sofa.

If I cook a meal I m crying the whole time that I m making it from the pain.

Stella Channing — vaginal mesh implant story. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

I live in distress and sadness they are my overriding emotions

An extremely proud grandmother of four beautiful boys she hasn t even been able to enjoy that precious time with her grandkids.

I only see them about four times a year because I can barely hold them let alone babysit them.

At the time that I was talking to Stella she was lying on her side on her bed.

My rectum, vagina, buttocks and legs are burning and it s got worse the more I have spoken to you, she says.

I live in distress and sadness they are my overriding emotions.

It is as this point that I wish Stella well and hang up the phone with a very heavy heart.

If you or anyone you know needs support please contact Lifeline.

This article originally appeared on Kidspot and has been republished with permission

Stella’s newest grandson who is only three months old. Picture: Leesa Smith





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