Home' Clinical Aesthetics : CA Issue 5 Contents into consideration their deep- seated concerns and opinion about
`what their Brazilian reveals' we offer them non-surgical solutions
that will give them the confidence to express themselves with
confidence in their intimate relationships."
One of the main concerns Nicole and her colleagues see is genital
lips that have been depleted of collagen and elastin with ageing.
"Depleted fullness in the mons pubis and labia majora leads to
an older-looking appearance and older woman who would like a
Brazilian wax no longer do so due to perceived judgement by young
"Knowing there are solutions to rejuvenate all lips with dermal
fillers and to correct or enhance other aspects of the nether regions
gives hope and excitement to the menopausal age group. I tell
patients: `Life begins at 50 so let's enjoy every minute of possibilitie's."
THE VAGINAL MESH
In the Federal Court in early July, more
than 700 women suffering debilitating
pain and disruption to almost every
aspect of their lives as a result of vaginal
mesh implant surgery launched a class
action against global healthcare giant
Johnson & Johnson.
The implants, intended to treat pelvic
floor damage in about 8000 Australian
women, have resulted in life-altering
complications, according to Rebecca
Jancauskas from Shine Lawyers, who are
running the class action. Hearings are expected to run for about
"The complications that Australian women are suffering
include the mesh or tape eroding through, and into, surrounding
tissue and organs, as well as incontinence, infection and chronic
pain," she says.
"Many now live in excruciating pain, suffering terrible side
effects that impact all aspects of their lives.
"This class action is about righting the wrong against these
women, who will suffer pain and complications for the rest of
The Australian class action comes after more than 100,000
women started legal action in the US and similar moves were taken
in the UK and Canada.
Women from across Australia are emerging to tell their stories as
a Senate inquiry gathers evidence into what Senator Derryn Hinch
described as "one of the greatest medical scandals and abuses of
mothers in Australia's history".
Involved in the action is Perth woman Stella Channing, who
has spoken of the "total destruction" of her life as a mesh implant,
intended to treat post-childbirth prolapse, slowly disintegrates
Stella suffered from pelvic organ prolapse in her late 40s after
having three children. A surgeon recommended surgery involving a
"small amount of tape" between her rectum and vagina, requiring an
overnight stay in hospital and a few weeks off her full-time retail job.
She woke with two bodies of mesh -- Johnson & Johnson Ethicon
Prolift, now removed from sale -- between her rectum and vagina.
She was in hospital for eight days but a week after discharge, the
mesh had begun to erode. Stella began experiencing bleeding, and
pain in her buttocks and legs. Her surgeon could not recommend
Stella could not go back to work for three months and when
she did, she could not stay on her feet. Her employers created a
position as a customer service officer, so she could sit on a cushion
in the office.
By 14 months after surgery, after dipping for a time, the pain
returned full force, in her buttocks, rectum, vagina and thighs. She
began experiencing transient ischaemic attacks, or "mini strokes".
She was forced to drop work to part-time, then two days a
week. She had to leave her job despite her employers' efforts to
accommodate her, being unable by then to sit down on an
Before the mesh implant, Stella was a
healthy, active woman studying after hours
to become a personal trainer.
The mesh had continued to erode
and shrink, she said, shrinking her
vagina and hardening her rectum,
trapping and scarring the pudendal
ner ves running through the rectum and
legs, damaging the flesh and muscles
throughout the pelvis.
It was now close to piercing her rectal
wall and causing blood poisoning.
"The ner ve pain is like petrol burning
inside me," she has said. "The raw pain
of the erosion is like broken glass in your
rectum and vagina. As we speak I am losing blood from my rectum
and vagina and the pain is unbearable. This has totally destroyed
my life. It sounds dramatic - and I can only say that it is."
Ms Channing cannot walk around the supermarket without
a cane and must lie almost continuously on her side in a
hammock-like bed. She cannot pick up her grandchildren, or
even play with them.
"I was a gym junkie," she says. "I would exercise every day. I wouldn't
even sit till to watch a movie. I was active, busy and social. I was
someone who looked after my appearance. All that has been stolen.
"I am financially ruined. I lie down all day. I am isolated.
Sometimes I cannot shower because the pain flare will be so great it
will take days to recover."
Some days, she tried to pick herself up and give herself a talking
to. She would get up, do her hair, put makeup on and go to see
After wards she would be rewarded with pain so unbearable it
was like a punishment for her effort.
Stella says her older sons and grandchildren feel her absence, as
does her ageing mother, who she can't visit as it would involve f lying
But she worried most about her youngest child, her 23-year- old
daughter who still lives with her.
"She feels the burden of looking after me," Stella says. "I
become depressed, hopeless, knowing I must live with this for the
rest of my life.
"Some days, I wake up and don't know why I have bothered
waking up. Sometimes I think it would be better if I just didn't."
Stella Channing and her daughter who became
her carer after vaginal mesh surgery had
disastrous and debilitatingl compications
26 | CLINICAL AESTHETICS
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