July 14th will make one year since I was implanted with a Coloplast Virtue male sling. It was a bait and switch situation. The urologist described the tried and proven Advance sling by American Medical Systems in great detail to me, and then implanted a Virtue sling by Coloplast, which I knew absolutely nothing about
. Additionally, no mention was made to me that this sling had just begun Clinical Trials for suitability in a human being at any time by my urologist.
Since the day of this surgery, almost one year ago, my life has been transformed into what can best be described as a “living hell”. I have been thrust into constant pain and suffering. For the first five months the pain was absolutely intolerable. I could not stand straight, could not walk correctly, could not tolerate sitting and suffered severe scrotal pain, even when laying flat in my bed. The mesh of the lower arms of the Virtue QUADRATIC sling, which were wrapped around my pubic rami (lower pelvic bones), caused raised areas on the lower pressure bearing areas of my pelvic bones.
This raised area creates the same pain and discomfort that one would experience when sitting on the “tongue” of a tongue and groove board placed on edge. Strong narcotic drugs did little to lesson the pain. In addition to continuous intolerable pain, my incontinence increased from 1-2 pads per day to 4-6 pads per day with the Coloplast Virtue sling.
Last December I was fortunate to have the Coloplast Virtue sling surgically removed in a 3 ½ hour operation at The Cleveland Clinic. Near the completion of this surgery an AdVance sling by American Medical Systems was implanted. The advance sling has been fantastic. I am now 100% dry for the first time in ten years.
I wish that was the end of my ordeal but unfortunately the pain caused by the Coloplast Virtue sling continues. My scrotal skin remains EXTREMELY sore to touch. Even soft underwear causes pain. Toweling dry, following a shower, requires great caution or the pain will be severe. I am beginning to suspect the scrotal nerve damage, caused by the Coloplast Virtue sling will be permanent. There is only one quarter sized area, of my scrotal skin, that I can touch and that is because this area remains numb almost one year after the Coloplast Virtue sling was implanted.
The urology reconstruction specialist that removed the Coloplast Virtue sling and implanted the AdVance sling by American Medical Systems told be he would remove as much of the Virtue sling as possible but the mesh wrapped around my lower pelvic bones was implanted “too deep” in my pelvis for him to remove.
Since the sensation of sitting on the “tongue” of a tongue and groove board daily is becoming increasingly painful to the point of being intolerable, I plan to schedule an appointment with a pelvic reconstruction specialist at The Cleveland Clinic to learn if it is possible cut my lower pelvic area
open on both sides and scrape or cut these high spots off my bones. I do not look forward to a third painful surgery regarding my sling ordeal but I do not want to live my life in constant pain if it can be avoided.
I only wish that my urologist had implanted the AdVance type sling that I had consented to during the original surgery and spared me all of this agony.
This posting is not intended to discourage anyone from considering sling surgery for incontinence. Just ask a lot of questions and make certain your doctor will follow your instructions (consent) regarding which device to implant.
I will post a follow up after meeting with the orthopedic surgeons at The Cleveland Clinic.
Post Edited (male_sling_problems) : 6/28/2010 6:07:03 AM (GMT-6)