A Thorn in the Flesh: The Experience of Women Living with Surgical Mesh Complications
Reason for writing: This research sought to address a gap in the literature about women’s lived experience of pelvic surgical mesh complications, conducted by an insider researcher. Problem: Women have pelvic mesh surgeries with a view to improving their lives, but many are experiencing life-altering complications. Methodology: Otago University Human Ethics Committee approval H17/142. Hermeneutic phenomenological method was used. Seven women with pelvic mesh complications aged 43-69 years were enrolled using homogenous criterion sampling. The women completed an adapted ICIQ-LUTSqol questionnaire and answered a question adapted from the HOPE tool. Women were interviewed face-to-face. Data was analysed using Van Manen’s selective reading technique and organised according to Lifeworld Existentials. Results: A mean of 63 from ICIQ-LUTSqol scores demonstrated significant impact on quality of life. Themes emerging from the analysis were: Lived space: feeling powerless in the medical space, living in a shrinking world; Lived body: living with unrelenting pain, inhabiting a body that can no longer be relied on; Lived time: living in the gap between what was and what could have been; Lived other: suffering in silence, finding absolute Other and others as a source of strength. Implications: Pelvic surgical mesh complications have an extensive negative impact on women’s lifeworld. Failure to acknowledge mesh complications as treatment injury stalls the development of safer alternatives, and changes to practice needed to keep women undergoing urogynaecological procedures safe.
Advisor: Hannah, Annette
Degree Name: Master of Chaplaincy
Degree Discipline: Theology
Keywords: Surgical Mesh Complications; Spirituality; Womens' Health; Pastoral Care
Research Type: Dissertation