Laparoscopic Mesh Rectopexy and STARR

I had mesh rectopexy and STARR in Bristol two years ago for pelvic floor damage during vaginal delivery -total three surgeries in Bristol. These were complicated by massive scars, rectal obstruction, fecal incontinence and unimaginable pain. Mr. Dixon who did the surgeries could not do anything for the complications. I visited with many surgeons since and most would decline to try to help. Finally one surgeon released the scars from the mesh rectopexy and relieved the rectal obstruction but the fecal incontninence persist. I am profoundly shocked by what happened to me, just looking for others to share experiences, may be helpful for people considering those surgeries.

72 Replies

  • There is a very good face book page called sling the mesh, they are trying to get mesh banned.

  • I don't think it is the mesh per se, I believe it is the surgeon who places it. The other surgeon who released the scars from my mesh inserted some slings to restore the pelvic support, I have no problems with those slings.

  • Please could you give me the name of your surgeon, I would really appreciate it.

  • Hi

    I had a meSh rectopexy last year with Mr Dixon and since I am more constipated and have never had a normal bowel movement since. I get severe abdominal pain and swelling and no one knows why or is listening. Were your complications caused by the surgery? I still have the original vaginal pain but now have recral back and lower abdominal pain. Wish I'd never had the surgery

  • I had MRI that showed that the mesh was kinking the rectum in half and causing bowel obstruction. Like you I had bowel obstruction and abdominal distention to the point people were thinking that I am nine months pregnant. The pain was most horrific and I wanted to commit suicide. Like you most surgeons did not want to listen and were sending me back to Mr. Dixon but I was petrified to see him again after three failed surgeries. He would rather cause more problems than admit that somethings was wrong with what he did.

  • Can you pm me please

  • Hi, how are you? Did you also had the above surgeries?

  • Yes and did not work....

  • Want to get repaired ...

  • Did you have mesh or STARR?

  • Mesh and no improvement. Still have the same problem....

  • So many women posted that they can not move their bowels after the mesh. I have a documented kink on MRI and another lady states it was seen on laparoscopy that the mesh is kinking her rectum. So may be by releasing the kink the symptoms will resolve. Mine did. What kind of symptoms do you have ? Was it childbirth related?

  • Constipation and some loss of feeling. Also vault collapse. Going to get a second opinion. Frightened more surgery will cause more damage instead of helping????

  • Always a risk... Google Peter Petros, very few people work with his methods but they really helped me; side effects are pain and difficulty with intimacy but it is night and day difference with original symptoms immediately after surgery; mesh rectopexy and STARR were horrible making the original symptoms worse and life threatening complications, feel mutilated for life

  • Me too can you pm me please.

  • I've had an MRI in London showed my pelvic muscles are going in the wrong direction when I push down my muscles close instead of open. Have you had the mesh taken out? They have talked about this in London but said its a massive procedure. I wish I'd never had it done I'm worse. My whole life is over since this all started 3 years ago lost my relationship job life! How old are you? I still have chronic pudendal neuralgia and endometriosis! I worry about this mesh all the time

  • Dear Kate, I feel so sorry for you, hope something can be done for you, keep your chin up.

  • I have the same problem with the muscles, apparently during vaginal delivery the front part of the pelvic muscles detaches from the pelvic bones and the back part contracts all the time to try to compensate. I still have it but don't have the abdominal distention and rectal obstruction after the scars from the mesh have been released. I had MR defecography, not a simple MRI. I am lucky that I had biological mesh so it did not have to be removed, just destroyed, the surgeon who helped me with that did it all through the vagina, god bless him and give him long life!

  • Please tell me the name of your surgeon, thank you

  • I had a Starr procedure by mr Dixon 3 weeks ago... I've had complications ...

  • What kind?

  • Urinal retention, cronic pain (nothing showed up on CT scan... Bad pain when after BM... Pain down backs of legs. :-(

  • How about fecal/gas incontinence?

  • I justed wanted to let you know, I spoke to pals about making a complaint and they said this is serious what has happened to me... There having a meeting and calling me back... Also i been given this , they help legally private or NHS ... Thought it could help u

  • Thanks a lot , very kind of you, let me know what happens

  • I sent my complaint to NHS, there is a link from your website, they started investigation. Just to let you know

  • Let me know how you get on

  • No haven't experienced that... I thinking about putting in a complaint about the care I recieved and also I'm not it was the right procedure for me as I didn't have the test to prove I had a prolapse 😞

  • Complain for me too-my tests showed NO prolapse and he still did STARR though I had actually complications of his mesh rectopexy; did it help your original symptoms?

  • Omg , seriously? Did u complain? It was me Dixon who did mine

  • I called SPIRE administration and requested to be referred to somebody who deals with his complications as every time I go to him he mutilates me more and more. They said that they can not help me.

  • Coho was the surgeon, might be the same as mine, initials will do, thanks

  • Anthony Dixon.

  • Hi, sorry to hear this. I feel for you. I am considering surgery with him. Have you fed back to him what Mri revealed. What is his feedback and are you on nerve pain meds? X

  • Yes saw him when I got re admitted for second time. Yes on nerve meds... To be far he's suppose to be a top bloke , so don't let me put u off.. Just make sure u do your research and have the right test done. I didn't know what I was having done until the day and I didn't have the correct test done up to the surgery ... So I only have his word I had a prolapse

  • Did the STARR help your symptoms and what were they?

  • Only had it done 1 month ago, if I stay in bed with a hot water bottle I'm fine. If I move about to much I'm in pain. Still have haemrroids and havent had bleeding that was a big problem, but I got diagnosed with gallstones b4 operation and to change my diet and that helped with bleeding and loose bowels ... I didn't have the proctogram to diagnosis a prolapse , so I'm upset he did this operation

  • Mr. Dixon said the MRI findings are just an artifact.

  • Sorry to hear about everyone's problems here. I am reading this because my consultant had been thinking of doing surgery for my intersussepcion, but just yesterday she said she only wanted surgery for the rectocele because there are a lot of problems with surgery for intersussepcion. She also said she would not advise any mesh. I had a proctogram more than a year ago that showed both intersussepcion and rectocele but she also said that because of the way they test in the proctogram it could exaggerate the appearance of the intersussepcion on the X-ray.

    Reading the stories here I am glad my consultant is being cautious. She had originally said she might think of sending me to Oxford (I'm in London) for the intersussepcion surgery but no one on here mentions Oxford. How does Oxford do compared to Bristol? I 'm only talking NHS because I can't afford private.

  • I saw Ian Lindsey in consultation and I was not impressed. He promised to show my proctogram to a colleague of his and come back to me and he never did. I paid &300.

  • Be careful. Get a copy of your proctogram, it is yours and see somebody else

  • Isn't it funny how opinions differ. I was told proctograms often underestimate the level of intussuception and in my case it certainly did. I've seen Oxford consultant Mr Cunningham and he was lovely, seemed to know his stuff. NHS do not usually fund for intuss surgery. I know of women fighting to have it done.

  • Did you have surgery? Are you happy with the results?

  • No not yet. I have pudendal nerve issues and worried I will end up in worse pain.

  • Be cautious, go to st Luke's in London if you can. Will tell you more if you need

  • Who do you recommend in St. Luke's

  • I have been referred to Carolynne Vaisey to see if she can help, I'm seeing her end of February, hopefully there may be light at the end of the tunnel. Be careful, sometimes less is more. Perhaps you can contact me after my visit.

    Best wishes.

  • I will be very curious to hear what she has to say; Mr. Dixon mentioned that she may be able to deal with his complications

  • Thanks for the information about the Oxford consultants. I now have to see a gynae consultant about the rectocele because the colorectal consultant said she wants an opinion on doing the repair transvaginally rather than transanally She said if the rectocele repair doesn't improve things then we will discuss intersussepcion surgery again. To ethome, I agree opinions differ widely. I also think sometimes they make things up just to justify decisions.

    No one has mentioned having anything done privately, maybe it's a regional thing. The NHS can be quite slow but I have faith in them.

    To failed surgery, I think if I 'd been promised something by a private consultant and he hadn't done it then I' d be on the phone 24/7 to his secretary demanding answers.

  • Just the other way around - Oxford's secretaries were on my back. I wired the money through a bank and the bank took 0.5% commission, so they were after me for those few pounds. It is amazing how people make money on our misfortune.

    I had four vaginal repairs and all of them fell apart quickly. Otherwise it is a benign surgery, make sure they don't remove pieces of the vagina, you have to request specifically that they don't remove tissue and throw it away, because they do.

  • I has my rectocele dealt with by keyhole surgery... took a long time but possibly better?

  • So sorry to read about your ordeal, I hope you feel better

  • Do you believe Dixon did something wrong or was it a complication, by that I mean, were you unfortunate to experience one of the risks this surgery brings or was it his negligence, incompetence etc,

  • I guess both. He did second laparoscopy and saw the horrible complications of the mesh rectopexy but told me that it was just some residual rectal prolapse that he will do STARR on. I can't describe what happened after that STARR on top of the twisted scarred rectum with all the scarred uterus and ovaries pushing on the nerves in the back. Still he sent me an email in the end what happened and to start Zoladex shots to relieve the pressure. If you think about it he could have let me die. I should give him credit for that.

    Look carefully through the educational materials on the Oxford website. Actually they describe quite honestly that those surgeries are of limited help and have horrible complications.

  • I feel for you. I am waiting for an appointment, my last hope. I have had two mesh rectopexy ops, two delormes ops now suffering severe bowel obstruction.

    These problems arose after disastrous childbirth complications, followed by endometriosis, I suspect, given my scar tissues problems I should not have had laparoscopic surgery, but unfortunately it's too late now. Please tell me the name of your surgeon who's helped? Thank you, and very good luck to you.

  • Dr. Bernhard Liedl in Germany. Great surgeon. Pulled me out of big trouble.

  • Re Dr Liedl, did you have private cover or NHS. If all else fails it may be a last resort. Thank you for advice. Kind regards.

  • paid myself; please let me know what Vasey says; all the best

  • I had the lap ventral mesh rectopexy in January with Mr Dixon. I know it was the right decision for me. I had my intesusseption diagnosed by MRI at my local hospital and I had to use irrigation to assist bowel movements. So far it has been a success, I can go to the toilet properly again and the rectocele bulge is gone. It has triggered a flare up on the PN pain, but I guess I should have expected that as it must cause inflammation and irritation in that area. I'm still in the recovery phase and it will take a few months to see what effect it has on my pain. I waited for over a year and did plenty of research about the op. It was a hard decision to make to go ahead, not one I took easily, but I think it was the right one.

  • Immediately after the mesh rectopexy I also could go again. However the pain was unbearable and the rectum was kind of sticking out of my body, had to sit on the rectum, just unbearable. Do you have the same feeling?

  • No I don't have that at all. I'm still reliant on the laxatives to keep everything soft and easy to pass. My biggest problem for the first few weeks was IBS/wind pain and a bit of constipation. I am pleased that the prolapse bulge in my perineum is gone. It sounds like something was wrong with yours right from the beginning. I'm so sorry that you have suffered so much. Take care.

  • It is interesting about the wind pain - I got that after Dixon did STARR and still have it - a year and a half later. What I will never forgive him is that he made me incontinent for stool and wind. Just awful.

  • I've had wind pain and bloating on and off for years. Along with constipation. Doctors have always said its down to ibs.

    I could never figure out which foods caused it though as sometimes I could eat a curry and be ok and other times the bloating would happen a few days after.

    I think now that the bloating/pain and wind happens when I'm constipated and haven't been able to empty my bowel properly.I had rectoplexy last June with Mr Dixon because of intesusseption. Didn't know I had this but came about finding it in a round about way because of developing nerve pain after doing kegals.

    It's interesting what you say about the ligaments at the front becoming weak from childbirth and the back muscles overcompensating. I'm wondering if that's what's happened to me as I have a cystocele.

    After my rectoplexy Mr Dixon said I had a big void at the top of my abdomin,so everything had definitely gone south! At least with the rectoplexy it lifts the uterus too,which I think is better than having a hysterectomy which would of been my alternative with the gynaecologist.

    I've heard that miss Viazy is very good.

    I don't regret having the rectoplexy, but unfortunately have the nerve pain and can not sit for long.

  • Dear Lin, did you have any other benefit from the mesh rectopexy besides lifting up the uterus? Is the bloating /constipation worse or better? Is your pain worse after the mesh rectopexy? Any other side effects?

  • I still take movocol every other day which helps me from getting bunged up. I tried to stop them. I went a whole week without taking it & I was ok until after about 6 days without it & I noticed I was getting constipated again.Even though I eat all the things you are supposed to, fruit, veg, wholemeal bread. I drink plenty of water, but I think it's just how I am, and always have been. I find the more I eat I tend to suffer. In the past I've always had boughts of constipation & bloating when I've been on holiday & been over indulging.

    The pudendal nerve pain is better than it was before the op. I still have bad days but more better days than I used to. I still feel pain/ tingling/ aching in my bum & backs of thighs every day but it's milder. It depends what I'm doing.If I'm busy & on the go I have no pain but it always starts when I have to sit.Travelling is the worst I find.

    Havnt noticed any side effects from the operation no.

    My perinuim is lifted & things feel tighter than they did. So overall I am better than I was. X 

  • Yes, I did complain to GMC. They gave my case to a 72 years old breast surgeon who reviewed all records and wrote in conclusion that it is the absolute standard of care in UK to do mesh rectopexy despite there is no evidence of rectal prolapse on imaging and subsequently to do STARR without evidence of prolapse again and hide from the patient the horrible scarring from the mesh. He wrote that the mesh kinks and obstructs the rectum but somehow that does not cause any trouble. He wrote that the fecal incontinence caused by STARR is not called incontinence but urgency and that's why is not of any concern. The breast surgeon however did mention that it is not right that the surgeon lied to me that the ovary that he removed unnecessary in the process was covered with endometriosis while the pathologist found the ovary was completely normal without slightest evidence of endometriosis. GMC decided to dismiss that despite the reviewer saying that this is substandard care. It is all such b.......t, excuse my French. Should I send everything to Daily Mail or what?

    That aside, I feel so sorry for what happened to you, especially since you are a young woman. These posts should have been there when somebody mislead you about the outcome of these horrible surgeries. I hope that everybody writes so other people know, Authorities can not defend the public.

  • Hello failedsurgery. I too have been on the rectal prolapse merrygoround for a few years now. I see your comment was posted 4 days ago and funnily enough there is an article in the Daily Mail online today about a paediatrician who had a rectopexy revision in a north London hospital and has been left wheelchair bound due to damage to the femoral nerve that controls the legs. She has sued the NHS Trust responsible and is receiving payments.

    Ive not had any surgery yet and after reading all the comments here am getting a bit reluctant. A colorectal surgeon at Guys told me that this op was a big op and needs at least a week in hospital as the rectum has to be isolated to the floor of the perineum and there are a lot of nerves there. Also to get the correct results a surgeon has to be skilled and gifted and apart from having a spreadsheet of each individual surgeons results and patient reviews, it is impossible to check.

  • If we could prevent one person to go through what we are going through we did not write in vain...

  • Hello, I thought I could manage with my problems but after 2 years and 9 months am I to late for lawyers, I am in similar situation, I have not yet gone to GMC


  • You must pm me

  • Hello please replay . I underwent start surgery for chronic constipation a year ago and will I have the same things that happened to you ?will symtomes even get worse? :(

  • Who did it? How are you feeling now?

    kind regards

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