Field report: I almost died after an operation to prevent urine leakage

suffer fromstress incontinence (involuntary leakage of urine during exertion such as coughing, laughing, sneezing…) Pauline decides on a suburethral tape. An operation that allows to stop leaks thanks to a polymer strip that supports the urethral canal. Most of the time, this medical procedure is successful. But not for Pauline. For her, the promise of relief turned out to be the beginning of a long descent into hell.

Urinary incontinence after two children

Pauline’s stress urinary incontinence follows her two births. The urologist who made this diagnosis was surprised at the young age of his patient, who was in her thirties. “ It was really uncomfortable in everyday life. I had leaks at the slightest sneeze, exertion, crying, coughing… Depending on the situation and location, I could feel very uncomfortable..”

Skip the course of the strip

The strip is far from the first solution for incontinence. First you need to try other methods, including perineal rehabilitation. However, this had no effect on Pauline. ” I told myself that at 31 I couldn’t stay like this. Current studies estimate that suburethral taping is successful in most cases, but can lead to side effects in 10 to 20% of cases. “ My surgeon spoke to me about possible side effects, but he never mentioned everything I experienced. He himself was surprised by the result of the operation, since it was not hasn’t happened to anyone yet ! »

Pauline therefore had a so-called “TOT” strip placed, one of the two existing types of strip that goes through the obturator holes in the pelvis. ” The operation went very well. »

The beginning of the nightmare

It wasn’t long before the descent into hell began. ” I knew that I had an infection on D+2 because I was cold, my teeth were chattering and a red spot had formed on my thigh. So I went to the emergency room. They gave me a urine and doppler analysis to check that a blood clot had not formed in my leg. After that, the medical teams let Pauline go home. ” They let me go home with the wrong prescription, as I found out later. I should have done a CT scan. I spent the whole weekend throwing up and waiting for the meds to work. On Monday I went to my family doctor. He immediately sent me back to the ER for that famous CT scan. It was too late. Then it all came together… »

Removal of the emergency lane

My strip was urgently removed on D+5. The next day I woke up in the intensive care unit. My sting had turned into necrotizing fasciitis or Fournier’s gangrene. » A type of gangrene affecting the external genitalia and perineum, most commonly caused by bacterial infection. Neither one nor two, Pauline is flown by helicopter to vital emergencies in Lyon.

The doctor’s line on the phone with my husband still resonates in my head: “We’re taking her down to the block and we don’t know if we’re going to bring her back up.”

Between life and death

It’s an infection that goes very quickly, I stayed between life and death for several days. I didn’t see my children, then 5 and 8 years old, for a month. My spouse was devastated, he had to go back and forth to see me because we are not from Lyon. “Pauline’s companion is also responsible for explaining to the children what happens to their mother while the future is unclear. In fact, doctors cannot predict what might happen. ” We managed to keep them from the seriousness of the situation, but they were very concerned. »

A difficult reconstruction

Finally, after 8 days in a coma, 3 months in the hospital and 29 visits to the operating room, Pauline’s life is saved. She can go home. ” Today I am slowly building myself up again, I was finally able to resume my professional activity after 3 years of sick leave. However, this episode is not fully completed. ” We are in a court case which prevents me from turning the page and having new projects. I am still being psychologically persecuted. Also, I always have pain in my leg and even in my ankle when I stand for too long. My butt hurts when I sit too long. And then the urinary leakage caused by my birth is still there. Everything for free! Pauline cannot walk long distances, otherwise she is limping with pain. Impossible for them to drive too long. A huge scar runs down his leg.

Luckily, Pauline’s story is extraordinary, even unique. Many women have had very good experiences with strip surgery, although it is not without risk.

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