A pelvic organ prolapse refers to a condition where an organ in the pelvic floor region of the body has fallen from its intended position. As a result, the organ or organs that have dropped can create a bulge in the vaginal area.
Though in some cases, these issues can be corrected through medication and physical therapy, others may require pelvic reconstruction surgery to reposition the organs.
In this post, we will be covering some essential pieces of information regarding pelvic reconstructive surgery. If you are wondering if this procedure is right for you and you would like to learn more, contact us today to schedule an appointment at our office in Idaho Falls.
What Can Cause a Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
As stated by the Office on Women’s Health, the most common causes of pelvic organ prolapse include:
- Stretching and straining of the pelvic floor during vaginal childbirth
- Giving birth to a baby that weighs more than 8.5 pounds
- Long-term abdominal pressure from factors like obesity, coughing fits, or strained bowel movements
- Age due to reduced levels of estrogen during and post-menopause
- A genetic history of pelvic organ prolapse in one’s family
What Is the Purpose of Pelvic Reconstruction Surgery?
The purpose of pelvic reconstruction surgery is to correct any damage or abnormalities in the pelvic area. This type of surgery can be used to treat a variety of conditions, such as pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence, and other types of organ damage or dysfunction.
Some common examples of symptoms that pelvic reconstructive surgery may help to alleviate include ones such as:
- Pelvic pain
- Prolapse of pelvic organs
- Bowel control issues
- Discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse
Pelvic reconstructive surgery can also be used for cosmetic purposes. Some women opt for this type of surgery to improve the appearance of their pelvic area. For example, if this region of the body was damaged due to cancer-related organ removal, a reconstructive procedure could help to restore the original appearance.
What Types of Reconstructive Surgeries Exist?
There are several different types of pelvic reconstructive surgeries that exist. The type of surgery that is right for you will depend on your individual needs and present medical situation.
One of the most common varieties of pelvic reconstruction surgery is sacrocolpopexy. This procedure is used to treat pelvic organ prolapse by attaching the pelvic organs to the sacrum, which is the name of the bone located at the base of the spine, using a surgical-grade mesh.
Another popular procedure used to treat incontinence is the urethral sling. This surgery involves placing a sling around the urethra in order to support it and prevent leakage.
For other incontinence or sphincter issues, tension-free vaginal tape (TVT) may be recommended. This type of surgery involves placing a piece of synthetic tape (or “sling”) under the urethra and around the pelvic muscles in order to support them. For example, if incontinence occurs when you are coughing or sneezing, this treatment can help to prevent these occurrences.
Lastly, a prolapse repair is a procedure where the pelvic organ prolapse is corrected through reconstructive surgery. This can be completed either through the abdomen or the vagina. The goal is to repair the muscles in the pelvic floor region and reposition them to help restore healthy function.
When Is Reconstructive Surgery Recommended?
Pelvic reconstructive surgery is often recommended when other treatments, such as medication or pelvic floor physical therapy, have failed to provide relief from symptoms. In some cases, pelvic reconstructive surgery may be recommended as a preventative measure for women who are at a higher risk for pelvic organ prolapse or incontinence, or if they have a family history of a pelvic floor-related condition.
What Does Recovery from Pelvic Reconstruction Surgery Entail?
Recovery times for pelvic reconstructive surgery will vary depending on the individual and the type of procedure that was performed. However, most women can expect to take approximately six weeks or longer before they are fully healed. During this time, patients may experience some discomfort and will need to refrain from activities that put a strain on the abdomen and pelvic floor, such as heavy lifting, running, and sexual intercourse.
As you continue to recover from your procedure, your doctor may request follow-up appointments to monitor the progress of your healing. If you have any questions about how any upcoming plans, activities, or events may impact your healing, be sure to ask them in advance in case you need to cancel or reschedule them until after you have recovered.
Schedule a Consultation with Idaho Falls’s #1 OB/GYN Practice
At OB/GYN Associates of Idaho Falls, we are committed to providing the most thorough, caring, and courteous OB/GYN treatments to patients in Southeast Idaho. If you have been experiencing discomfort in your pelvic region and are concerned you may be experiencing a pelvic organ prolapse, contact us today to schedule an appointment.