Pelvic Floor Reconstruction
What is Pelvic Floor Reconstruction?
Pelvic floor reconstruction is a group of various surgical procedures used to treat pelvic organ prolapse, a condition that occurs when the muscles of the pelvic floor are weakened or damaged, often due to childbirth.
Other causes include:
- Repeated heavy lifting
- Chronic disease
The pelvic floor includes the muscles, ligaments, connective tissue and nerves that support and control your bladder, uterus, vagina and rectum.
The pelvic floor holds the structures in your pelvis in place. Your pelvic floor is a very complex layer and usually functions very well, but it can be damaged if too much stress is placed upon it.
In particular, childbirth and the tremendous forces of labor with the dilation of your pelvic floor to allow for the passage of a baby and the huge pressures exerted during the pushing phase of labor all act to weaken, damage, or break your supporting tissues.
Why Pelvic Floor Reconstructive surgery may be necessary?
When these weak or damaged muscles are no longer able to support the weight of the pelvic organs, one or more organs may drop or “prolapse” below their normal positions and press against the walls of the vagina. These sagging or falling organs can cause:
- Pressure in the vagina
- Urinary and bowel dysfunction, among other symptoms
If there is complete failure of your pelvic floor, you can develop:
- Loss of bladder support
- Loss of rectum support
- Loss of uterine support
- Loss of upper vagina support
- Loss of vaginal side wall support
When nonsurgical treatments aren’t effective, pelvic floor reconstruction is used to restore the normal structure and function of the female pelvic organs. Surgery to correct pelvic support problems can be performed either through the vagina or the abdomen depending on the support problem.
There are several procedures for correcting pelvic organ prolapse, depending on the type of prolapse (bladder, rectal, uterine or vaginal).
Pelvic floor reconstruction is a major surgical procedure
A pelvic floor reconstruction is a major surgical procedure that is designed to restore strength and integrity to the pelvic floor by addressing each of the possible prolapsing organs, one by one, and either rebuilding the supporting layer, or removing the fallen organ.
If your uterus is still present, and you have completed your childbearing, then you should consider having your uterus removed during the pelvic floor reconstruction procedure. The uterus acts as a weight, sitting atop the vagina, and can be detrimental from it pushing down on your vaginal support tissues.
Chances are, if you are having problems with pelvic support, then you may already have some degree of uterine prolapse. A laparoscopic hysterectomy will add little recovery time and may greatly improve the quality of your life.
Please call our dedicated and caring physicians today for more information and to make an appointment to come in for a consultation.
Pelvic Floor Reconstruction FAQ
Can prolapse get worse?
It is not possible to give a definite answer to this question. For some women, their prolapse can get worse over time while for others their prolapse will stay the same with conservative treatment options. You need to keep be aware that prolapse normally does not improve without pelvic floor reconstruction surgery.
How long does pelvic reconstruction surgery take?
Normally, this type of surgery takes between 30-60 minutes. Although, if a vaginal hysterectomy needs to be performed then the whole process will take between one to two hours in total. Success rates of pelvic floor surgery are 70-90%. However, there is a chance that the prolapse may recur or another part of the vaginal wall may prolapse.
What to expect after pelvic floor reconstruction surgery?
Specialists say that you can expect to feel stronger and better each day after the procedure. Although, you might be getting tired quickly and require pain medication for a week or two. The whole recovery process takes around three months. You need to keep in mind that you should avoid heavy lifting while you are recovering. Depending on your individual condition, your healthcare provider will instruct you on whether any specific measures should be taken during the recovery phase.
How long will surgery effects last for?
According to research, failures occur in around 5 to 15 percent of women who have undergone pelvic floor surgery. In these cases, it is normally a partial failure that does not require additional treatment, pessary use, or surgery that is much less extensive than the original one. Patients who strictly follow the recommendations of a specialist have the best chance for permanent success.
Is prolapse considered a serious condition?
Prolapse tends to be extremely uncomfortable, especially if a person can feel the bulge after walking or standing for a long period of time. However, prolapse is not a life-threatening condition and there are numerous treatment options available. The treatment option a patient selects depends on the severity of the symptoms.
The information provided on this site is intended to educate the reader about certain medical conditions and certain possible treatment. It is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis, and medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health care professional. If you believe you, or someone you know suffers from the conditions described herein, please see your health care provider immediately. Do not attempt to treat yourself or anyone else without proper medical supervision.
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