Important Facts You Should Know About Your Planned Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery

If one or more of your pelvic organs have prolapsed and your symptoms have not improved through the use of medications, lifestyles changes, physical therapy or the use of a device that you wear to assist the muscles in question, your physician may have suggested surgical intervention. It is important to note that in general, surgical intervention is only an option for severe cases of prolapse when other treatment measures have failed. When you and your doctor believe that the time for your surgery is imminent, it will be helpful to be aware of the following information.

Urinary Incontinence May Require Additional Planning And Intervention

Unfortunately, pelvic reconstructive surgery is designed to restore the function of the pelvic organs, like your bladder, uterus, rectum, vagina etc. and is not aimed specifically at treating incontinence issues. Instead, your pelvic surgery will be to remove the mass of muscle associated with the organ prolapse, so that your organs can safely be returned to their proper position, limiting or removing your discomfort.

Therefore, if incontinence is an issue for you, you may be advised to have an additional surgery to more thoroughly address that issue. The good news is that you may be able to get both procedures during the same appointment. In addition, you may also find that if you have seen a doctor for issues relating to your urinary incontinence, he or she will suggest adding on pelvic reconstructive surgery for better results.

The Severity Of Your Symptoms Will Impact The Procedure

When you first learn that at least one of your pelvic organs have prolapsed and your physician is recommending surgery, it can be terrifying. However, it is important to note that there are several procedures that you might be a candidate for, and the severity of your symptoms will impact the procedure you ultimately wind up with.

For instance, the surgery can be provided through your vagina or your abdominal wall. In addition, you may also be allowed to undergo a laparoscopic procedure that uses a number of very small incisions to penetrate the abdominal wall, or your doctor may even use a robot to better access the area. Your doctor may suggest going through your vagina as a first option and that method is the most common surgery for pelvic organ prolapse.

However, if the collapse of your pelvic organs through the vagina has resulted in urinary stress incontinence, abdominal surgery is often the most appropriate choice. It may also be recommended if an initial vaginal procedure was not successful. In addition, some pelvic floor defects such as a prolapsed vaginal vault cannot be accessed safely with a vaginal entry for the surgery. In that instance, a laparoscopic procedure is likely to be a better choice.

In conclusion, pelvic reconstructive surgery may be recommended when the ligaments that help to support your pelvic floor have weakened and one or more of your organs are protruding into your vagina. If your physician has recommended surgical intervention for your pelvic organ prolapse, being aware of the information provided above is crucial.    

For more information, contact Western Branch Center for Women or a similar location.