Pelvic prolapsed affects 1 in 2 women who have experienced vaginal birth, a hysterectomy or obesity. It is estimated that nearly 50% of all women between the ages of 50 and 79 have some form of prolapse.
Pelvic prolapse is a condition that occurs when muscles and ligaments supporting your pelvic organs weaken. As a result, these organs (uterus, vagina, cervix, bladder, urethra, or rectum) slip from their normal position.
“As the prolapse of the vagina and uterus progresses, women can feel bulging tissue protruding through the opening of the vagina,” said Luke Cho, M.D., urologist, who is on staff at Silver Cross Hospital. “Prolapse in itself is not life threatening but it can be uncomfortable and sometimes makes it very difficult for women to empty their bladders. This can lead to other problems such as urinary infections and even kidney damage.”
A sponsored article by Silver Cross Hospital.
Symptoms and Risk Factors
Some women with prolapse have no symptoms. Others experience a feeling of sitting on a ball; pulling in the pelvis; pelvic or abdominal pain; painful intercourse; protrusion of tissue from the vagina; bladder infections; vaginal bleeding; unusual discharge; constipation; or frequent urination.
Pelvic prolapse is common, affecting about one in every three women who have had a child. One in nine women experience symptoms severe enough to need surgery. Prolapse risk factors include multiple vaginal deliveries, age, obesity, hysterectomy and smoking.
There are many treatment options available. For most women, the treatment they choose depends on how much they are bothered by their symptoms. Many conservative treatment options are available including pelvic floor rehabilitation. Although typically pelvic prolapse worsens over time and can only be fully corrected with surgery.
One of the best procedures for severe prolapse is called sacrocolpopexy. It is considered one of the most effective ways to correct pelvic prolapse and resolve symptoms.
“During this procedure, the vagina is lifted back to its correct position," Cho said. "There is usually a very small amount of mesh involved in the repair. However, the mesh is almost all completely in the abdomen and not in the vagina, which is an important difference and lower risk procedure than vaginal mesh procedures for prolapse."
Traditionally, Sacrocolpopexy procedures were performed using open surgeries that were successful, but they had very high recovery times. Fortunately technological advancements have allowed surgeons to correct severe pelvic prolapsed using minimally invasive da Vinci Surgery.
State-of-the-art da Vinci Surgery requires just a few tiny incisions. The enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control of da Vinci allows your doctor to perform an excellent sacrocolpopexy even for women with complex and severe prolapse cases. da Vinci Sacrocolpopexy offers women many potential benefits over traditional open surgery, including: less blood loss, shorter hospital stay, and low rate of complications.
How does it Work?
Controlled by a surgeon from a console, the innovative da Vinci robot is used to make 8mm (`1/3 inch) to 12 mm (~ 1/2 inch) incisions and then long, delicate instruments are inserted into the patient that enable specially trained physicians to perform the surgery.
Interestingly, misconceptions still exist that the robot is actually performing the surgery all by itself. “The important aspect to understand is that the robotic system cannot be programmed nor can it make decisions by itself," Cho said. "The da Vinci System can only operate with direct input from the surgeon."
Join Drs. Luke Cho and Constance Marks, urologists, on Monday, Dec. 3, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Silver Cross Hospital, Pavilion A, Conference Center 1, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox for a free program, Women & Pelvic Problems.
He will discuss the common symptoms, causes and latest treatment options including surgical options using the da Vinci robot available to help find pain relief. Register to attend this program online or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).
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