What is pelvic organ prolapse?
Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the pelvic floor muscles become too weak to hold the pelvic organs – the bladder, uterus, vaginal wall or rectum - in place.
Can pelvic organ prolapse be successfully treated?
Yes. While pelvic organ prolapse can get worse over time and will not go away on its own, it can be treated.
What causes pelvic organ prolapse?
Pregnancy and childbirth are the most common causes of pelvic organ prolapse. However, menopause, previous vaginal surgery, chronic coughing or straining, heavy lifting, obesity, family history and loss of muscle tone as a result of aging can also contribute.
What are the treatment options for pelvic organ prolapse?
There are both non-surgical and surgical treatment options. The non-surgical options may include lifestyle changes, Kegel exercises, vaginal pessaries (devices inserted in the vagina) or medications. Surgical treatments are minimally invasive and are designed to help keep the pelvic organs in the correct place by inserting either a biological or synthetic graft. Your doctor can discuss these and other treatment options with you.
What is prolapse surgery?
Prolapse surgery is a surgical procedure that uses your own tissue or a graft material (biological or synthetic) to correct the prolapse by placing graft material over the bulge and suturing it into place. The goal is to help keep the pelvic organs in the correct place.
How long does it take to recover from prolapse surgery?
Every patient’s recovery time is different. During your recovery, it is important to avoid heavy lifting, exercise and sexual intercourse. Your doctor will be able to provide you with more specific details about your individual recovery process.
What are the risks associated with prolapse surgery?
Every surgical procedure carries some risk, and serious complications from prolapse surgery can occur.
Potential complications from mesh surgery include pain, mesh infection or non-healing, mesh extrusion from the vagina, mesh erosion into adjacent organs, nerve damage, recurrent prolapse, inflammation, adhesion formation, fistula formation, narrowing of the vagina, scarring, and pain during sexual intercourse.
Other potential complications include bleeding, infection, injury to blood vessels or nerves, or even bladder, urethra or bowel injury during mesh placement – which may require additional surgery. Difficulty urinating or passing stools can also occur, either temporarily or permanently.
Ask your doctor for more information about potential risks and complications, as well as your specific surgery and situation.