When we talk about pelvic organ prolapse, it means one or more of the tissues and muscles that supports the pelvic organs – the womb, colon, vagina, or bladder – slide down from their natural position and protrude into the vagina, in many cases a pelvic prolapse surgery is required.
A prolapse occurs when the pelvic muscles and tissues can no longer support these organs due to weakness or damage. Prolapse can occur in the front, rear, or top of the vagina.
Prolapse symptoms develop in some women after childbirth. And as women age, the chances of developing pelvic organ prolapse increases. Prolapse symptoms include pain, discomfort, and a sense of heaviness or dragging in your pelvis. It can interfere with sexual activity and create bladder and gastrointestinal issues.
Prolapse treatment options include pelvic muscle exercises, vaginal pessary, and surgical repair. How the prolapse impacts your quality of life will determine your treatment option. Not everyone with prolapse requires reconstructive surgery for pelvic organ prolapse or obliterative surgery, or other therapy like pelvic floor exercises.
Treatment for prolapse helps by correcting prolapse in the pelvic organs while alleviating discomfort.
How successful is pelvic prolapse surgery?
Long-term success rates for pelvic prolapse surgery range from 85 to 95%. Because risk factors might persist after surgery, the success rate is not 100%. Chronic constipation, poor connective tissue, and muscular and nerve disorders are examples of complications after surgery.
The success rate may also vary depending on the type of surgery. Some women have no problems after having surgical mesh implanted for pelvic organ prolapse. It clings to the appropriate pelvic area, promotes tissue development, and is not painful. Those are the lucky ones.
However, serious complications can arise with time; the average appears to be three to four years after the surgery.
If you or a loved one has experienced any complications with surgical mesh, you have a right to sue for compensation. Please speak with our attorneys today to discover the next cause of action.
Is pelvic prolapse surgery a major surgery?
Prolapse surgery is a major surgery with severe risks and potential complications. Various procedures require elevating and supporting the pelvic organs, including non-surgical treatments.
Depending on the type of surgery, you might be out of work for 6 to 12 weeks. If you want to have children in the future, your doctor may advise you to postpone surgery because pregnancy might cause prolapse to reoccur.
How painful is prolapse surgery?
Under general anesthesia, surgical prolapse repairs are typically performed by making cuts in the vaginal wall. This implies that you will be unconscious during the pelvic prolapse surgery and will not experience any discomfort.
Following your pelvic organ prolapse surgery, you may have cramping or pressure in your pelvic region. This discomfort usually lasts around two weeks but can last up to six weeks. If you have small incisions, you may have pain as it heals. Some patients use prescription or over-the-counter pain medication to assist in controlling their pain.
How long is recovery from Pelvic Prolapse Surgery?
Recovery from pelvic prolapse surgery will depend on which type of surgery was performed. You may require 4 to 6 weeks to heal fully from open surgery and 1 to 2 weeks to recuperate from laparoscopic or vaginal surgery.
With each day, you should feel better and stronger. However, you may require pain medication for a week or two. Heavy lifting should be avoided while healing to allow your incision to heal.
What are the different surgical procedures?
While reconstructive surgery for pelvic organ prolapse POP is possible, it should be emphasized that women who choose this path have a 30% recurrence rate. Transvaginal, abdominal, laparoscopic procedures, or robotic prolapse repairs (when a scope is placed through the belly button) are a few methods used to correct prolapse. The surgery’s ultimate goal is restoring the anatomy while improving bowel, bladder, and vaginal function.
There are different surgical procedures, and they include:
· Cystocele Repair (anterior prolapse) – This procedure corrects a prolapsed bladder or urethra (urethrocele)
· A hysterectomy, also known as uterine prolapse, is the surgical removal of the uterus.
· Rectocele Repair – A rectocele is a surgical procedure that replaces the fallen rectum and small bowel (enterocele).
· Vaginal Vault Prolapse (suspension) – A laparoscopic surgery used to restore the vaginal wall.
· Vaginal Obliteration is the closure of the vaginal opening.
· Transvaginal mesh – this is when a surgeon inserts a mesh implant to support your pelvic floor muscles
Transvaginal mesh for prolapsed organs
Transvaginal mesh has long been considered a therapy for POP and urinary incontinence because doctors believe it will prolong the life of any repair.
While the device was initially administered through an abdominal incision, surgeons began performing transvaginal procedures for pelvic organ prolapse in the 1970s. Until 2002, doctors would physically cut the mesh for each patient.
That year, however, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first surgical mesh kits specifically for POP. Doctors could stabilize drooping muscles by inserting pre-made mesh screens through minimally invasive surgery. The tissue would form around the implant, firmly anchoring it in place.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of synthetic meshes?
Surgical mesh can be inserted permanently to strengthen the vaginal wall for POP repair or to support the urethra or bladder neck for stress urinary incontinence repair.
In 2010, over 300,000 women in the United States received POP repair surgery. Surgical mesh was employed in about one out of every three procedures. However, after a while, women started complaining about pain and other symptoms after using the synthetic meshes. Some of the complications women reported to the FDA included:
· Pain during sexual intercourse
· Organ perforation
· Recurrent prolapse
· Neuromuscular issues
· Urinary problems
· Bowel problems
· Vaginal scarring or shrinkage
· Emotional issues
Because of the numerous difficulties and complaints of adverse effects, the FDA classed surgical mesh for POP procedures as a Class III medical device in 2016, the category linked with the highest risk. Before distributing mesh kits developed for POP procedures, medical device makers must now get premarket clearance.
You should explore the benefits and disadvantages of using a surgical mesh with your surgeon. Or even explore other alternatives to treat prolapse-related problems.
However, if you had transvaginal mesh surgery and are experiencing any of the complications mentioned after seeing a doctor, contact Chicago attorney Tom Plouff, who is experienced in pelvic mesh cases.