Pelvic organ prolapse happens when a pelvic organ, such as your bladder, moves from its usual location in your lower abdomen and presses on the sides of your vagina. This can occur if the pelvic floor muscles that keep your pelvic organs in place become weak or strained due to age, childbirth, or hormonal imbalance. In severe cases, prolapse surgery may be required. Read on to find out at what symptom stage should be apparent that would warrant prolapse surgery.
Multiple pelvic organs may prolapse at the same time. The bladder is the most commonly prolapsed organ, usually called uterine prolapse. Other organs affected by pelvic prolapse may include your urethra, bowel, rectum, and vagina.
Most women who suffer from pelvic organ prolapse have relatively minor symptoms. Surgery is normally performed only if the prolapse interferes with your everyday life and your doctor believes pelvic organ prolapse surgery is the best option.
When Should I Go In For Prolapse Surgery Consultation?
It’s best to consider prolapse surgery for women with severe prolapse, which occurs when the uterus or vagina protrudes to the point that it causes bothersome symptoms such as severe pain, protrusion of a lump or bulge, and bladder, bowel, or sexual issues.
Although patients may be concerned when the prolapse is minor, they may need reassurance, guidance, or rehabilitation rather than surgery.
When a patient’s quality of life is compromised, such as with bowel, bladder, or sexual function issues, or when the prolapse is causing substantial pain or suffering, surgery should be seriously considered.
Is Prolapse Surgery Considered Major Surgery?
Yes, pelvic organ prolapse surgery is major surgery. Even though prolapse repair is sometimes done through minimally invasive surgery, it’s still classified as major surgery.
Major surgery is any operation that necessitates general or regional anesthesia, an overnight hospital stay, and an organ removal or repair.
How Long Does it Take to Recover From Prolapse Surgery?
Surgical recovery periods vary based on the surgery and from person to person. Repairing a vaginal prolapse normally takes approximately 2.5 hours, and patients usually stay in the hospital for one night. Patients will occasionally remain for two nights for comfort reasons. Heavy lifting and intense activity are prohibited for two weeks following surgery.
Patients who engage in more strenuous exercise routines may be recommended to wait six weeks before resuming these activities.
Sutures are put along the interior of the vagina after surgery and disintegrate over 6 to 8 weeks. Vaginal rest (no intercourse or tampon usage) is recommended for six weeks to enable the region to recover while the sutures dissolve.
How Painful is Prolapse Surgery?
Pain may occur soon following surgery, although it usually subsides after a few days or weeks. It is uncommon for women to endure long-term discomfort after surgery for pelvic organs.
If you have an abdominal incision, you may feel some pain while it heals around the incision. To alleviate the discomfort, you can use over-the-counter pain relievers.
However, in some circumstances, especially in women who had mesh implanted during surgery on their pelvic organ, they started complaining of severe pain. The mesh is a surgical device placed during the surgery to strengthen the vaginal walls and support your bladder and urethra.
If you had a mesh implant to treat prolapsed organs and you are experiencing any discomfort or pain long after the recovery period, ensure you see a doctor and an attorney to see whether you qualify for a lawsuit.
What are the Different Surgical Procedures?
Pelvic organ prolapse can be treated using a variety of surgical procedures. The prolapsed organs will determine the type of surgical procedure you have.
Among the various types of surgery are:
· Reconstruction of the vaginal wall (vaginal vault prolapse surgery)
· Repair of the bladder or urethra (cystocele surgery) (urethrocele surgery)
· Reconstruction of the rectum (rectocele surgery) or the small bowel (enterocele surgery)
· Vaginal closure surgery (vaginal obliteration). This surgery is only an option if you no longer desire to engage in sexual activity.
· Removing the uterus (hysterectomy)
How Effective is Vaginal Wall Repair Surgery?
Vaginal wall repair is a pelvic reconstructive surgery performed to treat anterior vaginal prolapse. A vaginal prolapse occurs when your bladder or urethra slides down into your vagina. The urethra is the tube that drains pee from your body.
Anterior vaginal prolapse repair surgery tightens the vaginal front wall. Tightening your muscles and soft tissues keeps your bladder or urethra in place.
In most situations, anterior vaginal wall repair is quite effective. Many women who have the surgical procedure report long-term relief in their symptoms. Speak with your doctor if you have any issues following your operation. Inquire about your treatment choices and long-term prospects.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Synthetic Meshes?
Surgical mesh is used to repair pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence in women. The advantage of using surgical mesh for uterine prolapse is that it strengthens the pelvic floor muscles helping alleviate prolapse symptoms.
The surgical meshes are usually permanent because they are meant to absorb later in your body. However, the surgical mesh worked for some but caused severe complications in others.
The FDA ordered mesh producers to stop marketing transvaginal repair of pelvic organ prolapse devices in the United States in 2019. Based on a review of existing information, the FDA continues to assess that the benefits of surgical mesh implanted transvaginally to treat POP do not outweigh the risks. The FDA continues to monitor the safety of these implants in women who have already had POP repair using transvaginal mesh.
Some of the complications reported include:
· Painful sexual intercourse
· Vaginal scarring
· Bowel problems
· Vaginal shrinkage (as scar tissue builds)
· Mesh erosion
· Nerve damage
When a patient has issues, doctors may try alternative treatment options before removing the mesh, such as an estrogen cream to assist vaginal healing. Furthermore, if the mesh is slightly visible, your doctor may simply clip it out while leaving the rest of the transvaginal mesh implant intact.
In some cases where the surgical mesh causes organ perforation or mesh erosion, you may need multiple surgeries to try and remove the implant. Contact Thomas Plouff Chicago Attorney for a free consultation about your mesh implant complications.