As women age, pelvic muscles can weaken and pelvic organ prolapse can occur. This is defined as prolapse or protrusion of pelvic organs (bladder, rectum, or uterus) into the vaginal canal and it is not the same as urinary incontinence. POP symptoms usually include a feeling of pelvic pressure, especially with sitting or standing, and the feeling that something is actually falling out of the vagina.
Pelvic organ prolapse is mostly attributed to pregnancy and childbirth. Obesity and advanced age are also factors. Hysterectomy should not increase the risk of prolapse, if done properly. With advanced laparoscopic hysterectomy, all supporting ligaments and muscles are preserved.
Depending on the severity of the symptoms, surgical treatment may be indicated. When conservative treatments no longer help, and symptoms become too severe, surgery is a better option. It is however typically delayed until women are finished with childbearing.
The choice of the procedure depends on the type of prolapse:
CIGC surgeons do not use synthetic mesh during pelvic organ prolapse repair procedures due to the potential negative long-term effects. The most common complication of transvaginal mesh placement is mesh erosion, causing severe pelvic pain and pain with intercourse. The rate of mesh erosion has been shown to be as high as 30%. Additional surgery is needed to remove the mesh.
You can learn more about pelvic organ prolapse on our website here. To speak with a CIGC specialist Paul MacKoul MD or Natalya Danilyants MD about your options, call 888-SURGERY or contact us online.
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