Are you suffering from pelvic prolapse? Find out how North Hills Hospital treats this gynecologic condition with robotic surgery.

It is not uncommon for a woman to suffer from some variation of pelvic prolapse in her lifetime. But finding the right treatment can be intimidating, especially when you are unsure of your options. We spoke to Charles Safely, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, about bladder and uterine prolapse and what women can expect from pelvic reconstruction using robotic surgery. He has offered some valuable insight, which we hope will encourage women to speak to their physicians about their condition.

Who Experiences Prolapse?
Dr. Safely stressed that both the degree of prolapse and the treatment plan is unique for every woman. However, these risk factors can increase a woman's chance of experiencing either a prolapsed uterus or bladder:

  • Vaginal childbirth. In fact, a larger baby or a quick delivery may increase a woman's risk, also.
  • Number of pregnancies. An increased number of pregnancies will increase a woman's risk.
  • Age. Pelvic tissue and supportive ligaments lose their integrity with age and lowered estrogen levels. Both can cause the bladder or uterus to move lower in the pelvis.
  • Repeated heavy lifting.
  • Obesity. Extra weight results in excessive pressure on the pelvic floor.

When Is Surgery Necessary?
Usually, there is no medical risk for a woman with pelvic prolapse. However, this condition may be uncomfortable for women, causing some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Pelvic pressure
  • Heaviness in the pelvic area
  • Feeling a bulge when you wipe or feeling like you are sitting on a ball
  • Pelvic, abdominal or urinary pain
  • Repeated infections
  • Constipation
  • The urge to urinate often

Dr. Safely explained that while one of these symptoms can be bothersome, a combination of them can cause multiple defects and affect a woman's daily routine and lifestyle, which is enough to warrant surgery. He suggests that you discuss your symptoms with your physician since each case is unique. There may be other options to try before surgery, such as inserting a pessary.

What Can Women Expect from Robotic Surgery?
Whether a patient is having a total laparoscopic hysterectomy or sacrocolpopexy to repair pelvic prolapse, robotic surgery offers the following benefits:

  • It is safer since only small incisions are made, reducing the risk of infection.
  • Women experience less pain with smaller incisions and minimally invasive procedures.
  • There is less scarring due to smaller incisions.
  • Physicians have better control and precision at the surgical site. Dr. Safely explained that easier access means he can put more stitches in, offering better, more secure results.
  • Women experience a shorter recovery and are often discharged within a day or so of surgery.

How Long Is Recovery From Surgery?
Dr. Safely explained that women recovering from surgery are:

  • Walking after 1-2 weeks
  • Doing light lifting after 2 weeks
  • Back to their normal routines and level of activity after 8 weeks

Would you like to talk to Dr. Safely about your pelvic prolapse condition? To meet with him, or for a physician referral for any of the doctors at North Hills Hospital, please call 1-855-5NHILLS or find a physician online. For more information about robotic surgery for women at North Hills Hospital, please visit us here.


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