About the treatment for Prolapse
Many women will experience symptoms of prolapse, usually after having babies or going through the menopause.
What is Prolapse?
1 in 3 Australian women have some symptoms of prolapse but not all need surgery. Many patients can do very well with the use of vaginal hormone treatment, supporting vaginal pessaries and specific pelvic floor exercises under the care of a specialist physiotherapist.
Prolapse refers to descent of the pelvic organs into or outside the vagina. The pelvic organs are normally supported and kept in their original position by muscles and ligaments of the pelvic floor, However these muscles and ligaments can become stretched or damaged after childbirth or the menopause.
Many women may have some degree of prolapse when examined but quite often they do not have any discomfort and do not need treatment.
Symptoms of Prolapse
The symptoms of prolapse can vary according to which organ becomes displaced into the vagina or outside.
- Uterine prolapse: involves the descent of the uterus and cervix down the vaginal canal due to weak or damaged pelvic support structures.
- Cystocoele: involves the descent of the bladder and can be noted as a bulge over the anterior vaginal wall.
- Rectocoele: involves the descent of the rectum and can be noted as a bulge over the posterior vaginal wall.
- Vaginal vault prolapse: this happens in women who have had a hysterectomy and no longer have the uterus. The top of the vagina descends into the vaginal canal.
Dr Raymond believes the best results are usually obtained through laparoscopic or keyhole surgery.
Treatment for Prolapse
Prolapse is not a life threatening disease but can cause significant discomfort especially if associated with leakage of urine or difficulty emptying the bowel.
Treatment options include:
- Weight loss and pelvic floor exercises can significantly help to reduce the symptoms.
- Vaginal ring pessaries can be very effective at reducing symptoms. It is recommended as a temporary measure for women waiting for surgery or as an alternative for women who cannot or do not want to undergo surgical treatment.
Surgical treatment : Vaginal or Laparoscopic
Some women may decide that the best treatment for them is an operation. Usually this can be performed through the vagina but more recently better results have been obtained through laparoscopic Keyhole surgery without the use of any mesh and reattaching the torn ligaments.
There has been a lot of recent publicity about patients having problems after mesh surgery for prolapse. Not all mesh is bad but it has to be for a very specific purpose and preferably not in the vagina.
What is the success rate of surgical treatment?
The success rate can vary depending on many factors such as degree of prolapse and the age of the patient. Generally about 1 in 10 women will need further surgery at a later time.
Get In Touch
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Address: Suite 1 & 2, 25 Morehead Street, Lambton NSW 2299
Hours: Monday to Wednesday from 9.00am to 5.00pm. Thursday to Friday from 9.00am to 2.30pm
Phone: (02) 4957 3899