Otherwise healthy women have been limiting their active lives because of extreme discomfort caused by pelvic prolapsewhen the body no longer holds in place internal organs such as the uterus, bladder, or small intestines.
Now, a synthetic material is giving doctors a longer-lasting solution when previous surgical options failed up to 40 percent of the time. The new mesh cradles organs, supporting them as the body once did and becoming part of the pelvic tissues.
About 50 percent of women who have had children will suffer from this condition, and for many, a hysterectomy has been one of the only surgical options.
"The intense, uncomfortable pressure caused by pelvic prolapse can hinder a womans otherwise physically and sexually active lifestyle," said Dr. Jon Crockford, an OB-GYN who has performed over 50 pelvic floor repairs at Sentara Leigh Hospital using this new technique.
Sentara Healthcare patients who have had the surgery are now able to walk, jog and enjoy other activities that may have been too uncomfortable. The minimally invasive procedure involves up to three small incisions and takes just over an hour to complete. Patients can be mobile the next day.
Dr. Crockford notes that the Gynecare PROLIFT pelvic floor repair is changing care for women with prolapse. It is a longer-lasting solution, involves little hospitalization with improved recovery time; and eliminates the need for hysterectomies in many women who previously opted for the surgery.
Besides uncomfortable pressure in the abdomen and vagina, other symptoms of pelvic prolapse include painful intercourse; back pain; and problems with bowel movements.
Weve performed this surgery on women aged 40 to 87, said Dr. Crockford.
" They are thrilled with the results," he said.
Gynecare, a division of Johnson & Johnson, specializes in minimally invasive treatment options for a variety of gynecologic conditions.