Prolapse, or falling, of any pelvic floor organ (uterus, bladder, vagina or rectum) can occur when the support structures in a woman’s body weaken or stretch. This results in bulging, sagging, pressure, or discomfort. Prolapse is sometimes called a “dropped bladder” or “dropped uterus.” As the prolapse gets worse, some women complain of:
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These conditions are very common; approximately 200,000 surgeries per year are performed in the U.S. to correct them, and more than 10 percent of all women will likely undergo this type of surgery at some point in their lifetime. There are many different causes, including:
Treatment options include pelvic floor muscle exercises (called Kegels), devices called pessaries that are worn in the vagina to give mechanical support, or surgery. There are different kinds of surgery that are effective treatments for prolapse. Sacrocolpopexy is one kind of prolapsed repair, considered by many surgeons to offer the best results. It involves restoring the support of the vagina and nearby organs by using surgical mesh.
Sacrocolpopexy has traditionally been performed as open surgery through a six to 12-inch incision or cut on the stomach. Women & Infants offers many women the option of having the procedure done with the da Vinci® surgical system. This system gives the surgeon a better picture, using a three-dimensional camera, and increased dexterity through the special robotic instruments, all done through a series of incisions that are less than half an inch long. This allows a shorter hospitalization, less postoperative discomfort, and a quicker recovery.