Reconstructive Pelvic SurgeryReconstructive pelvic surgery is performed by an urogynecologist who is trained to treat pelvic floor disorders. Reconstructive pelvic surgery corrects problems with a woman’s pelvic floor anatomy. The pelvic floor is a grouping of muscles, ligaments and connective tissues in the pelvis that support the pelvic organs (the bowel, bladder, uterus, vagina and rectum). This muscular support system helps the pelvic organs function properly and stay in place, preventing them from falling down or out of the body.
Conditions Treated With Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery
In women, a weakened pelvic floor is often the result of pregnancy, childbirth, previous pelvic surgery, overusing the pelvic muscles and obesity. These can lead to a variety of uncomfortable conditions that reconstructive pelvic surgery can address.
These conditions include:
- Urinary or fecal incontinence or leakage
- Overactive bladder
- Pelvic organ prolapse, including:
- Vaginal vault prolapse – the top of the vagina drops after loss of support
- Uterine prolapse – the uterus drops into the vagina
- Cystocele – the bladder drops into the vagina
- Rectocele – the rectum expands into the vagina
- Enterocele – the small intestine expands into the vagina
Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery Details
Depending on your unique situation, reconstructive pelvic surgery may be performed traditionally (with an incision made in the vagina or abdominal cavity) or minimally invasively (when small incisions are made in the abdomen) with a laparoscope or robotic assistance.
There are a variety of reconstructive pelvic surgery types, including:
- Anterior colporrhaphy
- Bilateral salpingo/oophorectomy
- fascial attachment
- Overlapping anal sphincteroplasty
- Paravaginal repair
- Posterior colporrhaphy
- Sacrospinous vaginal vault suspension
- Supracervical hysterectomy
- Total colpectomy
- Total colpocleisis
- Total abdominal hysterectomy (with or without bilateral salpingo/oophorectomy)
- Total laparoscopic and robotic hysterectomy
- Total vaginal hysterectomy (with or without bilateral salpingo/oophorectomy)
- Transvaginal enterocele repair
- Uterosacral ligament suspension
What to Expect With Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery
Following reconstructive pelvic surgery, you may feel fatigued and even depressed for several weeks. Some vaginal spotting and discharge is common, with both typically subsiding after six weeks. You may use sanitary pads during this time, but not tampons.
In addition to taking medications for pain and to prevent constipation, you will be required to restrict certain activities, including strenuous exercise, housework and sexual intercourse for up to 12 weeks post-surgery.
If you experience heavy bleeding, abnormal pain or other complications, call your doctor right away.
Effectiveness of Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery
Reconstructive pelvic surgeries can be effective options to treat the symptoms and discomfort associated with pelvic floor disorders, but long-term success rates can vary.
The urogynecologists and surgeons who perform reconstructive pelvic surgery at Tampa General Hospital work closely with a team of experts dedicated to ensuring an optimal outcome and an increased quality of life for you.