Female pelvic prolapse is a condition where the ligaments and other supportive tissues in the pelvic area become weak or damaged and no longer provide adequate support for the pelvic organs, including the uterus, vagina, bladder, and rectum. Several factors can contribute to prolapse, including older age, multiple vaginal births, smoking, chronic constipation, obesity, steroid use and traumatic injury or damage. Women who have hysterectomies are also more prone to prolapse.
The symptoms of prolapse can vary depending on the type of prolapse and how extensive it is. Common symptoms include:
There are five primary types of female pelvic prolapse:
Pelvic organ prolapse can have a significant impact on quality of life, but in recent years, advances in prolapse surgery have resulted in significant strides in prolapse treatment. Also called sacrocolpopexy, prolapse surgery uses a special supportive mesh to hold the pelvic organs in place. Most surgeries can be performed using minimally-invasive approaches including robot-assisted techniques using the da Vinci® surgical robot system for superior outcomes and faster recovery. During surgery, the robotic device is controlled by the surgeon to perform complex portions of the surgery with a very high degree of accuracy. Women with very mild prolapse symptoms may benefit from noninvasive treatments like pessaries (devices inserted into the vagina to improve support) or treatments aimed at managing specific symptoms like incontinence.
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