Pelvic Floor Reconstructive Surgery Information
The pelvic floor is a vulnerable part of the human anatomy and damage and weakness of this area is common. Such damage or weakness could lead to prolapse(falling out) of the pelvic organs, as well as urinary or bowel leaking.
After a review of your medical history and appropriate examination, it was determined that surgery might improve some or all of your pelvic floor problems. It has to be realized that such problems may have many causes; and therefore it may be impossible to improve some of these problems surgically. As a result, the final outcome after surgical procedures is difficult to predict with absolute certainty. Sometimes problems may persist after surgery, or recur. Occasionally new problems arise after such surgery.
Most surgical procedures involve risks. Pelvic floor reconstructive surgery is no exception, and in fact might carry more risk than other operative procedures. The reason for this is that these procedures are done through a non-sterile area(the vagina) and involve difficult to access pelvic structures.
Some of the common complications after, or during pelvic reconstructive surgery involve the possibility of bleeding, injury to adjacent organs including the bladder, bowel (small or large), ureters (kidney tubes carrying the urine from the kidneys to the bladder) or blood vessels and nerves in the area. Most of these problems are minor, and are easily corrected at the time of the surgery, or later on. Occasionally however more serious problems occur which might necessitate blood transfusions, further operative interventions, and/or the involvement of other medical or surgical specialties. Life-threatening complications are extremely rare.
Postoperatively it is very common to experience difficulty passing urine or bowel movements. In fact it might be impossible to urinate for a variable amount of time, and intermittent catheterization (having to use a small catheter on yourself) might be required for a few days to sometimes weeks. It might be necessary to discharge you home with a catheter. Vaginal discharge is usually present for 4-6 weeks.
Pelvic reconstructive surgery is usually successful, but the outcome is sometimes not optimal. Maintenance of good pelvic floor health is also important to the long-term outcome. This involves pelvic floor muscle strengthening through lifelong regular pelvic muscle exercises, refraining from smoking, keeping weight in check, dealing with chronic constipation, and refraining from unnecessary heavy lifting.
With your signature you agree that you understand the risks of your scheduled surgery.
If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Goncalves,
Penticton Obstetrician and Gynecologist.