HysterSisters Articles for Hysterectomy
Hysterectomy for Prolapse
From the Pre-Op Hysterectomy Articles List
SHARING IS CARING
My doctor explained that I have uterine prolapse. What are the treatment options and what is involved with a uterine prolapse, cystocele and rectocele?
Uterine prolapse has been described by women, in the vernacular, as “having your insides fall out.” Put simply, prolapse is the uterus descending into the vaginal canal. A prolapse is not, in most cases, life-threatening; it is by most accounts “quality
-of-life-threatening.” Studies show that about 15% of hysterectomies are performed to correct prolapse. Some of those hysterectomies could be avoided with alternatives, such as using a pessary, or undergoing uterine suspension surgery.
A pessary is a rubber, ring-shaped device worn in the vagina to help reposition and support the uterus. Doing Kegel exercises, losing excess weight, and quitting smoking can all enhance the results of pessary use. For women who wish to preserve their uterus for childbearing, another option is uterine suspension. Uterine suspension surgery is not viewed as a permanent cure; its effects usually don’t last a lifetime. After childbearing is completed, most doctors will recommend a hysterectomy as the best permanent solution for prolapse.
What causes prolapse? Pregnancy and childbirth are major contributors. Heredity, obesity, poor nutrition, smoking, chronic constipation, chronic coughing, frequent heavy lifting, estrogen loss after menopause, pressure from fibroids, and simple aging and gravity can also contribute to developing the condition. Complications of uterine prolapse can include incontinence, vaginitis, cystitis, and a higher risk of uterine cancer.
The first symptom of prolapse is usually urinary incontinence. Because the uterus supports or rests on a variety of other organs, a uterine prolapse can be associated with prolapse of other pelvic organs such as:
- Cystocele: This is a falling bladder, which may feel as though you cannot empty your bladder completely, and may have a urinary tract infection or stress incontinence.
- Enterocele: The small intestine falls into the back of the vagina.
- Rectocele: The rectum falls into the vagina, causing constipation. Stools may also back into a sort of pouch, forming a bulging rectum.
- Urethrocele: The muscles supporting the urethra separate, and the urethra sags into the vagina.
Many women are relieved and happy to discover that their hysterectomy for prolapse improves their quality of life. But because a hysterectomy is a major, life-altering surgery, it is advisable to investigate other options for treating prolapse before proceeding with a hysterectomy.
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.
04-29-2003 - 05:37 PM
SHARING IS CARING
Do you have a question?
If you have a medical support question related to this article, come JOIN US in our HysterSisters Community Forums. You will receive helpful replies to your questions from our members. See you there!
HysterSisters Free Hysterectomy Booklet
What 350,000 Women Know About Hysterectomy with 50 pages of information, helpful tips and hints as you prepare and recover from hysterectomy through an organized timeline.
Recommended for Hysterectomy Recovery
Mesh panties are stretchy and light - perfect for holding peri pads securely during hysterectomy recovery. [...More]
Post-operative compression panty with medical grade silicone to speed hysterectomy recovery + reduce scarring. [...More]
Softest Bra Ever
When you want to wear something, but feel nothing. Two in a value pack for your hysterectomy recovery. [...More]
Options to Hysterectomy
Hormone and Menopause
Intimacy after Hysterectomy
Fitness after Hysterectomy
Grief and Loss
Ask A Doctor
Find a Surgeon
|Megan Daw, M.D.
Western Carolina Women's Specialty Center
2100 Ridgefield Blvd
Asheville NC 28806
|Quanita Crable, M.D.
8160 Walnut Hill Lane
Dallas TX 75231
|Ellen Wilson, M.D.
5323 Harry Hines Blvd - Dept of OBGYN
Dallas TX 75390
|Gerald Harkins, M.D.
Department of OB-Gyn
P.O. Box 850, H-103
Hershey PA 17033
|Mark Richey, M.D.
1200 Airport Heights
Anchorage AK 99508
|Richard W Farnam, M.D.
1700 N. Oregon
El Paso TX 79902
|Jonathan Y Song, M.D.
2455 Dean St.
St. Charles IL 60175
|Francisco Garcini, M.D.
1870 Silver Cross Blvd
New Lenox IL 60451
|Susan Carter, M.D.
North Colorado Medical Center/ MCR
1800 15th Street, Suite 220
Greeley CO 80631
970 353 1335