Published: June 26, 2008
Updated: Apr. 27, 2010
Duke urogynecologist Anthony Visco, MD, is happy to tell women about a minimally invasive cure for a minimally talked-about problem: pelvic floor prolapse.
The word literally means “falling out of place.” Prolapse of a woman’s pelvic floor organs -- vagina, uterus, bladder, or rectum -- can happen when tissues or muscles in the pelvis weaken. It can result from childbirth, chronic coughing or straining, or just simply from getting older -- but it’s not an old person’s disease. It can happen at any age.
It’s pretty common, but most women consider prolapse a private condition and aren’t inclined to talk about it -- even though it can have a drastic effect on their day-to-day lives.
Well, for one, I think women should know that treatments for prolapse are really improving. In fact, this condition is at the forefront of surgical technology.
First of all, prolapse can be managed nonsurgically, but this won’t make it go away. There is a surgical treatment called colpopexy which can cure prolapse. Until recently, it required a long abdominal incision, but now robotic surgery is making the cure much easier on patients.
It does, but we’re using robotics right now. Robotic surgery gives women a gold-standard repair with a minimally invasive approach. Instead of using a long incision, I make a few tiny incisions using the robot’s arms. Women recover quickly and there is a low risk of complications. Most women go home the morning after the procedure. We offer this procedure in both Raleigh and Durham.
That’s a very good start.