Undergoing any surgery can feel overwhelming. There are dozens of factors that can cause a feeling of uncertainty before an operation. However, understanding the type of surgery you’re receiving and its importance to your overall health and wellbeing can make a phenomenal difference in your outlook. Continue reading to find out what the procedures are during urogynecology surgery and get an in-depth understanding of what a urogynecologist can do for you.
What Is a Urogynecologist?
Suppose your primary care doctor referred you to a urogynecologist. In that case, you might find yourself wondering what this type of doctor does and how they’re different from a regular gynecologist, or even a urologist. To put it simply, these doctors have advanced training and education specific to treating women with a variety of urology and gynecology issues.
Some issues they treat include, but are not limited to:
- Frequent urination and overactive bladders
- Pelvic relaxation side effects, including the prolapse of the pelvic floor
- Bladder leakage
- Bladder pain
- Frequent UTIs
These individuals are highly trained medical professionals who have specialized in specific, urology-related women’s issues. They have an in-depth understanding of what causes these issues and have diagnostic tools to help manage, treat, and eliminate them. By scheduling an appointment with one of our urogynecology consultants, patients get one step closer to resolving these issues.
What Non-Surgical Advanced Urogynecology Procedures Are There?
Patients may undergo several procedures in-office, depending on the type of problem the patient presents. Some non-surgical procedures our advanced urogynecology team performs in-office include the following:
- Cystoscopy, which allows doctors to view the inside of the bladder
- Urodynamic testing, which allows doctors to see how the bladder reacts when filled and emptied
- Pelvic floor physical therapy, which focuses on building and developing the pelvic muscles
- Vaginal pessary, a silicone treatment device used to help treat prolapse and incontinence without surgery
- Posterior tibial nerve stimulation used to treat the nerves responsible for the bladder and pelvic floor functionality
There are other procedures performed in-office as well. These are some of the most common treatment plans for patients who do not wish to undergo surgery but are looking for a solution to common bladder issues.
Before undergoing these types of procedures, doctors request that patients arrive at their office with a comfortably full bladder. This allows the patient to empty their bladder before beginning, which is an important first step. From there, for invasive procedures, doctors often apply numbing agents to the affected areas. Doing so helps eliminate discomfort, allowing the doctor to perform any necessary adjustments and movements without causing pain to the patient.
Realistically, many of these procedures are relatively painless for patients and can provide doctors with the valuable insight necessary to create treatment plans. Additionally, providers often recommend these non-surgical options before considering surgery, since in addition to being treatments themselves they serve as great diagnostic tools.
What Types of Surgery Do Urogynecologists Perform?
If non-surgical options do not rectify patient issues or if a doctor determines that urogynecology surgery is necessary, there are several different options the patient may undergo. These surgeries may become necessary due to a variety of complex medical issues. The most commonly performed surgeries include, but are not limited to:
- Robotic Sacrocolpopexy, which helps treat the prolapse of the vaginal vault
- Vaginal Vault Suspension, which involves using stitches to connect the vaginal wall to vital pelvis ligaments
- Colpocleisis, which corrects pelvic prolapse. Doctors typically reserve this surgery for older women who are no longer sexually active
Additionally, services such as robotic hysterectomies are sometimes provided in-office for interested patients. Many of these surgeries help solve common bladder problems resulting from genetic predisposition, birthing damage, or aging. Compared to many of the procedures one of our advanced urogynecology experts perform, these are often far more invasive and may require extensive recovery time.
These procedures’ requirements vary based on the surgery the patient is undergoing and their personal medical history. However, doctors and surgeons will provide patients with an outline to prepare for surgery. Additionally, they’ll present clients with a guideline for post-op recovery, including any potential issues patients need to be wary of moving forward.
Ultimately, our team performs these operations when other non-surgical options fail to provide relief over time or when deemed otherwise necessary. However, patients will likely undergo several procedures before an operation, as this helps our team determine if the patient is a good candidate for surgery.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Surgery?
Several factors help determine a good candidate for urogynecology procedures. For instance, for certain presenting complaints and subsequent diagnoses, treatments may include medications that quickly and easily rectify the complaint. Additionally, other issues may not require surgery to repair. Therefore, it’s important to consult with a doctor regarding both your symptoms and how well you handle medication and in-patient treatments so that together you can determine if surgical repair is the best option for you.
If both you and your doctor agree that surgery is the best option, there are several requirements patients must meet for surgery to take place. Most importantly, patients must be in generally good health. Ultimately, this requires patients to have no serious underlying health problems that could interfere with anesthesia or lead to excessive blood loss. Additionally, patients must also not be ill at the time of operation, as this can lead to increased risk of infection and slower healing times.
From there, each operation looks at different factors to determine candidacy. The type of repair required, for instance, will help decide the type of surgery a patient should undergo. Certain surgeries require women to no longer be sexually active, as sexual activity moving forward may cause internal damage. Alternatively, past corrective surgeries may also play a part in deciding if another surgery will benefit the patient.
Ultimately, there are a variety of factors that help determine if a patient should undergo surgery. If you believe you’re a good candidate for surgery or have questions, you should speak with a doctor for more information. They’ll provide you with insight and feedback regarding the surgical process and your potential personal outcomes as a result.
While the idea of undergoing any form of surgery – and even many common medical procedures – can seem unsettling, our team has years of experience working in the field and are more than willing to answer your questions. One of the most important aspects of overall health and wellness involves educating yourself on the operation itself and developing a pre- and post-operation plan. We are more than ready to help you figure out exactly what you need to do to stay healthy and well.
If you are experiencing any of the issues mentioned above and have questions about your treatment options or believe you’re a good candidate for surgery, we encourage you to reach out to us at Associates in Urogynecology for a consultation. Contact us today to schedule your initial appointment. Our staff looks forward to helping find a treatment plan that eliminates your discomfort and gives you a higher quality of life.