after sacrohysteropexy

Don’t be afraid of the sacrohysteropexy operation

Sacrohysteropexy operations are incredibly straightforward, safe and reliable. What’s more, patients generally recover from these operations very quickly, making them one of the best forms of prolapse repair available. However, even simple surgeries can seem intimidating for individuals who have never been through them before. If you are suffering from a prolapse and need a sacrohysteropexy, you should be aware that there are certain aspects of the process that you may find slightly alarming. In today’s blog, we’ll talk about the more intimidating aspects of prolapse repair surgery and try to set your mind at rest.

1. Having your temperature, weight and blood pressure taken

Prior to your operation, a nurse will measure your weight, temperature and blood pressure. We understand that this might be a little worrying if you don’t know why it’s being done. We can assure you that it is a perfectly normal part of the process. Our surgeon, Mr. Jonathan Broome, needs to know these details mainly so he can make sure you’re fit for surgery. After all, you want your surgeon to know that you’re healthy enough to cope with a procedure before he starts it! Provided you’ve been upfront regarding your medical information, there’s no reason why these measurements should reveal anything that would prevent you from having surgery. Ergo, you should try not to worry about them.

2. Waking up with an oxygen mask covering your mouth

When you wake up from your operation, you will notice that you have an oxygen mask over your mouth. You may be concerned that this is because something went wrong during surgery, but this isn’t the case. During surgery, you’ll be under anaesthetic, so it’s important for your surgeon to ensure that you can breath comfortably and get enough oxygen. The oxygen mask isn’t indicative of a problem, so there’s no need for you to be alarmed. Just wait for a doctor or nurse to remove it for you.

3. Waking up with an IV drip attached to your arm

Just like the oxygen mask, the IV drip is a perfectly normal piece of equipment that is deployed following a sacrohysteropexy. It might look troubling, but it’s just there to deliver fluids and any medication you might need.

4. Noticing a feeling of discomfort

You shouldn’t be in pain after surgery, but a feeling of discomfort is nothing to worry about. Mild discomfort is common following prolapse repair surgery and isn’t suggestive of a deeper problem.

If you still need to set your mind at rest regarding any part of the prolapse repair surgery that we offer, feel free to get in touch. Here at The Pelvic Clinic, we’re always happy to hear from you.

activities after prolapse repair

Getting back into physically active hobbies following a sacrohysteropexy

Uterine prolapses can be exceptionally painful. In fact, they can prevent you from undertaking activities that you might normally enjoy. If you have a lot of physically active hobbies, a uterine prolapse may steal them from you. After all, nobody wants to undertake a vigorous physical activity if it causes them pain.

If you have suffered a prolapse, our reliable, highly successful sacrohysteropexy procedure can help you recover. However, once you’ve made a full recovery, you may wonder how you can get back into all the physical activities you used to enjoy. Here at The Pelvic Clinic, we care about your post-prolapse well-being and would like to offer you some advice on returning to an active lifestyle following your recovery.

1. Reach out to friends

If any of your friends participate in the same activities you used to enjoy before your prolapse, talking to them can help you get involved in those activities again. They can offer encouragement and even help you participate. For example, if you enjoyed a sport before your prolapse made it impossible to play, they can play it with you once you’ve recovered. Never underestimate how helpful your friends can be when it comes to recovering aspects of your pre-prolapse life.

2. Ease into it

You may be tempted to launch yourself back into your favourite activities as soon as you’ve recovered. However, this isn’t necessarily the best course of action. If you haven’t undertaken them in a long time, your body may no longer be accustomed to the physical strain of these activities. It’s important not to overdo it. If possible, you should participate in your active hobbies more gently or for shorter periods of time at first. You can build back up to your pre-prolapse levels of participation over time.

3. Be aware of your limits

Following a successful sacrohysteropexy, you should be able to do almost all of the things that you did before your prolapse. However, there are some things you should avoid, such as heavy lifting and extreme physical strain. When participating in a physically active hobby after prolapse repair surgery, remember your limits. You can continue to enjoy your favourite activities with no discomfort or pain provided you don’t push yourself too far.

For further advice on returning to life after prolapse repair surgery, feel free to contact us here at The Pelvic Clinic.

pelvic floor repair

Five fibrous foods that help prevent prolapses

Constipation is a very common cause of uterine prolapse. However, constipation is completely preventable. In fact, it’s easier to prevent than any of the other issues that can lead to a prolapse. All you need is fibre! Here on The Pelvic Clinic blog, we often advise our readers to get more fibre in their diets in order to prevent constipation and help avoid prolapse. But what foods should you eat to increase the amount of fibre that goes into your body, and how can you make sure you get enough of them?

1. Beans and pulses

Beans and pulses are a fantastic source of fibre. They are also incredibly versatile ingredients. They can be used in a wide variety of dishes, ranging from chillies and curries to casseroles and pies. Simply incorporating beans and pulses into meals you already cook and enjoy regularly is a simple way to boost the amount of fibre in your diet.

2. Dried fruits and nuts

Dried fruits and nuts contain high concentrations of fibre. What’s more, they’re delicious and easily portable, which makes them ideal high-fibre snacks. If you don’t always have time to cook high-fibre meals, carrying around some dried fruit or some nuts to snack on is a fantastic alternative.

3. Porridge and bran-based cereals

Breakfast is a great time to introduce fibre into your diet. If you’re not sure about what you’ll be eating throughout the day, eat some porridge or a bran-based cereal for breakfast. Not only are these breakfast options high in fibre, they’re also very healthy in other ways.

4. Wholemeal pasta and wholegrain rice

While white rices and pastas aren’t very high in fibre, their wholegrain and wholemeal equivalents are. If you use a lot of white rice or pasta in your cooking, why not substitute it for wholemeal pasta or wholegrain rice? It’s an easy way to increase the amount of fibre in your diet without completely altering the meals you eat, and you’ll hardly notice the switch.

5. Jacket potatoes

Potatoes are a staple of the British diet, but did you know that their skins are very high in fibre? Next time you eat a jacket potato, remember to eat the skin, too.

Here at The Pelvic Clinic, we know that your diet can help you prevent a prolapse or recover from prolapse repair surgery. By eating more of the foods we’ve mentioned in today’s blog, you can increase the amount of fibre in your diet and therefore prevent constipation. If you avoid constipation, you can eliminate one of the risks of suffering a prolapse or difficulty recovering from one. Want to find out more about prolapse surgery? Contact us today.

think positively

The power of positivity

Going through any form of surgery can be daunting, even if it’s relatively straightforward. The prolapse repair surgery that we offer here at The Pelvic Clinic is simple, safe and highly effective. Nonetheless, it’s understandable that you might feel tense or anxious before and after the surgery. That’s why we’ve decided to provide you with some tips on maintaining a positive attitude before, during and after your prolapse repair operation. A positive attitude can aide your recovery and make the surgery itself seem less intimidating.

1. Think statistically

In the run-up to your operation, it’s important to reassure yourself that the surgery will go smoothly. You may find it helpful to contemplate the statistics associated with our prolapse repair. Specifically, you should focus on the fact that our surgeon, Mr Jonathan Broome, has performed over one thousand sacrohysteropexy prolapse repair procedures and has a 100% success rate. This will help you remember that you have nothing to be anxious about and enable you to feel confident about your operation.

2. Talk openly

It’s easy for feelings of anxiety and stress to build up if you keep quiet about your prolapse or your upcoming prolapse repair surgery. That’s why we strongly recommend that you are completely open with your friends and loved ones about your problem and the steps you are taking to fix it. Being open about it will make your operation seem less major and scary. You can also talk through anything you might be concerned about and get the reassurance you need.

3. Get to know your surgeon

We recommend talking to us at The Pelvic Clinic and speaking to Mr Broome himself before your operation. Communicating with your surgeon can help you put your trust in them, which will enable you to feel at ease before and during your operation.

4. Focus on achievable goals

Most people recover from prolapse repair surgery very quickly, but nobody recovers instantly! After your surgery, don’t expect to be back to normal straight away. Focus on each stage of your recovery, one at a time. This will help you keep track of your recovery process and feel that you are making progress, thereby enabling you to maintain a positive attitude.

Positivity is important when confronting surgery, so follow the tips we’ve provided you with to ensure that you can feel happy and confident about your sacrohysteropexy.

hidden symptoms

The hidden symptoms of a prolapse

Some prolapse symptoms are very obvious and easy to recognise. For example, sufferers may bleed from the vagina, experience pain during intercourse or even feel like something is falling out of them that needs to be pushed back inside. However, not everyone who suffers from a prolapse will exhibit these symptoms. There are also subtler, less obvious symptoms that you should be aware of. If you exhibit any of these symptoms, you may be suffering from a prolapse. To help you, we’ve prepared an annotated list of these recondite symptoms.

1. Backache

There are lots of reasons for backache, ranging from your posture to injuries you may have suffered in the past. However, backache can also be a sign of prolapse. If you suffer from a persistent, dull backache, you should consider the possibility that you might have a prolapse. This is especially true if you have any of the other symptoms on this list or have another reason to believe you might have suffered a prolapse.

2. Leaking bladder, incontinence or frequent need to urinate

Do you need to go to the toilet too often, suffer from incontinence or experience bladder leakage? If so, your problems might be the result of a prolapse. A prolapsed uterus can press on your bladder and cause all of the issues that we have just described.

3. Constipation

A prolapse can sometimes pull on the rectum and effect its position, thereby making it difficult for you to go to the bathroom. If you have suffered from persistent constipation despite having a relatively healthy diet, you may have a prolapse.

4. Pelvic pressure or a feeling of stretching in the groin area

As we mentioned in the introduction, not all prolapses are painful. Many can only be felt as a form of pressure in the pelvic region or a stretching sensation in the groin.

5. Widened vaginal opening

Prolapses can cause the opening to the vagina to widen, due to the pressure it puts on that region of your body. If yours seems unusually wide, you should think about the possibility that you are suffering from a prolapse.

Not all prolapse suffers experience these symptoms. In fact, some are completely symptom-free. However, if you have been dealing with any of the problems listed in today’s blog, here at The Pelvic Clinic we believe you should investigate the possibility that you might have a prolapse. You can talk to your own doctor or reach out to us for more information.

 

stress incontinence

Stress incontinence need not be a secret

Stress incontinence is incredibly common across the world, yet it is something that is rarely discussed. The potential there for is that many individuals do not know that there is a diagnosis for their symptoms and more importantly, treatments available too.

Stress incontinence happens when the bladder leaks urine due to pressure from one of the following external factors; exercise, coughing, sneezing, lifting, laughing or jumping. It appears to be more common in women (though it is just as feasible for men to be diagnosed with stress incontinence) and there are at least one in five women over the age of forty who have some degree of stress incontinence. Because incontinence isn’t something that is often discussed, it could be that incidences are much higher than this.

Despite this diagnosis most commonly being made in those over the age of 40, stress incontinence is not an age related condition. Stress incontinence is the result of weak and/or damaged pelvic floor muscles and urethral sphincters. It becomes apparent why it is a condition most associated with women when you learn the most likely contributing factors, which are:

• The extra weight on the abdomen during pregnancy
• Vaginal childbirth
• Bladder damage during gynaecological surgeries such as hysterectomies
• Other contributing factors also include: Neurological disease and connective tissue disorders, medications such as diuretics, sedatives and antidepressants.

What should you watch out for?

Leaking small amounts of urine or feeling a frequent, urgent need to urinate are signs that you may need to consult a health care professional. There are lots of management options that will be discussed with you. These range from lifestyle changes, to muscle training, medication and surgical procedures.

It is estimated that there are countless more individuals suffering with the symptoms of urinary stress incontinence than currently recorded. This is likely due to the stigma that surrounds incontinence. Many patients claim that seeing a dedicated professional such as Mr Broome at The Pelvic Clinic can make seeking treatment easier as it takes away some of their (unnecessary) embarrassment.

To find out more about stress incontinence and its treatment click here

hysterectomy for prolapse

The advantages of avoiding a hysterectomy

If you want to have children, then the prospect of a hysterectomy can be devastating, but even if your child baring days are done, there are advantages to avoiding this highly invasive surgery.

One of the primary advantages of the prolapse treatment provided by Mr Jonathan Broome (Consultant Gynaecologist at The Pelvic Clinic) is that the sacrohysteropexy procedure he uses repositions the uterus, removing the need for a hysterectomy.

With a 100% success rate, this means there are well in excess of 1000 women in the UK who avoided a hysterectomy, but why is that significant if you’re not planning on more children?

After caesarean sections, hysterectomies are the most commonly performed surgeries for women. In some cases, they are entirely necessary and can save lives, and improve health and wellbeing.

Clearly a hysterectomy is a major operation with increased risks, more possible side-effects and a longer recovery time. It can leaves a considerable external scar (if you opt for open surgery)and can have an impact on other bodily functions such as bladder and intestinal changes.

Some women experience a sense of loss when they have their uterus removed, feeling as if they have lost part of what makes them, a “woman”. This – and a general fragile feeling after the surgery – can impact negatively on libido.

Sometimes the emotional impact of a hysterectomy will linger long after physical recovery. Side-effects can include depression and insomnia.

Also, surgically induced menopause can be a tough time for some women, and the preference is to let nature – and your own individual hormones – bring about changes gradually.

It is important to note that there are myths about hysterectomies that should not influence you when weighing up the pros and cons. Depression and “forced” menopause is not automatic and many women avoid both. There is no evidence to suggest you will gain weight or grow facial hair either.

What is for certain, is that the sacrohysteropexy procedure used by The Pelvic Clinic gives you more choice, and avoids irreversible and major changes to your body. Recovery time is quicker and you will be able to enjoy welcome comfort and sense of wellbeing from ending your uterus problems, with less side-effects to hold you back.

It’s your body, and you should be able to control what happens.

Contacts us today to discuss your options.

5 Reasons for prolapse

5 common causes of pelvic organ prolapse (POP)

Pelvic organ prolapse affects 40%-60% of women who have had children. In the UK, 1 in 12 women report prolapse symptoms and it is a common reason for a hysterectomy. Pelvic organ prolapse can bring on distressing symptoms and happens when your pelvic organs, uterus, cervix, bladder or rectum move from their usual position and bulge into your vaginal canal. Quite rightly we would all wish to do what we can to prevent this condition and the first step towards doing this is understanding its causes:

1. Vaginal delivery

The physical pressures and hormones released during pregnancy have a negative impact on the ligaments and muscles that support the pelvic organs. After a vaginal delivery these muscles are weakened by stretching to accommodate your baby. The risks of prolapse during a vaginal birth can be increased by a labour with a long pushing stage, a heavier baby or a forceps delivery. Pelvic floor exercises and appropriate rest are essential preventatives.

2. Obesity

As well as being bad for your general health, being overweight puts pressure on your pelvic organs and can cause prolapse. Changes to eating habits can improve the symptoms of a wide variety of gynaecological problems.

3. Issues with defecation

Regular constipation can lead to over-straining when you pass a stool. This puts unwanted pressure on the pelvic organs and, if it happens over an extended period of time, can lead to prolapse.

4. Heavy lifting

Heavy lifting, including weight-lifting can cause pelvic floor issues, especially if a woman already has a weakness or has had surgery in that area. That said, pelvic floor and abdominal exercises can go a long way to preventing or reducing symptoms.

5. Recurrent cough or vomiting

Chronic coughing (i.e. coughing that is regular and long term) or ongoing vomiting (as in morning sickness) puts pressure on pelvic muscles and can cause pelvic prolapse.

Understanding the causes of pelvic organ prolapse will not necessarily mean that you can prevent it or reverse your symptoms. However it will go a long way towards helping you work out a pelvic health plan and understanding why you need to stick to it.

steps to recovery after prolapse

The dos and don’ts of post-prolapse recovery

There are several vital steps you must take after suffering a prolapsed uterus and to protect any prolapse repair you may have had. As with most areas of medicine there are definite dos and don’ts. Here’s a run down of what you should and shouldn’t be doing during your post surgery recovery.

Do…

• Spend time exercising your pelvic floor muscles. You should start exercises, like kegel exercises after you have received treatment and your specialist has cleared you to begin.

• Wear high quality underwear, such as support briefs, to help hold everything in place for you.

• Ensure you have regular and healthy bowel movements – i.e. avoid constipation and ensure you never strain.

• Alternate your activities between sitting and standing in order to avoid standing for prolonged periods. This is especially vital while you are in recovery from any kind of surgery to repair your pelvic floor.

• Complete any tasks or chores early in the day.

• Split your tasks so that you do them little but often, for example, vacuum over a few days rather than doing the whole house in one go. If you are overweight, lose any excess weight you are carrying, and ensure you stay in a healthy weight range.

• Rest in the afternoon and, when possible, elevate your legs.

• Maintain a good posture.

• If you suffer from chronic forms of hayfever, sneezing or coughing, speak to your doctor about managing them.

Don’t…

• Strain during bowel movements or allow yourself to become constipated.

• Do any pulling, pushing, heavy lifting, or bending.

• Smoke – aside from the general health risks, the associated coughing is very bad for prolapse recovery.

• Any high impact sports such as sit-ups, jogging, high impact aerobics and horse-riding.

• Any form of heavy resistance training.

• Intense abdominal or core body exercises.

• Become overweight.

For more information about prolapse surgery and repair, contact Mr Jonathan Broome at The Pelvic Clinic.

 

different body shapes pelvic repair surgery

Prolapse prevention tips for heavier individuals

Here at The Pelvic Clinic, we often advise prolapse sufferers (and people who are at risk of prolapse) to take steps to manage their weight. Extra bodyweight can put a strain on the pelvic floor and make it harder to avoid or recover from a prolapse. However, we also understand that not everyone is in a position to limit their weight. Some people are naturally bigger than others, while others simply aren’t successful when it comes to dieting. It’s also inadvisable for individuals who are recovering from eating disorders to attempt to restrict their weight, in case it triggers a relapse.

If you aren’t able to lose weight, there’s no need to panic. There are plenty of other things you can do to prevent a prolapse; here are just three tips for everyday exercises:

1. Performing pelvic exercises

Extra weight can strain your pelvic floor, so it’s a good idea to strengthen it to counteract this strain. There are plenty of exercises that can help you do this. For example, wall squats, jumping jacks and crunches are all fantastic for building up your pelvic muscles. If you can’t perform more strenuous exercises (or think they might trigger a prolapse), its worth doing ordinary, gentle forms of exercise instead. Walking and cycling can improve your overall physical fitness and make your pelvic floor stronger.

2. Getting more fibre in your diet

Ensuring that you get enough fibre in your diet can drastically reduce your risk of prolapse. Fibre makes it easier to pass solid waste, thereby reducing the strain on your pelvic floor whenever you use the bathroom. If you’re carrying a little extra weight, this may help balance out the effect of the strain this weight puts on your pelvic floor. So eat plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and grains.

3. Avoiding heavy lifting

Avoid putting additional strain on your pelvic muscles by not lifting heavy objects. Lifting heavy objects on a regular basis can put more of a strain on your pelvic floor than being overweight, so it’s best to avoid this kind of lifting if you want to reduce your risk of a prolapse.

Of course, individuals of average weight can also use these methods to reduce their risk of prolapse. However, it’s particularly important for heavier individuals to put them into practice. Contact us for more information about prolapse prevention and prolapse repair surgery.