It can be a delicate and uncomfortable topic to discuss, but studies have found that as many as 45% of women that undergo a hysterectomy in the United States each year can develop stress incontinence at some point after the procedure. Stress incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine during activities like sneezing, laughing, coughing, and certain types of exercise.
A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus. In some instances (complete hysterectomy) it can also involve the removal of the cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and other surrounding structures. In order to help mitigate the risks of stress incontinence and prolapse after a hysterectomy, some women’s health surgeons may opt to leave the cervix intact.
Complications for Removal of the Uterus
With as many as 600,000 women undergoing a hysterectomy each year in the United States alone, it is important for women to understand the potential risks and side effects involved with the procedure, along with the available treatment options should complications or secondary conditions like urinary incontinence or vaginal prolapse arise.
The female urology specialists at the Institute for Incontinence and Vaginal Reconstruction in Beverly Hills offer minimally invasive and integrative treatment for conditions relating to women’s health, such as stress incontinence and vaginal prolapse after hysterectomy.
Women may undergo a uterus removal for several different reasons, the most common being:
- Uterine prolapse
Some cases of extreme vaginal bleeding that do not respond to other forms of treatment. Learn more about a hysterectomy by visiting WomensHealth.gov.
Potential Side Effects and Risk Factors of Uterus Removal
Like any surgical procedure, there are certain potential side effects and risk factors involved with the uterus removal. One of the most common urologic side effects of a hysterectomy are vaginal prolapse and a weakened bladder. Other potential side effects include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Early onset menopause
- Blood clots
- Allergic or adverse reaction to anesthesia
Prolapse describes several issues that can occur in the pelvic area after a hysterectomy. A prolapsed (“dropped”) bladder is known as a cystocele. A rectocele is a bulge through the posterior side of the vagina that can cause discomfort and interfere with bowel movements.
Treatment Options for Post-Hysterectomy Incontinence
The female urology experts at the Institute for Incontinence and Vaginal Reconstruction evaluate each patient on a case by case basis in order to provide the most effective, individualized care for recovery after a hysterectomy. Treatment options and results will vary from patient to patient, but there are several treatment options available to women suffering from urinary incontinence after a hysterectomy:
- Regulating fluid intake to manage bladder overflow
- Physical therapy and strengthening exercises to tighten sphincter and pelvic muscles
- Medical devices instead of surgery
Treatment For Vaginal Bulging and Prolapse
There are both surgical and non-surgical options for vaginal prolapse treatment. The Institute for Incontinence and Vaginal Reconstruction offers patients a range of modern, minimally invasive procedures for stress incontinence and vaginal prolapse that can occur after a hysterectomy.
Available vaginal prolapse treatment options include:
Sling – (medical device)
Robotic surgery – The da Vinci system is a cutting-edge surgical tool that allows urologists to perform a hysterectomy and other female urology procedures with greater precision, flexibility, and agility than ever before, while minimizing the complications and side effects previously associated with traditional open surgery. The pelvic floor can be reconstructed using this method for women suffering from vaginal prolapse.
Bladder Augmentation – Female urology experts at our Beverly Hills facility can use intestinal tissue to help expand the bladder for women suffering from incontinence due to small capacity bladders.
Contact Los Angeles Urology Experts
Learn more about your treatment options by contacting the women’s health and female urology specialists at the Institute for Incontinence and Vaginal Reconstruction. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our urology specialists.
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