By Dr. Joseph Berenholz
Muscles in the pelvic region can become weak due to childbirth, aging, or other factors. Generally, these muscles hold organs securely in place. When the muscle fibers weaken or become damaged, women can experience a pelvic organ prolapse, or the sagging or falling of pelvic organs into the vaginal or rectal regions. Symptoms of such an occurrence can range from mild to serious. The severity of the prolapsed depends on the organs affected.
A bladder prolapse occurs when the bladder sags or falls into the vagina. This happens when the wall between the bladder and vagina is damaged. Such damage can occur during childbirth or even daily activities that strain muscles in the pelvic region, such as heavy lifting, or even straining caused by constipation. Aging is also a factor.
A rectal prolapse happens when the large bowel, or rectum drops, resulting in pressure against the vaginal wall. This wall can be weakened during childbirth and other processes that put pressure on the fascia, a wall of fibrous tissue separating the rectum from the vagina. Because the fascia generally holds the rectum in place, weakening of this area can allow the rectum to drop into the vaginal wall. This can result in a bulge visible along the vaginal opening. This can be uncomfortable or embarrassing for women.
The TOT (transobturator tape sling) procedure has gained a great deal of popularity for treating conditions related to pelvic prolapses. The procedure provides support to hold the organs in place via mesh tape placed beneath the urethra. This is done during an outpatient procedure, which generally takes one hour. It has been shown that this sling eliminates urinary incontinence in over 80% of patients.
Dr. Berenholz provides additional procedures for a variety of conditions women experience. His many years of experience assure patients that he can recommend and perform necessary treatments, as well as optional procedures.
A procedure called Essure is becoming widely used as a hormone-free solution to permanent birth control. This procedure involves no cutting, pain, anesthesia, or hormones. The procedure is done by placing small inserts into the fallopian tubes. Over the course of the three months that follow the procedure, the inserts and body work together to fully block the tubes. At that time, the doctor performs a test to ensure that the tubes are completely blocked. This procedure is permanent and irreversible.
Another procedure gaining wide popularity is called Novasure. This is a course of treatment for many women experiencing excess menstrual bleeding. This procedure involves the insertion of a slender wand into the opening of the uterus. It releases energy that ablates the uterine lining. Once this occurs, future bleeding is minimized or eliminated. This procedure is for post-menopausal women who are no longer considering childbearing.