Pelvic Reconstruction


Pelvic reconstruction surgery can be a patient's best option for overcoming embarrassing and painful conditions like incontinence.

Patients who suffer from conditions like incontinence, fistulas, or overactive bladder may feel like they cannot seek help because of the embarrassment they perceive to be attached to their symptoms. However, when they seek prompt treatment, they may be advised to undergo one of the pelvic reconstruction surgery options available to them.

Pelvic reconstruction can help patients get their normal lives back and overcome embarrassment that they once felt because of their pelvic prolapse conditions.


What is Pelvic Reconstruction?

Pelvic reconstruction is a term that can be applied to a number of different surgeries that repair and strengthen the pelvis. The most common types of pelvic reconstruction surgeries include suspension or fixation, which involves the use of tissue from the patient’s own body. This surgery suspends organs that have fallen down past their normal positioning. It is performed most often to address incontinence.

Another type of pelvic reconstruction surgery is sacrocolpopexy, which involves an incision being made in the abdomen. However, while more invasive, it can be the best form of relief for pelvic conditions that result in painful intercourse. It may involve the placement of a mesh inside of the vagina.

The type of pelvic reconstruction that a patient undergoes will depend on the type of condition from which she currently suffers. The surgeon can make the best determination about the type of pelvic reconstruction operation that would work best.

Why is Pelvic Reconstruction Performed?

Pelvic reconstruction surgery is performed for a variety of reasons. It may be done in response to pelvic organs like the uterus that have slipped down past their normal positioning in the body. However, it can also be done to repair fistulas, congenital defects of the vagina, cervix, or uterus, or to address an overactive bladder.

Pelvic reconstruction surgery is performed as an inpatient procedure in the hospital. Patients must undergo general anesthesia prior to the beginning of the surgery. They also typically are expected to stay in the hospital for one to two days before they are able to go home to rest and recover.

Recovery from Pelvic Reconstruction Surgery

The typical recovery period for pelvic reconstruction surgery lasts anywhere from eight to 12 weeks. Patients are encouraged to rest and avoid heavy lifting, strenuous exercise, and driving for the first three to four weeks after their procedures. They also should avoid straining when having a bowel movement, laughing, or coughing.

To prevent straining when using the bathroom, patients are reminded to eat soft, high-fiber diet. They also may need to take four to eight weeks off from work to recuperate fully. They can typically resume their normal routines two to three months after their surgeries or whenever they are cleared to do so by their surgeons.