Dr. Thomas Easter recalls the most common causes of pelvic organ prolapse, including pregnancy, and shares the most successful surgical procedure performed. Dr. Easter is a physician at San Antonio Community Hospital.
Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition when the muscles, the ligaments that support the female structure is weakened. This causes the pelvic organs to drop or descend lower into the woman’s pelvic cavity. We see situations where the bladder, the uterus, and the rectum can drop individually or sometimes in combination.
The most common cause of pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence in women is childbearing. The stresses of a pregnancy cause a continued pressure and stretch on the support ligaments and over time these ligaments weaken which causes a drop in these structures.
Non-surgical treatment options are typically based around a physical therapy program. We have therapists that actually specialize in pelvic floor repair. Just like any muscle, if you are able to isolate a particular muscle and exercise and strengthen that muscle that may lead to some support and elevation and more relief of the symptoms. But in many cases, you can only go so far, and once the tissue has been damaged, it may require surgical repair.
With stress incontinence, we treat that with a suburethral sling. This is a surgery that was developed in 1996 by a Swedish doctor who transformed the management of stress incontinence, and a small incision placed vaginally will allow the passage of a piece of mesh tape to support the urethra. The success is phenomenal; it’s 95-97%, and this has become the primary treatment worldwide.
About Dr. Thomas T. Easter, M.D.:
A California native, Dr. Thomas Easter earned a B.S. in zoology at the University of California–Davis before receiving his medical training at the University Autonoma of Guadalajara and the University of Maryland. He went on to complete a four year residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, where he was the recipient of the Thomas V. Zachary Award for Resident of the Year.
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San Antonio Community Hospital