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Pelvic Prolapse: Before Your Surgery

What is surgery for pelvic prolapse?

Your pelvic muscles hold your pelvic organs in place. If these muscles become weak, one of your pelvic organs, such as your uterus, bowel, or bladder, may press against your vagina. This is called a pelvic prolapse. Surgery for pelvic prolapse puts your organ back in place and adds support and strength to your pelvic muscles.

You will be asleep during the surgery. You will not feel pain. To do an open surgery, the doctor makes a cut (incision) in your belly or inside the vagina. If you have an incision on your belly, it will leave a scar that fades over time.

Most women go home 1 to 4 days after open surgery. You can expect to feel better each day, but you will probably need about 4 to 6 weeks to fully recover.

Sometimes this surgery is done as a laparoscopic surgery. Some people call this "Band-aid surgery" because it requires only small incisions. To do this type of surgery, a doctor puts a lighted tube, or scope, and other surgical tools through small incisions near your belly button and groin. The doctor is able to see your organs with the scope. After this type of surgery, most women stay in the hospital 1 or 2 days and will fully recover in 1 to 2 weeks. Some women wear a catheter, a small tube in the bladder, after the surgery while they are healing at home.

After surgery, you may have less pelvic discomfort or pain during sex. The surgery may also help with any bladder or bowel problems. If your uterus is not removed, your ability to have children will not be affected.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How do you prepare for surgery?

Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.

Preparing for surgery

  • You may need to take a laxative or enema before surgery. Your doctor will tell you how to do this.
  • Be sure you have someone to take you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own.
  • Understand exactly what surgery is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
  • If you take aspirin or some other blood thinner, ask your doctor if you should stop taking it before your surgery. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do. These medicines increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Tell your doctor ALL the medicines and natural health products you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your surgery. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the surgery and how soon to do it.
  • Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance care plan. If you don't have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It's a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.

What happens on the day of surgery?

  • Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking. If you don't, your surgery may be cancelled. If your doctor told you to take your medicines on the day of surgery, take them with only a sip of water.
  • Follow your doctor's instructions about when to bathe or shower before your surgery. Do not apply lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or nail polish.
  • Do not shave the surgical site yourself.
  • Take off all jewellery and piercings. And take out contact lenses, if you wear them.

At the hospital or surgery centre

  • Bring a picture ID.
  • The area for surgery is often marked to make sure there are no errors.
  • You will be kept comfortable and safe by your anesthesia provider. You will be asleep during the surgery.
  • The surgery will take 45 minutes to 2 hours.

When should you call your doctor?

  • You have questions or concerns.
  • You don't understand how to prepare for your surgery.
  • You become ill before the surgery (such as fever, flu, or a cold).
  • You need to reschedule or have changed your mind about having the surgery.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

Enter G789 in the search box to learn more about "Pelvic Prolapse: Before Your Surgery".

Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.