The uterus is normally supported by pelvic connective tissue and the pubococcygeus muscle, and held in position by special ligaments. Uterine prolapse is the weakening of these tissues which allows the uterus to descend into the vaginal canal. Tissue trauma sustained during childbirth, especially with large babies or difficult labor and delivery, is typically the cause of muscle weakness.
Uterine prolapse occurs most commonly in women who have had one or more vaginal births, and in Caucasian women. The loss of muscle tone and the relaxation of muscles, which are both associated with normal aging and a reduction in the female hormone estrogen, are also thought to play an important role in the development of uterine prolapse.
Signs and Symptoms
- Sensation of heaviness or pulling in the pelvis
- A feeling as if "sitting on a small ball"
- Low backache
- Protrusion from the vaginal opening (in moderate to severe cases)
- Difficult or painful sexual intercourse
These signs are often accompanied by protrusion of the bladder and front wall of the vagina (cystocele) or rectum and back wall of the vagina (rectocele) into the vaginal space. The ovaries and bladder may also be positioned lower in the pelvis than usual.
Depending upon age, general health, desire for future pregnancy, degree of prolapse and other associated conditions, a minimally invasive robotic hysterectomy may be used to treat the condition. Dr. Advincula and his skilled surgical team utilize the da Vinci® robot to perform this highly precise procedure. The minimally invasive nature of a robotic hysterectomy allows patients quicker recovery times with fewer complications when compared to conventional open or laparoscopic surgery.
For more benign gynecological information and candidacy requirements for robotic surgery, including robotic hysterectomy, contact the Center for Specialized Gynecology at Florida Hospital Celebration Health at 407-303-4573.