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Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery

Pelvic reconstructive surgery has come a long way in the last decade as technological improvements and physicians have become more specialized. This is especially true in the realm of gynecology, where more and more emphasis is placed on restoring normal anatomy and function after surgery.

Pelvic reconstructive surgery may be required after a routine gynecological operation or as part of extensive treatment for advanced cancer. Regardless of the reason, pelvic reconstructive surgery has been shown to reduce potential problems and side effects from surgery and improve patients' quality of life.

Complex pelvic reconstructive surgery requires extensive specialized training, proficiency at using special pelvic reconstructive surgery techniques and a dedication to working with women to understand their needs, expectations, and goals. A plastic surgeon and a gynecologic oncologist will work together to produce cosmetic results that restore as much anatomy and function as possible. In radical cancer surgery, where pelvic surgical reconstruction is an integral part of the overall treatment plan, this teamwork is especially important.

Experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons provide a full range of pelvic reconstructive surgery procedures. Pelvic reconstructive surgery of the vulva can be performed creating a new vagina. This will help fix congenital abnormalities using split-thickness skin grafts and a temporary vaginal mold. Pelvic reconstructive surgery can be used in rebuilding the vagina after radical cancer treatment. Skin grafts can cover large defects after radiation therapy, or radical surgery during recurrent cancer in the vulva and groin.

Pelvic reconstructive surgery is used to rebuild vital organs, such as a urinary bladder, vagina or pelvic floor. Sometimes these organs must be removed to treat advanced cancer or are severely damaged after radiation therapy. Bladder reconstruction is often possible by creating a pouch that holds the urine internally, eradicating the need for an external collection bag. Pelvic reconstructive surgery of the pelvic floor for correcting a prolapsed pelvis, and to treat urinary or rectal incontinence may also be performed.

An evaluation of urinary incontinence includes a complete gynecological exam. One type of treatment currently available is biofeedback and functional electrical stimulation. This pelvic floor physical therapy utilizes a computer system that provides visual feedback to re-educate and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. The patient works one-on-one with a specialized, experienced nurse. Physical therapy has proven to successfully treat most women with stress or urge incontinence.

It is important to for the participating physicians and staff members to spend time with prospective patients to discuss their concerns and expectations, as well as to review the options for treatment and pelvic reconstructive surgery. Today's pelvic reconstructive surgery techniques can produce cosmetically pleasing and functional results that improve a woman's quality of life. Consult your physician if you think pelvic reconstructive surgery can enhance your life.