How to Optimize Your Recovery Post Prolapse Repair? Preparing Before Surgery.
Are you trying to optimize your recovery following a prolapse repair and hope to avoid further surgery? Unfortunately, success following a prolapse repair is not guaranteed.
The Unsuccessful Rate of Common Prolapse Procedures
Results of a recent study of prolapse surgery showed that two common procedures had a 60 percent failure rate within five years. How can this be?
Prolapse surgery can repair the stretched tissues that contribute to a prolapse but does NOT address the pelvic floor muscle problems and individual risk factors that also caused your prolapse in the first place. Making sure you optimize your pelvic floor muscle function pre and post surgery is essential to have the best possible long-term outcomes from prolapse surgery.
Image from Dr. Magdalen Pelvic Floor PT
Preparing Your Pelvic Muscles Pre-Surgery
Before surgery your pelvic floor physical therapist will help you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and address all other contributing factors for prolapse such as constipation and poor pressure management. By strengthening your pelvic floor muscles beforehand you will create a good hammock of support to hold up your pelvic organs as your tissues heal and help to decrease the risk of the prolapse recurring. Just like doing knee strengthening exercises before a total knee replacement, optimizing your pelvic floor function before a prolapse repair will lead to better short and long term outcomes.
You can begin pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) a few months before your surgery. If your pelvic floor muscles are very weak and you have a difficult time eliciting a contraction, EMS may be helpful for you. Your PT will teach you how to use it and make sure it is safe for you to use.
Improving the Pelvic Floor with the KWELL EM1 EMS Device
The KWELL EM1 is a great tool for Electrical Muscle Stimulation for the pelvic floor muscles because it comes with six preset workouts to help you strengthen and improve your neuromuscular connection to your pelvic floor muscles. Going into your surgery with strong pelvic floor muscles will help with recovery and set you up for better success.
Post Surgery Recovery and Consulting a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist
Following your surgery, most women will be able to begin PFMT 4-6 weeks after the prolapse repair. However, this varies according to the individual surgeon protocols and recommendations. Always check with your surgeon before beginning any exercise on your own. A trained pelvic floor physical therapist will be able to work with you and follow the surgeon's protocol as you begin your recovery.
There are many complications that may arise such as incomplete bladder emptying, constipation, low back pain or urge incontinence. Let your doctor know if you experience any of these symptoms. Following an uncomplicated surgery, you will begin with gentle pelvic floor muscle contractions lying down and then progress to upright and standing positions once you are able. PFMT should always be comfortable and pain free following surgery.
Research shows that women who receive pre and post pelvic floor physical therapy focused on PFMT have better outcomes following prolapse repair surgery. Preparing yourself before and rehabbing afterwards will ensure you are doing your best to achieve the best possible result. Optimize your health now and your future self will thank you!
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