The official board certification name is Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery.
A sub-specialist in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery is a physician in Urology or Obstetrics and Gynecology who, through education and training, is prepared to provide consultation and comprehensive management of women with complex benign pelvic conditions, lower urinary tract disorders, and pelvic floor dysfunction. Comprehensive management includes the diagnostic and therapeutic procedures necessary for the total patient care.
A Urogynecologist is a surgeon who specializes in the care of women with pelvic floor disorders.
The pelvic floor is a set of muscles, ligaments and connective tissue in the lowest part of the pelvis that provides support for a woman’s internal organs, including the bowel, bladder, uterus, vagina and rectum.
A pelvic floor disorder occurs when women have weakened pelvic muscles or tears in the connective tissue due to excessive strain on the pelvis from childbirth, repeated strenuous activity, menopause, chronic disease or pelvic surgery. Other factors that can weaken the pelvic floor include repetitive heavy lifting, tobacco use and a family history of weakened pelvic floor-related conditions.
The following are some problems that arise from damage to the pelvic floor:
- Incontinence: loss of bladder or bowel control, leakage of urine or feces
- Prolapse: descent of pelvic organs, causing a bulge and/or pressure; sometimes referred to as a “dropped” uterus, bladder, vagina or rectum
- Emptying disorders: difficulty urinating or moving bowels
- Pain: discomfort to the lower back, pelvis, bladder and/or urethra
- Overactive bladder: frequent need to urinate, bladder pressure, urgency, urge incontinence (difficulty “holding back” urine when urges arise)
- Fistula: a hole that forms between the vagina and rectum (rectovaginal), vagina and urethra (urethrovaginal) or vagina and the bladder (vesicovaginal)
What Kind of Training Does a Urogynecologist Have?
Urogynecologists are physicians who have completed medical school and a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology or Urology. These physicians become specialists by completing additional years of fellowship training and certification in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. The training consists of evaluating, diagnosing and treating conditions that affect the muscles and connective tissue of the female pelvic organs. These physicians are also knowledgeable on the latest research in the field pertaining to these conditions.
1 After 2015, Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery will be an accredited subspecialty by the American Board of Medical Subspecialties.
When should I see a Urogynecologist?
Although your primary care physician, OB/GYN, or urologist may have knowledge of these problems, a urogynecologist can offer additional support and a more precise treatment plan.
You or your doctor may consider consulting a urogynecologist if you have problems with emptying the bladder or rectum, pelvic pain or bladder pain, fistulas, or the need for specialized vaginal surgery.
What Treatment Options are Available from a Urogynecologist?
A urogynecologist can recommend a variety of therapies to cure or relieve symptoms of pelvic floor disorders. Sometimes, simple changes and interventions can have a significant impact on daily quality of life. We may advise conservative (non-surgical) or surgical therapy depending on your wishes, the severity of your condition and your general health. Conservative options include medications, pelvic exercises, behavioral and/or dietary modifications and vaginal devices (also called pessaries). Your urogynecologist may also recommend Pelvic Floor Therapy with Biofeedback and Electric Stimulation. Safe and effective surgical procedures are also utilized by the urogynecologist to treat incontinence and prolapse.
Medications – There are numerous medications available to help reduce bowel and bladder incontinence. Certain drugs that decrease bladder spasm, tighten the urinary sphincter or alleviate irritation are available. Medications that aid in adjusting stool consistency and motility are often useful to those with fecal incontinence.
Fibroid Ablation Acessa
The Acessa procedure is a minimally-invasive, same-day, outpatient procedure that shrinks or completely eliminates fibroids. With this laparoscopic procedure, there is a rapid and significant reduction in symptoms and recovery is fast. You can return to normal activities and enjoy a greatly improved quality of life, all without needing a hysterectomy. There is also a very low need for further treatment.
Connect with a trained physician today to see whether the Acessa procedure is right for you.
Treat your fibroids with Acessa
With minimally invasive surgery (MIS), patients typically spend less time in the hospital. Many go home the same day of their surgery. Plus, for many elderly patients or those with chronic medical conditions, this kind of surgery decreases their risk of complications. MIS can also be used as a diagnostic tool to discover the cause of abdominal pain.
Is Acessa Right for Me?
If you suffer from heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding, abdominal pain and pressure, frequent urination and low energy due to anemia, you may have uterine fibroids. Uterine fibroids are very common. In fact, approximately 70% of women have fibroids by age 50. See your doctor to determine if you have uterine fibroids.
If you suffer from these symptoms and have been diagnosed with uterine fibroids, you may be a candidate for the Acessa procedure. Consult with an Acessa-trained physician to determine if Acessa is right for you. (Source)