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The highly skilled, well-trained surgeons at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital evaluate patients with prolapsed bladder and advise an individualized treatment plan. There are several conservative and surgical treatment approaches to treat bladder prolapse. The treatment is chosen based on the severity of your condition.
Prolapsed bladder, a condition also called cystocele means the dropping of the bladder into the vagina. This condition is commonly associated with menopause as before this phase, women produce an adequate amount of estrogen hormone that helps maintain the muscles of the vaginal wall strong.
The bladder normally located within the pelvic bones is a muscular, balloon-shaped organ that gets expanded as urine collects in it. When the supporting muscles and tissues situated in between the bladder and vagina become weak and stretch, the bladder sags from its position and bulges into the vagina. This condition results from damage to the tissues and muscles that are supposed to hold up the pelvic organs including the vagina, cervix, uterus, bladder, urethra, and small intestine inside the pelvis. The weakening of the pelvic muscles or damage to the supportive tissues usually occurs after natural childbirth and conditions that exert repeated strain or increased pressure to the pelvic area such as:
Often, a severely prolapsed bladder that does not respond to conservative methods of treatment requires surgical correction that involves repairing the vaginal wall support and repositioning the bladder. The most common surgical procedure is an anterior vaginal repair, also called an anterior colporrhaphy. During the procedure, your surgeon will make an incision in the vaginal wall and the defect is repaired by folding and sewing together the excess amount of supportive tissue present between the vagina and the bladder. By doing this, the layers of tissue are tightened thereby enhancing the bladder’s support. In addition, various types of materials, for instance, a mesh have been utilized to strengthen the pelvic tissues. This surgery is performed under regional or general anesthesia. A complete recovery usually takes around 4-6 weeks. However, activities that involve straining should be avoided for about 6 months.
Depending on the severity of the prolapse, there are 4 grades that have been distinguished.
Women with mild prolapsed bladder remain asymptomatic. In women with prolapsed bladder, movements such as sneezing, coughing, laughing, and physical activity such as walking exert pressure on the bladder causing stress urinary incontinence. In severe conditions, the cystocele may create a bend in the urethra causing a block in the urine flow which leads to an inability to completely empty the bladder. Signs and symptoms of a prolapsed bladder include:
A prolapsed bladder is diagnosed based on a medical history, vaginal physical examination, and medical tests.
Bladder Ultrasound: This helps measure the post void residual urine in patients with urinary retention due to difficulty in emptying the bladder.
Voiding Cystourethrogram: This is an X-ray examination of the bladder done while urinating.
Common risk factors that are attributed to the development of prolapsed bladder include:
Prolapsed bladder is the result of the weakening of the pelvic muscles or of damage to the supportive tissues. This usually occurs after natural childbirth and conditions that exert repeated strain or increased pressure to the pelvic area such as:
The following herbs have been found to be beneficial:
Prolapsed bladder may be prevented by reducing constipation. A diet high in fiber and intake of plenty of fluids can avoid constipation. It is advisable to avoid strain while passing stools. Lifting heavy objects should be avoided. Losing excess weight is also recommended as obesity is one of the risk factors of developing prolapsed bladder.
Are you suffering from bladder prolapse? For any questions, information or guidance regarding the treatment of prolapsed bladder, get in touch with our specialty-trained, skilled urologists at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital.
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Carrie A. Stewart, M.D.See Profile »