Enterocele Repair Procedure
Has your doctor advised you that you have a possible pelvic floor prolapse? Your pelvic floor muscles support many of your internal organs, and prolapse can mean that one or more of them have fallen out of place. There are many ways to treat this condition, including non-surgical and surgical treatments. This article will discuss what they are and help you understand how it may have happened.
The Urology of Greater Atlanta expert urologists offers accurate diagnoses and tailor-made treatment plans to relieve a small bowel prolapse (enterocele). Call or book an appointment now.
What Causes an Enterocele?
An enterocele (small bowel prolapse) is the name of the condition when the small bowel slips down against the lower pelvic cavity or the upper wall of the vagina. It is a type of pelvic organ prolapse.
Women develop pelvic organ prolapse if the lower pelvic floor muscles become damaged by labor, vaginal delivery, or previous pelvic surgery, or when the pelvic muscles become weak by aging.
If you have connective tissue disorders, you may also be predisposed to developing pelvic organ prolapse. Other pelvic organs are also at risk of prolapsing, including the bladder. This condition is called cystocele.
How Is Enterocele Diagnosed?
It is possible to have a mild enterocele with no signs or symptoms. However, you may experience the following symptoms:
- A tugging sensation in your pelvis that feels better when you lie down
- Low back pain that feels better when you lie down
- A soft bulge of tissue inside your vagina
- A feeling of pelvic fullness, pressure, or pain
- Difficult bowel movements
- Discharge and bleeding from the vagina
- Vaginal discomfort and painful intercourse
To discover if these symptoms represent an enterocele, your doctor will need to perform a pelvic exam.
You will be asked to take a deep breath and, while holding it in, push down as if trying to have a bowel movement. This will help the doctor feel if the small bowel has prolapsed. You may be asked to do this either on the examination table or while standing up.
Another method used to detect an enterocele is through a defecography.
How Do You Fix an Enterocele?
Your urologist will provide a personalized treatment plan to address the enterocele. Depending on the severity, they might recommend a pessary. A pessary is a small device that you insert into your vagina to support your pelvic organs. Your doctor might also recommend pelvic physical therapy, including Kegel exercises, to strengthen your pelvic floor.
In severe cases, you might need surgery to repair your pelvic floor. The urologists at Urology of Greater Atlanta are experienced in both open and minimally invasive robotic surgical techniques. During the procedure, your surgeon will put the prolapsed small bowel back into its place and tighten the connective tissue of your pelvic floor.
What Happens if an Enterocele Is Left Untreated?
If the prolapse is untreated, there is a possibility of it staying the same, getting worse, or getting better.
A severe prolapse can cause urinary retention. In these rare cases, the bladder’s inability to empty fully can progress to kidney damage or infection. Therefore, treatment is nearly always recommended in these cases.
The treatment plans at UGATL are always based on your specific needs.
The team of board-certified urologists at Urology of Greater Atlanta provides an accurate diagnosis for pelvic floor prolapse and offers tailored treatments to keep your pelvic organs in place and relieve your symptoms. Call or make an appointment online for expert urological care. They have offices throughout Metro Atlanta, including Spivey Station.