RICHMOND, Va. -- Dr. Ramzi Aboujaoude, an OB/GYN with Johnston-Willis Hospital, is helping lead the way in the field of Urogynecology, a profession dedicated to helping women dealing with pelvic floor disorders.
Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery focuses on the use of surgery and non-surgical treatments for pelvic floor disorders, including pelvic organ prolapse, incontinence, and pelvic pain.
One in three women is impacted by pelvic floor disorders, usually the result of childbirth or menopause.
The conditions can lead to discomfort, pressure and pain, and even embarrassing side effects that prevent women from enjoying normal activities.
"This is not the normal aging process," Dr. Aboujaoude said. "I don't want anyone to think that if we're getting older and we're leaking urine, that's okay."
Aside from incontinence, some other problems associated with pelvic floor disorders include:
- Overactive bladders
- Recurring urinary tract infections
- Pelvic prolapse (when organs begin to fall out of normal position)
The good news is pelvic medicine and newer non-invasive robotic surgeries can change the quality of life for most women.
"Surgery is not major surgery these days," Dr. Aboujaoude said. "Sometimes it's less than 15 minutes and it will change your life."
Specialists will recommend a treatment that is best for you, that can include simply changing your diet or habits at home or physical therapy.
Surgery is usually the last option, but even in those cases, physicians like Dr. Aboujaoude are seeing excellent results with less healing time required for patients.
Most patients require at least some prescription medication for about one to two weeks after surgery. Patients are usually advised to take it easy for about twelve weeks, but can normally return to normal activities in just a few days.
While some women are reluctant to seek help, doctors say simple treatments can prevent women from having to live with the pressure, pain and embarrassment caused by pelvic floor disorders.
Working For Your Health is a partnership with HCA Healthcare. Serving the greater Richmond area, Chippenham, Henrico Doctors’, Johnston-Willis, Parham Doctors’, and Retreat Doctors’ Hospital are part of HCA Virginia. Watch for Working For Your Health reports Tuesdays on CBS 6 News at 7 p.m.