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Published on June 17, 2020

What on Earth is a Prolapse?

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I recall the day that I first discovered my vaginal prolapse.  It was just an average Monday with me in the shower rushing around getting ready for my day.  As I was washing my nether regions I felt a terrifying bulge and my heart started pounding.  I tried to get a look at my “parts” but could not see that well so I grabbed a mirror and stared in horror at what looked like something pushing its way through my vaginal opening.

At the time I had literally never seen anything like this in my life and frankly I started to panic. When my fear got the best of me I broke down and headed to the ER.  When I arrived, the doctor patiently explained to me that I had something called a prolapse and that I should see a urogynecologist.  I did some research online and found Athena Women’s Health (now EvergreenHealth Urology & Urogynecology Care). I decided that an office that takes care of only women sounded like a pretty comfortable place to be with what felt like a very embarrassing problem.

At my consultation the Athena doctor  immediately put me at ease with her calm demeanor.  She reassured me that this was a very common problem and not dangerous.  Because I had never seen or heard of this problem I was very scared. Having me doctor reassure me that this issue was common and treatable was just what I needed.

After my exam, she diagnosed me with stage IV (the highest) prolapse of my vaginal vault (the very top of my vagina—my uterus had been removed before).  She reviewed all of my options from using a pessary to several surgical choices.  I chose the laparoscopic robotic sacrocolpopexy and I can’t even tell you what a difference that has made.

Even though it was abdominal surgery, the recovery was fast. I was discharged in less than 24 hours, was able to eat and on very minimal pain medications.  The bulge was gone. After just 6 weeks of light activity I am back to my full activities that include hiking and gardening and I could not be happier.

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