Women of all ages can experience urological problems, including bladder problems, kidney disorders, urinary tract infections, urinary incontinence, and interstitial cystitis (painful bladder syndrome). Many of these conditions are related to dysfunctions of the pelvic floor, which consists of the muscles, nerves, and connective tissue that support the uterus, vagina, bladder, and rectum and help these organs function correctly. Dr. Perez and his colleagues with advanced training in urogynecology offer the best and most advanced care for these conditions in a comfortable, patient-centered setting.
What are the options for treating female urinary incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is loss of bladder control that causes leakage of urine. Urinary incontinence is very common, and occurs more frequently among women. Women with UI may have trouble holding in urine, especially when they sneeze, cough or exercise. This is called stress incontinence. There are also other types of incontinence with distinct causes, and working with your doctor to correctly diagnose which type of incontinence you are suffering from is the first and most important step in developing an appropriate and effective treatment plan. Both non-surgical and surgical treatment options are available, including:
- Exercises to strengthen muscles inside the pelvis
- Implanted devices or injections
- Surgery, usually a “suburethral sling” - a small strip of Body tissue, mesh or synthetic material that is placed beneath the urethra. It provides a firm surface against which the urethra can be compressed during physical activity to prevent stress urinary incontinence. There are a variety of types of suburethral slings.
Do women get kidney stones?
Yes. Although kidney stones are more common among men, women do get them. Kidney stones are clumps of crystals formed of salts and minerals, often in the kidneys, but also found in the bladder or anywhere in the urinary tract. Some kidney stones pass without symptoms, others cause severe pain, but kidney stones do not usually cause lasting damage.
Kidney stones may be made of different minerals, which affect how a physician treats them. Smaller stones can be passed through the urinary tract on their own; stones that are stuck in the urinary tract or causing complications may require a physician to remove them. Dr. Perez uses an advanced technology called “extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy” (ESWL), which involves using sound waves to break up kidney stones inside the body. It does not require a surgical incision. In other cases a minimally-invasive surgical procedure called percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) is recommended. During PCNL, our surgeons make an incision in the back and insert a scope directly into the kidney under general anesthesia. The stones are fragmented and removed. Stones can also be treated by passing a small camera through the urinary tract and breaking up the masses with a laser.
What is a prolapsed uterus or bladder and how is it treated?
Pelvic Organ Prolapse is when the organs inside of the pelvis, such as the uterus, urethra or bladder, drop (prolapse) from their normal places and push against the walls of your vagina. This is caused by a weakness in the pelvic floor, the muscles and connective tissues that support and surround your vagina, rectum, bladder and uterus. Many women will experience some kind of pelvic organ prolapse. It can be uncomfortable or painful, but can be effectively treated and does not usually cause further medical problems.
The most common symptom of pelvic organ prolapse is a feeling of pressure or fullness in your pelvis. Some women may feel as if something is actually falling out of the vagina. Urinary incontinence and painful intercourse may also alert you that something is wrong. Your doctors will help diagnose the condition with a physical exam and sometimes a CT, ultrasound, or MRI scan of your pelvis.
There are a variety of non-surgical options to treat pelvic organ prolapse, including doing exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor, and/or using a removable device called a pessary that is placed into the vagina to support areas of prolapse.
Surgical procedures used to correct different types of pelvic organ prolapse include repair of supporting tissues or the vagina wall. Another option is the removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) if that is the organ involved in the prolapse.