What Do We Mean By Prolapsed Bladder?
Prolapsed Bladder is a condition found exclusively in females in which the bladder moves out of its position and descends down into the vagina as a result of weakening of the vaginal wall and pelvic floor muscles. The bladder in females is supported by the vaginal wall and pelvic floor muscles which keep the bladder stationed at its place. In cases where extreme stress is put on the vaginal wall such as during childbirth or while doing any strenuous activity the vaginal wall becomes loose and gets weak. Hence it is no longer able to provide support to the bladder as a result of which the bladder starts to descend downwards towards the vagina.
Prolapsed Bladder is seen mostly in postmenopausal females. This is because younger females make a hormone called estrogen which keeps the vaginal wall and pelvic floor muscles strong and thus prevents the bladder from prolapsing. After menopause, females stop producing estrogen which results in depletion in the levels of estrogen and it is no longer able to keep the vaginal wall strong enough and with any strain the bladder starts to prolapse.
There are basically four categories of a Prolapsed Bladder namely mild, moderate, severe, and complete. The first two categories are mild and asymptomatic and require little to no treatment while the latter two are quite serious where the bladder virtually is visible through the vagina and thus requires intensive treatment. Prolapsed Bladder can be treated both conservatively as well as surgically.
How Is A Prolapsed Bladder Fixed Surgically?
As stated, Prolapsed Bladder can be treated both conservatively as well as surgically. In order to fix Prolapsed Bladder surgically, the surgeon will take various factors into account such as the age, overall health of the patient, and the extent of the prolapse. Once the surgeon deems the prolapse severe enough, a surgery to fix the Prolapsed Bladder is planned.
The main aim of the surgery for prolapsed bladder is to reposition the bladder into normal anatomical place and strengthen the vaginal wall. The surgery for prolapsed bladder may be done by administrating general, local, or regional anesthesia. The surgery is done by making an incision in the vaginal wall and then repositioning the bladder in its normal place. Once this is done, the incision is closed.
Various materials like a mesh is put on the vaginal wall to make it strong, although the efficacy of a mesh has been questioned and most surgeons do not use it. Instead, they recommend the patient do pelvic floor exercises to strengthen both the muscles of the pelvic floor as well as the vaginal wall so as to prevent any recurrence of a Prolapsed Bladder.
It usually takes about two days for the patient to be discharged from the hospital after a Prolapsed Bladder surgery, although in some cases patients are discharged the same day of surgery.
Post-surgery for prolapsed bladder, it takes around 4-6 weeks for a female to return back to normal activities. However, in some severe cases it may take upwards of four months for an individual to completely recover from a surgery to fix Prolapsed Bladder.