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Vaginal Prolapse: How Is It Diagnosed? - Dr. Cornella

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Dr. Cornella describes how vaginal prolapse and urinary incontinence will affect a woman's life and shares the steps taken to diagnose vaginal prolapse. Dr. Jeffrey Cornella is a gynecologic surgeon at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona.

Dr. Cornella:
As problems of urinary incontinence or prolapse progress in a given patient, they may find that it significantly affects their life. This may be such things as decreased socialization because they are concerned about losing urine at a friend’s home. It may result in decreased sexual activity with a patient’s husband because they are concerned about the prolapse or the urinary incontinence.

It also is associated with depression in some patients who have urinary incontinence and thus, as we are able to treat these patients and make improvements in both their urinary incontinence and/or prolapse, it’s very gratifying as a patient is then able to increase their socialization or increase their interaction with others through community.

Issues with vaginal prolapse may be approached minimally invasively. This allows us to correct the prolapse and yet the patient has very low morbidity in terms of recovery from the actual surgical procedure. This is also a gratifying aspect of treating patients who have these conditions.

Patients may discover the vaginal prolapse on their own as it presents past the enteritis or patients may find the diagnosis made by their physician even though they are not seeing the relaxation. It’s probably more important that the patient is experiencing symptoms related to the prolapse and that those symptoms are addressed. Thus, there are patients who have some degree of prolapse who may never require surgery or any type of intervention.

We all lose nerve and muscle function with time and thus a patient who has asymptomatic prolapse may find at some point they develop symptomatic prolapse, which then needs to be addressed.

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