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Leeds Hospital

2 Leighton Street, Leeds, LS1 3EB

0113 388 2111 0113 301 0245 (fax)
Switchboard 0113 388 2000
Treatment Enquiries 0113 388 2111
Outpatient Bookings 0113 388 2067

What is the pelvic floor and what is its function? 

The muscles, ligaments and connective tissue that hold a women’s internal organs in place are known as her pelvic floor. The bladder, bowel, uterus, vagina and rectum are all held in place by the pelvic floor.

A women's brain controls her pelvic floor muscles to help these organs function as they should. However medical conditions such as childbirth or sustaining an injury can cause a weakness or a tear in the pelvic floor muscles called pelvic floor disease.

At Nuffield Health Leeds Hospital we work with a team of consultant surgeons who are experts in repairing pelvic floor muscles.

What happens during pelvic floor repair?

  • Your surgeon in Leeds may perform several procedures during your pelvic floor operation
  • You should have a detailed discussion with your consultant to determine which option is most suitable for you
  • Anterior repair - this procedure repairs the weak muscles in the front wall of the vagina that support the bladder (anterior prolapse)
  • An anterior repair is usually performed under general anaesthetic
  • This operation usually takes approximately half an hour
  • Your surgeon will make a cut in the anterior (front) wall of your vagina so they can push your bladder and urethra back into place
  • They will stitch the support tissues together to provide better support for your bladder and urethra
  • They may cut away a small part of the vaginal wall to remove tissue left over from the repair
  • Posterior repair - this procedure repairs the muscles in the back wall of your vagina that support your bowel (posterior prolapse)
  • A posterior repair is usually performed under a general anaesthetic
  • This operation also takes approximately half an hour
  • Your consultant will make a cut in the back (posterior) wall of your vagina so they can push your bowel back into place
  • They will use stitches to tighten the supporting tissues along the length of the back wall of your vagina
  • They may need to cut away a small part of the vaginal wall to remove excess tissue
  • If the muscles on either side of your entrance to your vagina are weak they may use stitches to tighten them as well
  • You should expect a slight discharge or bleeding from your vagina but you should let a member of the healthcare team know if this becomes heavy.

Going home after pelvic floor repair surgery

  • You will usually be able to go home after 2 - 3 days
  • For the first 2 weeks at home you should rest, relax and continue to do the exercises that you were shown in hospital
  • It is best not to have sex for about 6 weeks or at least until any bleeding or discharge has stopped
  • Avoid standing for too long and do not lift anything heavy
  • You can go back to work once your doctor has said you are well enough to do so (usually after 6 - 8 weeks)
  • Consult your surgeon before returning to any exercise or strenuous activities
  • You should continue your pelvic-floor exercises as soon as possible after the operation and keep doing them for life
  • This will help to prevent a return of any prolapse and reduce the risk of you becoming incontinent.

Specific complications of pelvic floor repair can include:

  • Incontinence
  • Urinary infection
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Damage to the bladder or bowel.
Physio in action

Fight urinary incontinence with pelvic floor exercises

A strong pelvic floor can be the key to preventing, improving or curing urinary stress incontinence – as well as a range of other women’s health issues. Rachel Bromley demonstrates simple exercises you can do to help take back control of your bladder.

Read full article