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Back to Aerobics and More after a Pelvic Procedure

When Candace began experiencing the symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse, she did her best to ignore them. She waited a year before going to the doctor about the problem and all that time, it became harder to live with the condition. 

“In hindsight, I should have sought help sooner,” Candace, 73, said. “It was irritating. I was trying to do my aerobic dance, and it was very uncomfortable.”  

A procedure with urogynecologist Julie LaCombe, MD, with Overlake Clinics Pelvic Health ultimately resolved the problem, making it possible for Candace to return to the activities she loves. 

The pelvic organs include the cervix, uterus, vagina, small bowel, rectum and bladder.  A muscle group called the pelvic floor holds them in place in a structure similar to a hammock. If the muscles are damaged or stretched, the pelvic floor can lose support. When this happens, the pelvic organs can prolapse and sit much lower. It can lead to obstructive urinary or bowel symptoms, or both, and pressure and pain.  A history of vaginal childbirth is one risk factor. However, the biggest risk factor is genetic, which is why many women who have delivered vaginally never experience the condition. 

Prior to coming to Overlake, Candace went elsewhere for treatment but did not obtain a lasting solution. Researching her options, she learned about Overlake’s board-certified urogynecologists, specializing in pelvic health issues. 

“I didn’t even know urogynecologists existed,” she said. “I was impressed and made an appointment with Dr. LaCombe. I quickly felt comfortable with her and trusted her judgement.”  

Dr. LaCombe recommended a variety of surgical and non-surgical options. Candace ultimately opted to pursue a robotic-assisted sacrocolpopexy, a minimally-invasive surgery that pulls up tissues and puts organs back where they should be located. 

“I felt confident and assured it would be the right procedure for me to have,” Candace said. 

Her six-week recovery went smoothly, allowing her to get back to her active life. Along with enjoying aerobics, she golfs, rides an e-bike and spends time with family.

One-third of all women have pelvic organ prolapse. However, the public has little awareness of the condition, causing many to live with it for years before seeking treatment. 

“I didn’t know much about it beforehand, and that’s why I didn’t go to the doctor right away,” Candace said. “I had my first child at 24 and, decades later, I didn’t put two and two together.”

At Overlake, she found an environment that put her at ease with a surgery crucial to her quality of life. 

“The people at reception are so friendly, and the care team is so kind and knowledgeable,” she said. “It is nice to find a pelvic health group that is dedicated to women.”

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