Dr. Cornella recalls his favorite patient success story and the gratification he embodies after helping a women gain control of their health.
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Dr. Cornella on Helping Women Take Control of Their Health I recall seeing a patient who came as a second opinion for vaginal vault prolapse. That patient had recommendations for a vaginal placement of mesh. Due to concerns that I had in terms of potential erosion of vaginal mesh, we offered the patient a robotic minimally invasive approach for her vaginal vault relaxation. This was accomplished with a thin mesh and is placed in such a way to reduce the risk of erosion to the range of approximately six percent, as compared to potentially 11-12% for vaginal placement of mesh. In this particular patient, she did very well and did not develop any erosions of the vagina. Additionally, we assessed her preoperatively in terms of occult stress urinary leakage. We found that she did lose urine with reduction of the prolapse and therefore the patient had a concomitant sling procedure to address the stress leakage. This is done vaginally, but with a limited amount of mesh and thus the erosion rate in that situation is under three percent. Many women may develop urinary incontinence or vaginal prolapse. Unfortunately, it may affect their self-esteem. There’s increased risk of depression in patients who have urinary incontinence, and it limits their social networking and ability to do various activities. So it’s very gratifying when we are able to treat a patient and they have success in terms of urinary incontinence or prolapse. Often it’s a matter working with a patient overtime because we all lose muscle function every year of our life. Thus it’s important to recognize that the patient may need help over a period of time and to continue to address those needs of the patient. I think one of the most gratifying things is when a patient is free of her original problem, whether it’s urinary incontinence or prolapse, and they express how it has affected their life. So it’s very gratifying to see a patient who now is able to do all of their activities and that would include exercise and they are able to go about their life and not be thinking about this constantly because one of the issues is that it may always be in the back of their mind when they are interacting with people or when they are doing activities that they have to be concerned about the issue. So when that’s absent, then they can really focus on the things that matter to them and that’s very gratifying.