If you are preparing for gynaecological or vaginal surgery, such as removal of fibroids, hysterectomy, endometriosis surgery, pelvic organ prolapse repair, or are planning to have an incontinence surgical procedure, getting advice from a pelvic health physiotherapist beforehand can aid your recovery.
Your recovery from surgery and long term outcome can be impacted by many factors including constipation, heavy lifting, returning too quickly to strenuous activities and poor pelvic floor muscle function. Occasionally after surgery woman can experience problems such as bladder leakage or painful sex.
Pre-operative pelvic floor physiotherapy includes
- Providing education about the surgical procedure and providing you with an understanding of recommendations for optimal post-operative care including rest, gentle activity, relevant precautions (eg: lifting) and expectations about returning to
- Assessing and commencing pelvic floor muscle exercises with the correct technique
- Optimising your bladder and bowel function and toileting technique to eliminate any straining or constipation
- Determining if you have any risk factors that may contribute to a continuation of your symptoms after your procedure
Pelvic floor physiotherapy, usually at 6 weeks after your procedure, includes
- Progression of individualised pelvic floor muscle training program
- Recommendations regarding appropriate fluid intake and toileting habits, optimising bladder and bowel function and avoiding straining
- Providing advice regarding appropriate activity/exercise and returning to your chosen forms of exercise/sport
- Advice to minimise lifting, especially in the first 6 weeks post-surgery, then instructing in a graded return to lifting/strenuous activities
- Discussing your work responsibilities and a graded return to work activities
- Provide advice and strategies for returning to intimacy as required