Complex urethral-vaginal surgery is performed to restore function and appearance to a sensitive and complicated region of the urethral and vaginal anatomy. Surgeons at Cleveland Clinic have pioneered a number of reconstructive procedures now used at institutions around the world. We are also a world-leader in the development and refinement of minimally invasive surgery.
What is complex urethral-vaginal surgery?
Complex urethral-vaginal surgery is performed to restore function and appearance to a sensitive and complicated region of the urethral and vaginal anatomy. The primary function of the varied surgical procedures is to correct defects or damage to allow the patient to enjoy a healthy, full life. Appearance, though recognized as important, is a secondary and often readily achievable goal. Surgery is seldom performed solely to enhance appearance.
Any woman whose uro-vaginal region has been altered by birth defects, accidents, or trauma secondary to other therapies such as surgery to restore continence or radiation treatment for cancer may be eligible for reconstructive procedures. Among the many candidates for reconstructive procedures are:
- Cancer patients who have undergone extensive surgery or radiation treatments for any cancer of the organs and structures of the reproductive system and urinary tract
- Women with vaginal wall prolapse. This is a sort of hernia in which the walls of the vagina impinge on other organs such as the bladder, urethra, rectum or other structures
- Women who have suffered physical trauma to the region as the result of accident or rape
- Women with congenital abnormalities (birth defects)
This is not an inclusive list. A complete description of all the circumstances indicating uro-vaginal reconstructive surgery is far too lengthy. It should be noted that Cleveland Clinic is a tertiary referral center. Patients who have undergone surgeries and treatments at other institutions are often referred to the clinic and its Section of Female Urology whose surgeons and specialists are trained specifically to treat more challenging medical problems.
The surgical procedures vary as greatly as the problems they correct. In any given circumstance, there may be several differing approaches to correcting a medical problem. Procedures may be simple or exceedingly complex requiring tissue grafts and the reconstruction of entire organs. Surgeons at the clinic have pioneered a number of procedures now used at institutions around the world.
The clinic is also a world-leader in the development and refinement of minimally invasive surgery. These procedures are designed to leave minimal trauma, blood loss, scarring and hospitalization. Recovery following these procedures is usually significantly faster than standard open surgical procedures. Cleveland Clinic surgeons are specifically trained in these procedures and the instruments they employ.