A gynaecology nurse has avoided a hysterectomy after her hospital trust adopted a pioneering new treatment for womb prolapse.
Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has become the first acute trust in its region to offer sacrohysteropexy, which reduces recovery time and prevents women from requiring a hysterectomy.
“This innovative operation provides women with more treatment options and allows them to get back to their daily routines much quicker”
Most patients recover quickly from the operation and are able to return home the next day. The procedure can also be performed laparoscopically.
It involves the use of synthetic mesh, which is inserted through the tummy and lifts and holds the womb in place. This allows healing tissue to grow around the mesh.
There are no vaginal incisions, scarring or impact on vaginal length and the option for child bearing is still viable if the women has not yet gone through the menopause, said the trust.
Dr Swati Jha, consultant gynaecologist and subspecialist in urogynaecology at the trust, is one of the few gynaecological surgeons who performs laparoscopic sacrohysteropexy in the UK.
She said: “One in ten women will need surgery for prolapse over their lifetime. This innovative operation provides women with more treatment options and allows them to get back to their daily routines much quicker.”
“Sacrohysteropexy allows me to put the women’s womb back in place rather than removing it, this reduces the risk of complications and speeds up recovery,” she added.
“It’s a particularly good option for younger women as it doesn’t stop menstruation or affect you sexually”
One of the first patients to undergo the surgery in Sheffield was Ann Staniland, a 62-year-old gynaecology nurse.
The mother of two suffered from uterine prolapse for 10 years but did not seek treatment until it gradually became worse over the last 18 months. She said she put off looking into surgical treatment before she was aware of the new minimally invasive treatment option.
She said: “I am very active, I do a lot of dancing and running and the prolapse was causing some discomfort whilst doing the things I enjoy.
“As the condition started to get worse I looked to see if there was anything that could be done and I wanted to avoid having a hysterectomy if I could,” she said.
“Having the procedure has given me a new lease of life,” she said. “It’s a particularly good option for younger women as it doesn’t stop menstruation or affect you sexually, so I want more women to be aware of this option.”