unrogynecology doctor with patient

Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery Program

Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery Program (FPMRS) at Massachusetts General Hospital provides comprehensive urogynecologic evaluation and treatment (both non-surgical and surgical) for female pelvic floor problems, including pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence, to help women return to a normal lifestyle.

Schedule an appointment: 617-724-6850

Meet our team

Overview

Women with urinary incontinence or problems related to changes in the pelvic organs often suffer in silence. That’s because many patients are uncomfortable talking about their symptoms or assume these problems can’t be corrected. Rather than seeking medical help, they endure countless inconveniences along with a decline in quality of life.

Patients count on clinicians in the Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery Program to provide compassionate care for urogynecologic conditions that may be difficult to discuss, including:

  • Pelvic organ prolapse (when pelvic organs slip out of place and descend, putting pressure on the bladder, urethra or other parts of the pelvis)
  • Urinary incontinence (leaking urine), including stress incontinence, urge incontinence and overflow incontinence
  • Bladder function problems not related to urinary tract infections
  • Bladder or urethral fistulas and rectal fistulas
  • Fecal incontinence and constipation

Patient-Centered Treatments

We take pride in developing individualized urogynecologic treatment plans for each patient, incorporating the most advanced surgical and nonsurgical options available today.

Our treatment philosophy, and the preference of most patients, is to avoid surgery whenever possible. Many symptoms can be address using nonsurgical approaches such as:

  • Targeted physical therapy: Our physical therapists specialize in the muscles of the pelvic floor, treating disorders such as pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence
  • Pessary use: Placing a removable device such as this into the vagina can provide support to treat prolapse of the uterus
  • Biofeedback: Using biofeedback methods may help patients learn to identify, strengthen and control pelvic floor muscles
  • Mind/body medicine: Mind/body techniques such as meditation can empower women who experience urinary incontinence and other bladder disorders

For patients who do require surgery, we are committed to developing and introducing minimally invasive procedures that involve less pain and a shorter recovery time. Examples include:

  • Slings to treat stress urinary incontinence: We insert a thin piece of material under the urethra or bladder neck to provide support and improve continence
  • Vaginal surgery to treat pelvic organ prolapse: Vaginal surgery often requires incisions inside the vagina
  • Laparoscopic surgery to treat pelvic organ prolapse: In certain cases, we can use laparoscopic techniques, which require only small incisions in the abdomen
  • Robotic surgery: In June 2008 we became the first urogynecology group in Boston to offer robotic surgery to treat pelvic organ prolapse

Learn more about the program

Skilled, Experienced Leadership

Program director May Wakamatsu, MD, trained under the late David Nichols, MD, a nationally known gynecologic vaginal surgeon. Research director Milena Weinstein, MD is a fellowship-trained urogynecologist. The team also includes Emily Von Bargen, DO. Our staff also includes physicians who practice obstetrics and gynecology and also specialize in urogynecologic surgery and perform many procedures to treat urinary incontinence and prolapse.

In addition to our physicians, we have three experienced urogynecologic nurses led by Christina Davison, WHNP, MSN, who provide support.

Meet our team

About this Program

Our staff includes obstetricians and gynecologists who understand a woman's changing needs throughout her lifetime. We work as a tightly knit team, sharing our expertise with our peers to offer patients individualized care for their particular symptoms.

What to Expect

Patients can access our services in several convenient locations: on the hospital's main campus in Boston and at Mass General Waltham.

During your first visit, you and your doctor will talk about the symptoms you are experiencing. Your doctor will also conduct a comprehensive physical examination. As a next step, you may need to schedule urodynamic testing of your bladder and urethra function.

At your follow-up appointment, you and your doctor will discuss an individualized treatment plan that targets your particular condition. We often recommend patients begin with nonsurgical approaches, such as targeted physical therapy, which can be quite effective for treating mild prolapse, incontinence and other pelvic disorders.

If nonsurgical approaches are ineffective—or inappropriate for your condition—only then do we proceed with surgery. Our physicians are highly skilled in performing the full spectrum of surgical procedures, including minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic-assisted surgeries.

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Pelvic Health

We realize our patients' problems usually are multifaceted. For instance, bladder control issues may overlap with prolapse, or urinary and fecal incontinence may be interconnected. When more than one organ is involved, we work closely with the Pelvic Floor Disorders Service, a multidisciplinary team of experts dedicated to women's pelvic health.

This service offers a comprehensive one-stop center for treating pelvic floor symptoms caused by a weakening of the muscles and ligaments that hold up the pelvic organs. Patients see the most appropriate caregiver for their particular treatment. Our goal is to treat all of the patient's problems so she can enjoy a successful outcome and can return to a normal life.

Patient education is an important component of treatment, as lifestyle changes, exercises and other steps can alleviate symptoms. Our nurses have years of experience addressing these sensitive conditions and working with patients on a long-term basis to reach successful outcomes.

Our Staff

  • Von Bargen, Emily C., DO

    617-724-6850

    Accepting New Patients

    Clinical Interests
    • Pelvic organ prolapse/relaxation
    • Urinary incontinence
    • Pelvic reconstructive surgery
    • Minimally invasive surgery
    • Cystocele
    • Rectocele
    • Vaginal prolapse
    • Uterine prolapse
    • Urethral diverticulum
    • Rectovaginal fistula
    • Vesicovaginal fistula
    • Urogynecology
    Board Certifications
    • Obstetrics & Gynecology, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Locations
    • Boston: Vincent Obstetrics and Gynecology Service
    • Waltham: Mass General Waltham-OB/GYN
  • Wakamatsu, May M., MD

    617-724-6850

    Accepting New Patients

    Clinical Interests
    • Pelvic reconstructive surgery
    • Urogynecology
    • Pelvic organ prolapse/relaxation
    • Uterine prolapse
    • Cystocele
    • Rectocele
    • Urinary incontinence
    • Vaginal prolapse
    • Overactive bladder
    • Bladder botox injections
    • Urogenital fistula
    • Vesicovaginal fistula
    • Rectovaginal fistula
    • Colovaginal fistula
    • Urethral diverticulum
    Board Certifications
    • Obstetrics & Gynecology, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    • Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Locations
    • Boston: Gynecology Dept-Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery & Urogynecolgy
    • Waltham: Mass General Waltham-OB/GYN
  • Weinstein, Milena M., MD

    617-724-6850

    Accepting New Patients

    Clinical Interests
    • Pelvic organ prolapse/relaxation
    • Urinary incontinence
    • Pelvic reconstructive surgery
    • Minimally invasive surgery
    • Cystocele
    • Rectocele
    • Uterine prolapse
    • Vaginal prolapse
    • Urogynecology
    Board Certifications
    • Obstetrics & Gynecology, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    • Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Locations
    • Boston: Vincent Obstetrics and Gynecology Service
    • Waltham: Mass General Waltham-OB/GYN

Contact

Urogynecology & Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery

Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care
32 Fruit Street, Suite 4E
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-724-6850
Fax: 617-724-3850

Other Locations

Mass General Waltham

40 Second Avenue, Suite 515
Waltham, MA 02451
Phone: 781-487-3860
Fax: 781-487-3870

 

Schedule an appointment: 617-724-6850

Meet our team

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