Massachusetts General Hospital offers a variety of surgical and nonsurgical treatments for pelvic floor disorders, all designed to significantly improve function and alleviate pain and inconvenience. Our goal is to return every patient to health and well-being.
Pelvic floor disorders are under-reported and under-diagnosed. That’s because many patients are uncomfortable talking about their symptoms or assume these problems can’t be corrected. In fact, a variety of surgical and nonsurgical treatments can significantly improve function and alleviate pain and inconvenience.
As a first step, we do a thorough work-up to identify the underlying causes of each patient’s symptoms. We use comprehensive, state-of-the-art testing including:
- Anorectal manometry to evaluate patients with constipation or fecal incontinence
- Urodynamics to assess how well the bladder and sphincter muscles store and release urine
- Pudendal nerve terminal latency testing
- Endoanal ultrasound to determine the presence or absence of anal sphincter injury
- Electromyography recruitment to measure the function of muscles involved in defecation or urination
- Transit studies to assess the speed of enteric contents through the bowel
- Defecography to identify disorders of the lower bowel that are not viewed through colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy
- Colonoscopy to diagnose polyps and cancers
After identifying the underlying problem, the care team works with the patient and referring physician to determine the best course of care. This may include any (or a combination) of the following:
- Biofeedback therapy to train patients to exercise specific pelvic floor muscles
- Physical therapy
- Nutritional counseling
- Surgery, including minimally invasive surgical techniques