Pelvic floor disorders are a group of gynecologic conditions that affect the muscles, organs and functions of the pelvic floor. The muscles, ligaments and connective tissues in your pelvic area have an important task of supporting many organs, including the bowel, bladder, uterus, and vagina. The pelvic floor can be damaged by childbirth, repeated heavy lifting, chronic disease or previous pelvic surgery. When your pelvic muscles or connective tissues become weak or atrophy, the organs they support may become affected, either falling out of place or not functioning properly.
The physicians of the University of Michigan provide comprehensive surgical and non-surgical services for women suffering from any form of pelvic floor disorders.
Why choose U-M?
Each of our Pelvic Floor Disorders Program physicians is a board-certified Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS) subspecialist. The FPMRS subspecialty is a new certification jointly administered by the American Board of Urology and the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology to physicians who meet rigorous training and patient care standards specifically in the treatment of women with pelvic floor disorders.
The U-M Pelvic Floor Disorders Program has been in existence for more than 25 years, breaking ground with a multidisciplinary urogynecologic approach to patient care and pioneering the use of robotic surgical techniques in treating women with pelvic floor disorders. Our doctors have a national prominence in research, patient care and advocacy for women. Today, our physicians see more than 1,000 new patients annually at three locations across the state of Michigan.
Coordinated multidisciplinary care
Pelvic floor disorders often involve interconnected symptoms affecting multiple organs. When more than one organ is involved, multidisciplinary care is essential to effectively treat the underlying causes. Our multidisciplinary team includes OBGYNs, PAs and nurse practitioners specially trained in pelvic floor disorders, along with physical therapists and social workers. We also work collaboratively with U-M urologists, gastroenterologists and colorectal surgeons to provide comprehensive care when needed. Complicated cases are presented at care conferences to ensure that all options of care are considered. Together, our faculty functions as a tightly knit team, sharing our expertise across multiple specialties to ensure each patient receives individualized care for their particular symptoms.
The U-M Pelvic Floor Disorders team is on the leading edge of evidence-based treatment options for women with pelvic floor disorders, ranging from bladder training and physical therapy to office-based outpatient procedures and advanced minimally invasive surgery. Vaginal surgery has always been a safe, natural-orifice way to have surgery, and our physicians have also pioneered the use of robotic surgery for another minimally invasive, precise approach to pelvic floor treatment.
In addition, our surgeons have special expertise in complex procedures necessary to correct failed procedures, unique conditions or complications caused by prior procedures.
Pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence can be uncomfortable and embarrassing conditions, forcing many women to give up daily activities, exercising or socializing.
It doesn't have to be this way. None of these things is normal as you get older, and no one has to live like that.
We understand the impact of these disorders on our patients and we also understand many of our patients find the idea of surgery a frightening one. We offer a large variety of treatment options, from lifestyle changes and medication to physical therapy and surgery. We offer newer treatment options – so even if nothing has worked in the past, we can still help. Our surgery options include minimally invasive procedures that result in little pain and offer a shorter healing time. No matter which treatment option is recommended, our compassionate and attentive team provides each patient with an individualized plan specific to her needs.
Leaders in pelvic floor research
The U-M Pelvic Floor Research Group is the leading pelvic floor disorders research group in the world, working to improve the understanding and treatment of pelvic floor disorders. Our goal is to identify risk factors for developing pelvic floor disorders and to work with high-risk women to prevent them. We also provide the most effective and newest treatments for pelvic floor dysfunction.
Take the next step
To schedule an appointment or learn more about the University of Michigan Pelvic Disorders Program, call our Ann Arbor clinic at 734-763-6295 or our Northville clinic at 248-305-4400.