Not the surgery for a young person: women's experience with vaginal closure surgery for severe prolapse
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Medical Subject Headings
*Adaptation, Psychological; Age Factors; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; *Attitude to Health; Awareness; Communication Barriers; Female; Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; Humans; Loneliness; Middle Aged; Nurse's Role; Nursing Methodology Research; Perioperative Care; Pessaries; Qualitative Research; Quality of Life; Questionnaires; Recovery of Function; Sexuality; Shame; Trust; Uterine Prolapse; Women
Obstetrics and Gynecology
INTRODUCTION: Vaginal prolapse can be debilitating, due to pelvic organ prolapse and herniation of the bladder, uterus, intestines and/or support tissues in the vaginal opening. However, there is little published information that documents women's experiences in the months and years after surgery to correct prolapse.
OBJECTIVE: This phenomenologic study aimed to increase understanding of the specific experiences that patients report after vaginal closure surgery.
METHOD: Participants were recruited via a mailing to surgical patients from a large urogynecologic practice. Semi-structured interviews were tape-recorded and transcribed for analysis.
RESULTS: Six women participated in the study. After analyzing the results, five major themes emerged: awareness and confusion, feeling alone in silence, trusting recommendation, acceptance of changed sexuality, and still coping.
CONCLUSIONS: This small study shows that vaginal closure affects an intimate body part and can impact self-image, but the women did not regret their changed sexuality. The larger issues for these women were ones of communication, information, and isolation, particularly during their followup care.
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Citation: Urol Nurs. 2005 Oct;25(5):345-51.