At Grace Physical Therapy, we strive to empower you with knowledge and resources to help you minimize urinary and bowel issues, pain, and sexual dysfunction after your procedure. Knowing what to expect before and after your surgery can help ease many of your concerns and promote optimal recovery. If your surgery is in the past, there’s no need to worry – we can still help you reach your full recovery potential!
Your pelvic therapist will work one-on-one with you to help you return to maximal function after surgery. Pelvic therapy is recommended if you are undergoing any abdominal or pelvic surgery, including:
- Abdominopelvic Pain (e.g. endometriosis excision, removal of fibroids or cysts, hernia repair, presacral neurectomy)
- Hysterectomy and/or Prolapse Repair
- Prostate Surgery (e.g. TURP or prostatectomy)
- Gender Affirming Surgeries
If possible, it is optimal to have a pre-surgical consultation before your procedure at one of our locations. This can occur via Teleconference if you are not local. During this visit we will focus on several areas of importance in order to help prepare you for the road ahead, including:
- Education on anatomy, physiology, & function of the pelvic floor and pelvic organs, and expected changes with surgery
- Education on areas that will be healing due to incisions and sutures
- Instruction in strategies to allow for optimal healing and to protect healing tissues
- Instruction in strategies to reduce and manage pain
- Prevention of constipation
- Possible strengthening or relaxation exercises for your pelvic muscles, as appropriate
Your first post-surgical visit should occur as soon as you receive clearance from your surgeon (typically 2-3 weeks after surgery). It is vital that you protect the surgical site(s) to ensure full healing. Remember that even with laparoscopic surgery, instruments are being passed through your abdominal cavity and cause tissue damage along their path!
To avoid rupturing the incisions made during surgery, you’ll need to limit physical exertion as much as possible and learn to manage increases in intra-abdominal pressure. Your pelvic therapist will teach you strategies to reduce the changes in pressure that occur with daily activities such as lifting, standing up, or having a bowel movement in order to protect healing tissues.
Post-surgical visits will teach you a tailored program you can follow at home to help you return to full function. You will be monitored through the program to assess your progress and make changes as needed.
Your program may include:
- Retraining of the pelvic floor and core muscles
- Pain reduction and management techniques
- Manual treatment to reduce pain, scarring, and adhesions
- Normalizing bladder and bowel function and addressing issues such as leaking, retention, urgency/frequency, or difficulty starting stream
- Maximizing sexual health, including reducing erectile dysfunction or pain with intercourse
- Preventing and managing constipation
At Grace Physical Therapy & Pelvic Health, each appointment allows for 45 minutes of one-on-one time so that your therapist can answer all your questions and ensure you fully understand what to do at home.