Treating Women As Individuals
Zipper Urogynecology considers the unique needs of their patients offering Meshless Urogynecology and free second opinions
Understanding a medical diagnosis has gotten easier with growing educational resources online and in the media. Women who suffer with pelvic floor dysfunction such as overactive bladder, urinary and/or fecal incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse are becoming increasingly aware of numerous treatment options. Yet, women still must sort through the variety of surgical and non-surgical choices available to best satisfy their individual needs. It can be daunting to understand the medical terminology or even the implications of a procedure.
For example, a common approach to treating vaginal prolapse is to support pelvic organs with polypropylene mesh. Many women don’t realize the complications associated with this procedure or the implications it may have on their intimate relationships.
Recently, the FDA released a series of cautions to women considering transvaginal mesh repairs. Reported complications of vaginal mesh surgery range from 1 percent to over 50 percent. The surgeons at Zipper Urogynecology Associates believe that the significant variation in complication rates relates to the skill of the surgeon much more than the type of mesh.
Unfortunately, there is no public database of surgical complications by surgeon. The best a patient can do to avoid complications is to ask lots of questions and avoid transvaginal mesh surgery when possible. Patients should keep in mind that the robotic placement of mesh appears to be associated with substantially lower complication rates. The more common complications of transvaginal mesh include chronic pelvic pain, pain with intercourse and erosion of the mesh through the vagina. Ralph Zipper, M.D., medical director at Zipper Urogynecology in Melbourne and Vero (opening Feb 2012), notes that neither he nor his partner, Dr. Jim Raders have not seen any of these complications when performing mesh surgery with the daVinci Robot.
Although urogynecologists such as Dr. Zipper and Dr. Raders continue to use mesh to treat more severe forms of prolapse (bulge hanging out beyond the vaginal opening), they perform most of these surgeries using the daVinci Robot.
“I have developed a method that allows me to treat less severe forms of prolapse without mesh. I call this method Thermal Colporrhaphy,” says Dr. Zipper. Patients treated with Thermal Colporrhaphy have minimal discomfort and none of the complications associated with mesh surgery. Thermal Colporrhapy is a 30-minute outpatient surgery.
According to Dr. Zipper, pelvic organ prolapse and female bladder problems are complex and patients should search for the most experienced surgeons. No two patients are the same and each patient deserves special contemplation. Collaboration between Dr. Zipper and Dr. Raders offers each patient more then 30 years of urogynecology experience. Dr. Zipper says that coming to Zipper Urogynecology Associates is like getting a free second opinion. “Each patient that comes to Zipper Urogynecology has the benefit of a case review by both myself and Dr. Raders. We consult each other on the majority of patients to help ensure that the full range of treatment options are considered.”