Sunday, 8 June 2014

Prolapse on "The Conversation"

The Conversation is an Australian news website on which specialists (usually academics) write articles about their field of expertise.
Caroline Gargett, one of the researchers in the Monash/CSIRO team currently working on improved prolapse repair surgery, has written an article about prolapse on The Conversation: What is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
This article includes a good general introduction to prolapse, some thoughts about the impact it can have on a woman's life, and some of the developments in treatment.
She uses the following example to show just how common prolapse is:
"Considering these statistics, three generations of women in a family may potentially be affected at any given time – the new mum, her mum and her grandmother."
She also acknowledges the devastating and ongoing effect that prolapse, particularly if it causes incontinence, can have on a woman's life:
"...the impact of incontinence on the quality of life and daily functioning can be severe. Indeed, it’s comparable to the effects of having a stroke or dementia."
Gargett also speculates about why research in this area is just gathering momentum now, and why so many women still do not seek treatment:
"The reason so little is known about pelvic organ prolapse in the community is that these symptoms are incredibly embarrassing for women."
At the end of the article, Gargett mentions that she and her team are in the early stages of testing their new mesh and stem-cell combination surgery. As the article is from September 2012, this research has since been completed, and the results look very promising. The abstract (a short summary of the study) can be found here: Human endometrial mesenchymal stem cells modulate the tissue response and mechanical behavior of polyamide mesh implants for pelvic organ prolapse repair.

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