Olivia Yslas may measure 5 foot 2 inches, but she towers over most when it comes to taking care of others. At 65, she has raised three sons and a granddaughter, been married 42 years, and works as a round-the-clock caregiver. So when she felt something unusual pressing against her vaginal wall, she was unprepared to care for the one person she’d always taken for granted – herself.
“It was so painful, but I waited a year before I got help. I was too embarrassed to tell even my husband,” says Olivia.
Olivia scheduled an appointment with Marc Winter, M.D., medical director of minimally invasive surgery at Saddleback Medical Center. Dr. Winter immediately diagnosed Olivia with severe vaginal prolapse, and recommended surgery.
Vaginal prolapse is a hereditary condition where the complex structure supporting the vagina weakens or breaks, no longer holding the vagina in its normal place. Symptoms include increased pelvic pressure, lower back discomfort and urinary leakage.
“Just four years ago, repairing the fallen vaginal wall required a large incision, a long hospital stay and a lengthy recovery,” says Dr. Winter. “Today, with the help of advanced robotic-assisted technology, women can expect a minimally invasive procedure with tiny incisions, and virtually no scarring. Patients like Olivia go home the following day.”
Olivia quickly felt like herself again. She just returned from a Hawaiian getaway, where bike riding to explore the local volcanoes was a challenge she welcomed.
“I’ll never forget what Dr. Winter did for me. I’m brand new,” she says.
- Gynecologic Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynecology