“It’s the best thing that ever happened to me”
Elsie C., a 73-year-old Emmaus resident, didn’t know what was happening to her five years ago when she started experiencing incontinence.
“It came out of nowhere,” Elsie said. “Suddenly, I never knew when the urge would come over meóat the grocery store, at church. I wasn’t able to control it. I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything without being worried about where my next stop was going to be.”
Elsie, a controller for a Skippack construction company, was also having difficulty sitting through meetings, and her 45-minute commute to and from work proved particularly challenging.
“There aren’t many rest stops between Emmaus and Skippack,” Elsie said. “Oftentimes, I couldn’t hold it. Wearing a pad was so embarrassing, but it’s what I had to do. It made life so difficult.”
Elsie initially visited her gynecologist, who said her uterus and bladder had prolapsed as her vaginal support weakened. This explained the bulging, uncomfortable feeling she had felt within her body for years. She was sent to a surgeon who promptly told her she wasn’t a candidate for surgery, and she was given a pessary. After years of struggle, her family doctor recommended the Institute, where she was finally able to get the help she needed.
“Going to the Institute and Dr. Lucente was the best thing that ever happened to me,” Elsie said. “It changed my life.”
Elsie had the Institute’s minimally invasive PROLIFT surgery, which employs a specially designed supportive mesh placed in the pelvis. While she was initially nervous about getting the surgery, Dr. Lucente put her right at ease.
“He and his staff were just wonderful,” Elsie said. “They were so helpful and reassuring, and they answered all of my questions.”
Elsie said that she was surprised by how little discomfort she experienced following the surgery and how immediate the results were. And now, nearly a year later, she is still raving about how the surgery has drastically improved her life.
“It has made me feel so much younger and so much more confident,” Elsie said. “At night, I no longer have to get up constantly to go to the bathroom, and I get a good night’s sleep. During the day, it’s so much easier to sit at a desk at work for hours at a time and not be worried about getting up to go to the bathroom. And my husband is a lot happier on long drives. It’s definitely a more normal way of living.”
Elsie said that she would recommend the surgery to anyone struggling with bladder and uterus prolapse, and stressed that finding a doctor you trust is key.
“I found that in Dr. Lucente and his staff, and I consider myself so lucky,” Elsie said. “I always have faith that he will do the right thing, and I know that he cares deeply about my health.”The Institute for Female Pelvic Medicine is on Facebook