An Uncomfortable Situation

February 7, 2019

A Barnegat woman is back to enjoying her life after treatment for pelvic organ prolapse.

By Jennifer Sherrod

Darlene Muller, a 78 year-old Barnegat resident, was uncomfortable. She was experiencing a heaviness in her pelvis along with a vaginal bulge. These symptoms limited her lifestyle for more than a year and a half. Darlene knew she shouldn’t have to live this way. She would rather be working in her flower garden or spending time with her husband of 60 years.

LOOKING FOR OPTIONS

She sought treatment from Laurie Kane, M.D., a urogynecologist at Southern Ocean Medical Center. Dr. Kane examined Darlene and diagnosed her with pelvic organ prolapse, which occurs when the pelvic floor muscles weaken and can no longer support one or more pelvic organs. These organs can then lower and press into the vaginal canal.

Darlene was adamant that she did not want surgery, so she decided to manage the condition conservatively, with a pessary — a prosthetic device that reduces the protrusion of pelvic structures into the vagina. While this approach initially improved Darlene’s condition, after a few months, she determined that she needed to try something different.

LIFE-CHANGING SURGERY

Darlene consulted with Dr. Kane and reviewed additional treatment options. Dr. Kane stresses the importance of having individualized treatment options for each patient. “I focus on the improvement patients will have in their quality of life, so we look into which option, surgical or nonsurgical, best meets their individual needs,” she explains.

Different surgical options are available for patients based on their age, lifestyle and sexual activity. Dr. Kane helped Darlene choose the right option for her: a conservative, minimally invasive surgical procedure with a 98 percent long-term success rate.

After surgery, Darlene spent just one night at Southern Ocean and experienced minimal pain. She praises the nurses who cared for her at the hospital, and she can’t say enough kind words about Dr. Kane. “I love her. She’s very smart and very special. She changed my life,” Darlene says.

LIVING A QUALITY LIFE

Today, Darlene is back to working in her flower garden and crocheting. She is thankful she chose to have the surgery that once made her so fearful. She’s back to living her best life and has recommended Dr. Kane to several of her friends.

HELPING WOMEN REGAIN CONTROL

The urogynecology and pelvic reconstruction surgeons at Hackensack Meridian Health Medical Group offer specialized treatment for pelvic floor disorders at three convenient locations. For more information, visit HackensackMeridianHealth.org/Urogynecology.