Expert Care for a Sensitive Health Issue

Dr. Jaime L. Sepulveda Restores Women’s Pelvic Floor Health and Quality of Life

One in three women will suffer with pelvic organ prolapse, and 11 to 19 percent of women will have surgery for the condition. Years ago, women were reluctant to seek help for problems related to pelvic floor disorders — partly because there were no specialists dedicated to treating it. Today, however, women can receive personalized, high-quality care for this sensitive health issue from nationally recognized Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery specialist Jaime Sepulveda, M.D., FACOG, FACS, of Miami Urogynecology Center in South Miami. He has been treating pelvic floor disorders for more than 28 years and has been at the forefront of developing the subspecialty of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, also known as Urogynecology.

“When I was completing my residency and fellowships following medical school, this subspecialty did not exist – Urogynecology was an area of interest within the specialty of Gynecology,” Dr. Sepulveda explained. “I was privileged to collaborate with other clinicians, researchers and biomaterial engineers to evolve the area of Urogynecology into the subspecialty of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery.”

Dr. Sepulveda was in the first class of gynecologists to become board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology in this new field. He followed the subspecialty certification with an additional certification in Pelvic Rehabilitation by the prestigious Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute.

PIONEERING TREATMENTS

Dr. Sepulveda opened Miami Urogynecology Center in 1999 to provide women with a facility that focused on their unique pelvic health issues. It was the first center in South Florida dedicated to the evaluation, diagnosis and a range of treatment options for pelvic floor disorders, and it remains one of its kind.

Many women with pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence, bowel disorders and gynecologic diseases are referred to Dr. Sepulveda by their OB/ GYN or primary care physician. He works with women and their doctors to determine the best treatment to restore their pelvic floor health. Among the treatment options are behavior modification, pelvic floor muscle exercises, prosthetic devices and advanced surgical procedures.

Dr. Sepulveda performs transvaginal, laparoscopic and robotic surgical techniques, all of which are less invasive and better tolerated, have shorter recovery times and mitigate risks compared to traditional surgery. He has performed more than 3,000 continence procedures and an equal number of prolapse surgical repairs, averaging about 300 cases a year. He also has contributed to the development of the new generation of pelvic surgeons, training more than 1,000 physicians from around the world.

Although no patient likes to hear the word ‘surgery,’ the good news is, most of patients spend one night in the hospital and can soon return to regular activities, Dr. Sepulveda says. He encourages women who are experiencing symptoms of pelvic floor disorders to have their condition evaluated.

“It’s important for women to know that in many cases, there is no level of behavior modifications or pelvic floor muscle training that will resolve all pelvic floor disorders,” Dr. Sepulveda said. “Many women seek more advanced treatment at my Center after spending more than a year attempting to resolve their prolapse with these methods.”

ABOUT PELVIC FLOOR DISORDERS

Pelvic floor disorders occur when the muscles or connective tissues that support a woman’s pelvic organs weaken or are injured. Pelvic organ prolapse refers to the descending or dropping of the bladder, uterus, vagina, small bowel or rectum.

Pregnancy and childbirth are the most common risk factors for developing pelvic organ prolapse. Other risk factors include advanced age, onset of menopause, obesity, chronic respiratory problems, constipation, pelvic organ cancer, neurological conditions and familial predisposition.

Some women with pelvic organ prolapse experience subtle symptoms over time, while others experience a more rapid, dramatic change. Symptoms may include:

  • Pressure or fullness in the pelvic area
  • Lower back discomfort
  • Painful intercourse
  • A feeling that something is falling out of the vagina
  • Spotting or bleeding
  • Urinary problems, such as leaking of urine or a chronic urge to urinate
  • Difficult bowel movements

Pelvic floor disorders may seriously affect a woman’s physical wellbeing and impact her personal and social interactions.

“Urinary incontinence can be slightly bothersome or totally debilitating,” Dr. Sepulveda said. “For some women, the risk of public embarrassment keeps them from enjoying many activities with their family and friends. Urine loss also can occur during sexual activity and cause tremendous emotional distress.”

RESTORING CONFIDENCE

The goal of treatment, says Dr. Sepulveda, is the restoration of anatomic and functional defects with optimal cosmetic results. All interventions should be supported by current scientific and clinical evidence. “The first step is to correct anatomic defects and restore the structures, which, in turn, resolves the functional defects, including urinary, fecal and sexual function,” he explained. “Cosmetic restoration is the final consideration when restoring a woman’s overall pelvic health.”

Miami Urogynecology Center’s dedicated team provides high-quality patient care in a warm, compassionate, private environment. The Center offers state-of-the-art total pelvic floor ultrasound and endoanal ultrasound for complete evaluation of these disorders. Having this advanced diagnostic technology enables women get comprehensive care under one roof, saving them valuable time.

Women with pelvic floor disorders should not suffer in silence, Dr. Sepulveda says.

“This is a quality of life issue,” he said. “When pelvic floor disorders interfere with a woman’s ability to do things that are meaningful to her, then she should feel confident to do something about it.”

Dr. Sepulveda practices at Miami Urogynecology Center, located at 6200 Sunset Drive, Suite 504, in South Miami. For more information, visit www.miamiurogynecologycenter.com or call 305-669-6267.

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