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Preparing for Pelvic Surgery
There are many ways a pelvic health physiotherapist can help in preparation for any upcoming pelvic surgery. Just as rehab is a vital part of recovery, prehab can be an integral phase in making recovery as smooth possible.
- Optimize pelvic floor muscles: The pelvic floor muscles have different functions and a pelvic floor physiotherapist has the skills to gently assess them through internal techniques and provide feedback and exercises to ensure optimal tone, strength, relaxation, and coordination.
- Optimizing breathing patterns: Regardless of the type of pelvic surgery, ensuring that one is using a diaphragmatic breath is vital. By breathing into our lower lungs, we are able to absorb more oxygen. This technique supplies the body with oxygen in a more efficient way, which in turn helps with healing.
- Rib mobility: This is another key factor in optimizing breath. Our ribs need to move in order to allow expansion of the chest upon inhalation. Our diaphragm works in coordination with our pelvic floor muscles. A pelvic physiotherapist can help assess this coordination and retrain it if needed. They can help a person work on pelvic floor proprioception (the position sense), as well as tension, strength, control, and relaxation. All of these elements help a person having surgery feel prepared and know what to expect they will have to work on after the surgery.
- Improving general strength and mobility: Achieving this through the back, hips and shoulders will ready the body for surgical positions and train the body for rehabilitation following surgery.
- Optimize bladder function: This can be achieved by establishing pelvic floor muscle coordination and providing instruction positioning for voiding. It may be recommended to avoid certain bladder irritants. A pelvic physiotherapist can provide this education.
- Optimize bowel function: Constipation is a common complaint following any surgery. Ensuring good motility prior to surgery can be helpful postoperatively. Pelvic physiotherapy can help by assessing the pelvic floor muscles contraction and relaxation, breath, fluid and fiber intake, all of which contribute to constipation.
If you are considering any pelvic surgery, a pelvic physiotherapist can be an important addition to your care team pre and postoperatively.
Ways a Physiotherapist Can Help With Preparation and Rehabilitation for Transition-Related Surgeries