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- Barbed Versus Standard Suture: A Randomized Trial for Laparoscopic Vaginal Cuff Closure. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Minim Invasive Gynecol 2013 May 13.
STUDY OBJECTIVE:To compare closure times, cuff healing, and postoperative dyspareunia between barbed and traditional sutures during laparoscopic total hysterectomy.
DESIGN:A randomized clinical trial (Canadian Task Force classification I).
SETTING:A university hospital.
PATIENTS:Sixty-three women undergoing total laparoscopic hysterectomy.
INTERVENTIONS:Total laparoscopic hysterectomy was performed using standard techniques. The vaginal cuff closure method was randomized to barbed suture (Quill; Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Vancouver, Canada) or standard suture (Vicryl; Ethicon Inc., Somerville, NJ). The time required for cuff closure was documented. Patients were examined postoperatively to assess cuff healing, and a standardized sexual function questionnaire was administered preoperatively and at 3 months postoperatively.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:The mean vaginal cuff closure time was 10.4 minutes versus 9.6 minutes in the barbed versus standard suture group (p = .51). Cuff healing appeared similar between the 2 groups. Rates of dyspareunia, partner dyspareunia, and sexual function were similar in both groups at 3 months postoperatively. Vaginal cuff closure times were significantly faster among attendings compared with residents/fellows (7.1 vs 12.8 minutes, respectively; p < .0001). The study was designed to have a statistical power of 80% to detect a difference of 5 minutes in cuff closure time between the 2 groups (α level of 0.05).
CONCLUSION:Laparoscopic vaginal cuff closure times are similar when using barbed sutures and braided sutures.
- Vulvar and Vaginal Atrophy in Postmenopausal Women: Findings from the REVIVE (REal Women's VIews of Treatment Options for Menopausal Vaginal ChangEs) Survey. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Sex Med 2013 May 16.
INTRODUCTION:Vulvar and vaginal atrophy (VVA) is a chronic medical condition experienced by many postmenopausal women. Symptoms include dyspareunia (pain with intercourse), vaginal dryness, and irritation and may affect sexual activities, relationships, and activities of daily life.
AIM:The aim of this study is to characterize postmenopausal women's experience with and perception of VVA symptoms, interactions with healthcare professionals (HCPs), and available treatment options.
METHODS:An online survey was conducted in the United States in women from KnowledgePanel(®) , a 56,000-member probability-selected Internet panel projectable to the overall US population. Altogether, 3,046 postmenopausal women with VVA symptoms (the largest US cohort of recent surveys) responded to questions about their knowledge of VVA, impact of symptoms on their activities, communication with HCPs, and use of available treatments.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Percent is calculated as the ratio of response over total responding for each question for all and stratified participants.
RESULTS:The most common VVA symptoms were dryness (55% of participants), dyspareunia (44%), and irritation (37%). VVA symptoms affected enjoyment of sex in 59% of participants. Additionally, interference with sleep, general enjoyment of life, and temperament were reported by 24%, 23%, and 23% of participants, respectively. Few women attributed symptoms to menopause (24%) or hormonal changes (12%). Of all participants, 56% had ever discussed VVA symptoms with an HCP and 40% currently used VVA-specific topical treatments (vaginal over-the-counter [OTC] products [29%] and vaginal prescription therapies [11%]). Of those who had discussed symptoms with an HCP, 62% used OTC products. Insufficient symptom relief and inconvenience were cited as major limitations of OTC products and concerns about side effects and cancer risk limited use of topical vaginal prescription therapies.
CONCLUSIONS:VVA symptoms are common in postmenopausal women. Significant barriers to treatment include lack of knowledge about VVA, reluctance to discuss symptoms with HCPs, safety concerns, inconvenience, and inadequate symptom relief from available treatments. Kingsberg SA, Wysocki S, Magnus L, and Krychman ML. Vulvar and vaginal atrophy in postmenopausal women: Findings from the REVIVE (REal Women's VIews of Treatment Options for Menopausal Vaginal ChangEs) survey. J Sex Med **;**:**-**.
- More than just bad sex: sexual dysfunction and distress in patients with endometriosis. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 2013 Apr 30.
OBJECTIVES:The aim of the current study was to evaluate the prevalence and the impact of sexual dysfunction, sexual distress and interpersonal relationships in patients with endometriosis.
STUDY DESIGN:A questionnaire-based multicentre cohort study was conducted in eight tertiary referral centres in Austria and Germany. One hundred and twenty-five patients with histologically proven endometriosis and dyspareunia were included. The Female Sexual Function Index and the Female Sexual Distress Scale were used to screen women's sexuality. Additionally, we evaluated psychological parameters and pain intensity during/after sexual intercourse via a self-administered questionnaire.
RESULTS:Female sexual distress and sexual dysfunction were observed in 97/125 and 40/125 patients. Statistically significant correlations were found between sexual dysfunction and pain intensity during/after sexual intercourse (p<0.01/p<0.01), a lower number of episodes of sexual intercourse per month (p<0.01), greater feelings of guilt towards the partner (p<0.01) and fewer feelings of feminity (p<0.01). Thirty-eight out of 125 women agreed that the primary motivation for sexual intercourse was to conceive and nearly half of women (46%) included stated that satisfying the partner acted as primary motivation for sexual contact.
CONCLUSION:Overall, our findings demonstrate that dyspareunia as a common complaint in patients with endometriosis causes a severe impairment of sexual function, relationship and psychological wellbeing.
- A psychological view of sexual pain among women: applying the fear-avoidance model. [Journal Article]
- Womens Health (Lond Engl) 2013 May; 9(3):251-63.
Aim:The purpose of this paper is to examine how well research findings on dyspareunia (intercourse pain) fit the fear-avoidance (FA) model on pain.
Results:The evidence suggests that the experience of pain in dyspareunia functions similarly to the pain reported in other pain conditions. There are also accumulating data showing that the central mechanisms of the FA model, such as catastrophizing, fear, hypervigilance and disability, are central to the experience of sexual pain. However, there are also some potential differences between sexual pain and other pain conditions that demand further attention in terms of the role of the partner, specific emotional consequences of avoidance and the effect of hypervigilance on sexual arousal.
Conclusion:The results demonstrate the relevance of the FA model in sexual pain. They also imply that treatment methods for fear and avoidance in other pain conditions offer new avenues for treating sexual pain problems in the clinic. Future studies should focus on expanding how the mechanisms in the FA model contribute to sexual pain, as well as how treatments based on the model may be applied clinically.
- Chronic adverse events and quality of life after radiochemotherapy in anal cancer patients : A single institution experience and review of the literature. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Strahlenther Onkol 2013 Jun; 189(6):486-494.
PURPOSE:To report on chronic adverse events (CAE) and quality of life (QOL) after radiochemotherapy (RCT) in patients with anal cancer (AC).
PATIENTS AND METHODS:Of 83 patients who had received RCT at our department between 1988 and 2011, 51 accepted the invitation to participate in this QOL study. CAE were evaluated using the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) v. 4.0 and QOL was assessed with the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Colorectal (FACT-C) questionnaire.
RESULTS:CAE could be evaluated in 49 patients. There was a tendency toward a higher rate of grade 3 CAE in female patients, i.e. 18 out of 37 (49 %) vs. 2 out of 12 (17 %) male patients (p = 0.089). The most common grade 3 CAE were dyspareunia and vaginal symptoms (itching, burning and dryness) in 35 and 22 % of female patients, respectively, followed by stool incontinence in 13 % of all patients (6 out of 49). Both FACT-C and CAE information were available for 42 patients, allowing evaluation of the impact of CAE on QOL. The median total FACT-C score was 110 (40-132) out of a possible maximum of 136. The absence of grade 3 CAE (115 vs. 94, p = 0.001); an interval of ≥ 67 months after the end of the treatment (111 vs. 107, p = 0.010), no stool incontinence vs. grade 3 stool incontinence (111 vs. 74, p = 0.009), higher education (114 vs. 107, p = 0.013) and no dyspareunia vs. grade 3 dyspareunia (116 vs. 93, p = 0.012) were significantly associated with a higher median FACT-C score.
CONCLUSION:The majority of AC patients treated with RCT have acceptable overall QOL scores, which are comparable to those of the normal population. Patients with grade 3 CAE-particularly dyspareunia and fecal incontinence-have a poorer QOL compared to patients without CAE. In order to improve long-term QOL, future strategies might aim at a reduction in dose to the genitalia and more intensive patient support measures.
- The Acceptability, Feasibility, and Efficacy (Phase I/II Study) of the OVERcome (Olive Oil, Vaginal Exercise, and MoisturizeR) Intervention to Improve Dyspareunia and Alleviate Sexual Problems in Women with Breast Cancer. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Sex Med 2013 May 1.
INTRODUCTION:Almost half of breast cancer survivors experience chronic sexual problems. Despite the negative effects of dyspareunia on physical and overall quality of life, sexual dysfunction remains underreported and undertreated in clinical practice. This is likely due to the paucity of evidence-based interventions to improve sexual functioning.
AIM:The study aims to prospectively evaluate the acceptability, feasibility, and efficacy of a novel intervention (Olive Oil, Vaginal Exercise, and MoisturizeR [OVERcome]) to improve sexual problems following breast cancer treatment.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Dyspareunia, sexual functioning, quality of life, distress, and pelvic floor muscles (PFMs) functioning were evaluated.
METHODS:Twenty-five women with dyspareunia were instructed to perform pelvic floor muscle (PFM) relaxation exercises twice/day to prevent/manage PFM overactivity, apply a polycarbophil-based vaginal moisturizer three times/week to alleviate vaginal dryness, use olive oil as a lubricant during intercourse, and complete a weekly compliance diary. PFM relaxation training was administered by a physiotherapist at weeks 0 and 4, with follow-up at weeks 12 and 26. At each visit, women completed validated self-report questionnaires and the physiotherapist recorded objective measures of PFM functioning.
RESULTS:OVERcome resulted in significant improvements in dyspareunia, sexual function, and quality of life over time (all P < 0.001). PFM relaxation training was reported to be effective (P ≤ 0.001). Maximum benefits were observed at week 12. Most women rated PFM relaxation exercises (92%), vaginal moisturizer (88%), and olive oil (73%) as helpful, indicating that the intervention was acceptable. Unexpectedly, six cases (11%) of vaginal stenosis were noted during initial screening.
CONCLUSIONS:This novel intervention is acceptable to patients with demonstrated efficacy in improving dyspareunia and sexual function following breast cancer. Delivery of the OVERcome intervention appears feasible in a clinical setting, providing a potential treatment for this important clinical issue. The unexpected number of observed cases of stenosis further highlights the underreporting of sexual problems in this population, deserving further exploration. Juraskova I, Jarvis S, Mok K, Peate M, Meiser B, Cheah BC, Mireskandari S, and Friedlander M. The acceptability, feasibility, and efficacy (Phase I/II study) of the OVERcome (Olive oil, Vaginal Exercise, and moisturizeR) intervention to improve dyspareunia and alleviate sexual problems in women with breast cancer. J Sex Med **;**:**-**.
- Surgical management of pelvic organ prolapse in women. [Journal Article]
- Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2013.:CD004014.
Pelvic organ prolapse may occur in up to 50% of parous women. A variety of urinary, bowel and sexual symptoms may be associated with the prolapse.To determine the effects of the many different surgeries used in the management of pelvic organ prolapse.We searched the Cochrane Incontinence Group Specialised Register, which contains trials identified from the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, MEDLINE In Process and handsearching of journals and conference proceedings, healthcare-related bibliographic databases, handsearched conference proceedings (searched 20 August 2012), and reference lists of relevant articles. We also contacted researchers in the field.Randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials that included surgical operations for pelvic organ prolapse.Trials were assessed and data extracted independently by two review authors. Six investigators were contacted for additional information with five responding.Fifty-six randomised controlled trials were identified evaluating 5954 women. For upper vaginal prolapse (uterine or vault) abdominal sacral colpopexy was associated with a lower rate of recurrent vault prolapse on examination and painful intercourse than with vaginal sacrospinous colpopexy. These benefits must be balanced against a longer operating time, longer time to return to activities of daily living and increased cost of the abdominal approach. In single studies the sacral colpopexy had a higher success rate on examination and lower reoperation rate than high vaginal uterosacral suspension and transvaginal polypropylene mesh.Twenty-one trials compared a variety of surgical procedures for anterior compartment prolapse (cystocele). Ten compared native tissue repair with graft (absorbable and permanent mesh, biological grafts) repair for anterior compartment prolapse. Native tissue anterior repair was associated with more recurrent anterior compartment prolapse than when supplemented with a polyglactin (absorbable) mesh inlay (RR 1.39, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.90) or porcine dermis mesh inlay (RR 2.08, 95% CI 1.08 to 4.01), however there was no difference in post-operative awareness of prolapse after absorbable mesh (RR 0.96, 95% CI 0.33 to 2.81) or a biological graft (RR 1.21, 95% CI 0.64 to 2.30). Data on morbidity and other clinical outcomes were lacking. Standard anterior repair was associated with more anterior compartment prolapse on examination than for any polypropylene (permanent) mesh repair (RR 3.15, 95% CI 2.50 to 3.96). Awareness of prolapse was also higher after the anterior repair as compared to polypropylene mesh repair (28% versus 18%, RR 1.57, 95% CI 1.18 to 2.07). However, the reoperation rate for prolapse was similar at 14/459 (3%) after the native tissue repair compared to 6/470 (1.3%) (RR 2.18, 95% CI 0.93 to 5.10) after the anterior polypropylene mesh repair and no differences in quality of life data or de novo dyspareunia were identified. Blood loss (MD 64 ml, 95% CI 48 to 81), operating time (MD 19 min, 95% CI 16 to 21), recurrences in apical or posterior compartment (RR 1.9, 95% CI 1.0 to 3.4) and de novo stress urinary incontinence (RR 1.8, 95% CI 1.0 to 3.1) were significantly higher with transobturator meshes than for native tissue anterior repair. Mesh erosions were reported in 11.4% (64/563), with surgical interventions being performed in 6.8% (32/470).Data from three trials compared native tissue repairs with a variety of total, anterior, or posterior polypropylene kit meshes for vaginal prolapse in multiple compartments. While no difference in awareness of prolapse was able to be identified between the groups (RR 1.3, 95% CI 0.6 to 1.7) the recurrence rate on examination was higher in the native tissue repair group compared to the transvaginal polypropylene mesh group (RR 2.0, 95% CI 1.3 to 3.1). The mesh erosion rate was 35/194 (18%), and 18/194 (9%) underwent surgical correction for mesh erosion. The reoperation rate after transvaginal polypropylene mesh repair of 22/194 (11%) was higher than after the native tissue repair (7/189, 3.7%) (RR 3.1, 95% CI 1.3 to 7.3).Data from three trials compared posterior vaginal repair and transanal repair for the treatment of posterior compartment prolapse (rectocele). The posterior vaginal repair had fewer recurrent prolapse symptoms (RR 0.4, 95% CI 0.2 to 1.0) and lower recurrence on examination (RR 0.2, 95% CI 0.1 to 0.6) and on defecography (MD -1.2 cm, 95% CI -2.0 to -0.3).Sixteen trials included significant data on bladder outcomes following a variety of prolapse surgeries. Women undergoing prolapse surgery may have benefited from having continence surgery performed concomitantly, especially if they had stress urinary incontinence (RR 7.4, 95% CI 4.0 to 14) or if they were continent and had occult stress urinary incontinence demonstrated pre-operatively (RR 3.5, 95% CI 1.9 to 6.6). Following prolapse surgery, 12% of women developed de novo symptoms of bladder overactivity and 9% de novo voiding dysfunction.Sacral colpopexy has superior outcomes to a variety of vaginal procedures including sacrospinous colpopexy, uterosacral colpopexy and transvaginal mesh. These benefits must be balanced against a longer operating time, longer time to return to activities of daily living, and increased cost of the abdominal approach.The use of mesh or graft inlays at the time of anterior vaginal wall repair reduces the risk of recurrent anterior wall prolapse on examination. Anterior vaginal polypropylene mesh also reduces awareness of prolapse, however these benefits must be weighted against increased operating time, blood loss, rate of apical or posterior compartment prolapse, de novo stress urinary incontinence, and reoperation rate for mesh exposures associated with the use of polypropylene mesh.Posterior vaginal wall repair may be better than transanal repair in the management of rectocele in terms of recurrence of prolapse. The evidence is not supportive of any grafts at the time of posterior vaginal repair. Adequately powered randomised, controlled clinical trials with blinding of assessors are urgently needed on a wide variety of issues, and they particularly need to include women's perceptions of prolapse symptoms. Following the withdrawal of some commercial transvaginal mesh kits from the market, the generalisability of the findings, especially relating to anterior compartment transvaginal mesh, should be interpreted with caution.
- Critical anatomic concepts for safe surgical mesh. [Journal Article]
- Clin Obstet Gynecol 2013 Jun; 56(2):247-56.
A comprehensive knowledge of the boundaries, contents, and interactions between surgical spaces is essential to safely and effectively perform mesh-augmented prolapse repairs and anti-incontinence procedures. This knowledge is also critical when managing intraoperative and postoperative complications such as bleeding, visceral injury, mesh erosion, exposure, or extrusion, and pelvic pain, groin pain, and dyspareunia. We present a detailed description of the surgical spaces entered during mesh augmented vaginal repair procedures and suggest strategies to avoid nerve and visceral injuries.
- [Piriformis muscle syndrome: etiology, pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, differential diagnosis and therapy]. [English Abstract, Journal Article]
- Lijec Vjesn 2013 Jan-Feb; 135(1-2):33-40.
The term 'piriformis syndrome' (PS), introduced by Robinson in 1947, implies a group of signs and symptoms caused by piriformis muscle (PM) disorders. Since PM disorders lead to irritation/compression of the anatomic structures passing under its belly, the main clinical PS signs and symptoms are actually the clinical signs and symptoms of irritation/ compression of neural and vascular structures passing through the infrapiriform foramen: sciatic nerve/SN, inferior gluteal nerve, posterior femoral cutaneous nerve, pudendal nerve, inferior gluteal artery and vein and inferior pudendal artery and vein. The clinical picture is usually dominated by signs and symptoms of irritation/compression of SN (SN irritation --> low back and buttock pain, sciatica,paresthesias in distribution of SN; SN compression --> low back and buttock pain,sciatica, paresthesias and neurologic deficit in distribution of SN). Irritation/compression of other structures can result in the following signs and symptoms: inferior gluteal nerve --> atrophy of gluteal muscles; posterior femoral cutaneous nerve --> pain, paresthesias and sensory disturbances in the posterior thigh; pudendal nerve --> pudendal neuralgia, painful sexual intercourse (dyspareunia), sexual dysfunction, urination and defecation problems; inferior gluteal artery --> ischemic buttock pain; inferior pudendal artery --> ischemic pain in the area of external sex organs, perineum and rectum, sexual dysfunction, urination and defecation problems; inferior gluteal vein --> venous stasis in gluteal area; inferior pudendal vein --> venous stasis in external sex organs and rectum. Functional/non-organic and organic PM disorders can cause PS: spasm, shortening, hypertrophy, anatomic variations, edema, fibrosis, adhesions, hematoma, atrophy, cyst, bursitis, abscess, myositis ossificans, endometriosis, tumors (functional disorders: PM spasm and shortening). The most common causes for PS are PM spasm, shortening and hypertrophy and anatomic variations of PM and SN. In 5-6% of patients with low back pain and/or unilateral sciatica, the pain is caused by PM disorders. PS diagnosis can be made on the basis of anamnesis, clinical picture, clinical examination, EMNG, perisciatic anesthetic block of PM and radiological exams (pelvis/PM MRI; MR neurography of LS plexus and SN). PS therapy includes medicamentous therapy, physical therapy, kynesitherapy, acupuncture, therapeutic perisciatic blocks, botulinum toxin injections and surgical treatment (tenotomy of PM, neurolysis of SN).