The Most Basic Advice

If any doctor or specialist diagnoses you with any one prolapse (bladder, rectal, vaginal), it is critical that you not allow a single prolapse repair. First find an ob/gyn who is experienced in evaluating and treating pelvic prolapse (which views the entire condition of the pelvic organs).

If the single prolapse is due to a weakened pelvic floor condition or another pelvic issue, other organs may be impacted and the surgery may lead to the next prolapse. A trained ob/gyn will decide in which order the prolapse(s) needs to be repaired. Having a single repair and then learning of the pelvic prolapse can cause complications.

It's your body. Take charge and get a second opinion from a board certified ob/gyn who has adopted viewing any organ prolapse as potentially pelvic prolapse.


A scary symptom

In May 2007, I noticed I was spotting blood from my rectum. I knew that couldn't be a good thing. After visiting my primary care physician (PCP), I was advised to schedule a colonoscopy. I was 54 when the spotting occurred. At 50, I had been referred to the only female doctor in my area who performed that procedure. Because of abuse issues, I was not willing to have a screening test. The doctor, Joanna DeLeo, agreed it would be okay to wait until a time when my PCP or a specialist felt it was necessary.

I let my current doctor know I was already set up as a patient for the procedure. My PCP asked me to call her office with the doctor's name and date of the colonoscopy, which I did. The meeting to discuss the procedure in the Dr. DeLeo's office went well. I felt comfortable with her demeanor and believed I was in good hands because I had initially been referred to her by my previous PCP (also a female). Because of an abusive past in the hands of males, I tended to avoid male doctors. I had checked to make sure Dr. DeLeo was an still an approved provider and in my insurance network.

And so the colonoscopy was scheduled for June 1, 2007, at an outpatient surgery center in Lebanon, nearly an hour's drive from Harrisburg. Several years earlier, the doctor performed her procedures at a local hospital. She told me the local hospital was not treating her patients in the manner they deserved to be treated, so she found a place where her patients received the best care: Lebanon Outpatient Surgery Center. I didn't question her response. (It was not until after I placed myself in a specialist's care that we learned she no longer had hospital privileges in any local hospital and only had outpatient privileges in Lebanon. Yet she was still an approved surgeon!)

What happened before June 1 set the tragic series of events into motion. If I'd only known.

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