Patient Stories

Active Ella Aces Prolapse

When Ella was diagnosed with pelvic organ prolapse, she opted for minimally invasive robotic surgery that helped give Ella her active lifestyle back.

Dec. 9, 2019 4   min read

Women shaking hands after tennis

Rochester-area resident Ella didn’t know there was a treatment for her frequent urination. “I would need to go to the bathroom every 30 to 40 minutes for about a year and a half. If I didn’t make it in time, I’d have to change my pad.”

Ella didn’t think it was serious—until it got a lot more uncomfortable.

“It felt like a small ball was coming out of my vagina. I had to wear a heavier pad everywhere I went. I couldn’t drink too much water, and I was constantly taking bathroom breaks,” said Ella.

For a woman as active as Ella—she plays pickleball three times a week—her bladder issue had begun to interfere with her life. 

“Sometimes, I would have to rush to the bathroom in between games because I couldn’t control myself. Drinking too much water made it even worse.”

Ella told a friend, and her friend said she should see Dr. Marc Greenstein, DO at Rochester Regional Health. 

“Dr. Greenstein discovered I had pelvic organ prolapse. He immediately made me feel comfortable and very clearly explained the treatments that were available.” 

“When I first saw Ella, two things were clear,” Dr. Greenstein said. “She was very in tune with the changes that had occurred in her body, and she was determined to feel normal again.”

Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Ella’s bladder had dropped and was protruding through her vagina, one of the signs of pelvic organ prolapse.

Prolapse occurs when the muscles or connective tissues in the pelvis weaken and fail to support the pelvic organs as they should. This causes the pelvic organs to drop out of their usual position. In some cases, no treatment is required, but Ella’s situation called for surgical intervention.

Learn the Symptoms of Pelvic Organ Prolapse

“I’d never had surgery before, but Dr. Greenstein laid out all the options and made me feel very comfortable,” said Ella.

Robotic Surgery for Prolapse

1 in 10 women in the United States get surgery for pelvic organ prolapse.  

Since Ella lived an active lifestyle and wanted to remain active, Dr. Greenstein recommended the minimally invasive procedure, Robotic Sacrocervicopexy (sac-ro-ser-vico-pexy).

Robotic Sacrocervicopexy leads to a quicker recovery, a return to normal function, regular daily activity, and less pain than alternative treatments. Surgeons operate on patients using the da Vinci robot, which provides surgeons the ability to make tiny surgical cuts superior to the human hand. For patients, this usually means less pain and a faster recovery.

Read More About Women’s Surgery

A study published in the National Institutes of Health on patients receiving Robotic-assisted Sacrocervicopexy for pelvic organ prolapse found that the use of the robotic system during surgery is both safe and feasible.

Dr. Greenstein explains that more than a decade ago before the use of the da Vinci robot, the procedure was done using traditional surgical techniques. 

“Patients would often stay in the hospital for five to seven days and face a six-week recovery. Now, thanks to the da Vinci robot and surgical expertise, patients can often go back home the next day and return to normal function in a smaller fraction of the time.”


A few months after the procedure, Ella is happy she took her friend’s advice.

“I learned that if something is wrong, there’s no harm in talking to a doctor and learning about what can be done to help. Your life will be so much better, and you’ll enjoy yourself and your family more.” 

And sometimes, Ella explains, not knowing there’s a problem is half the battle.

“I never knew what pelvic organ prolapse was. For a long time, I accepted that my issues were part of getting older. Now I’m happy again, and my husband is happy that I’m happy.”

Dr. Greenstein agrees. “It’s important that women feel comfortable discussing how they feel with their physicians.”

“When a woman doesn’t feel comfortable talking about issues they’re having with their bladder, uterus, vagina, or other body parts, it’s important that their healthcare provider provides a comfortable environment for these types of conversations to take place.”

“This is something that I emphasize with my patients.”

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At Rochester Regional Health, we're committed to partnering with women to provide personalized, comprehensive OBGYN care, including the latest in gynecologic surgery options tailored to meet their needs.

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