Pelvic support and urinary function improve in women after surgically induced weight reduction

James A. Daucher, Rennique E. Ellison, Jerry L. Lowder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of this study was to assess pelvic organ support and symptoms in morbidly obese women before and after weight reductive surgery. Methods: Fifty-four women were enrolled in this institutional review board-approved protocol. Data collection at baseline and 6 months following surgery included a Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification examination, questionnaires including the Pelvic Floor Distress Inventory, the Pelvic Floor Impact Questionnaire, and the Pelvic Organ Prolapse- Urinary Incontinence Sexual Function Questionnaire short form, and a 3-day voiding diary. Before-surgery and after-surgery measures were compared using paired Student t tests for continuous, normally distributed data or the Wilcoxon signed rank test for ordinal data. Results: Baseline and 6-month data were available for 34 women. The mean body mass index was 46 ± 6 kg/m2 at baseline and 33 ± 6 kg/m2 after 6 months. Subjects with ≥stage 2 prolapse at baseline demonstrated an improvement of 0.5 cm (baseline, 0.9 ± 0.8 cm; after 6 months, -1.4 ± 0.9 cm) in the anterior vaginal compartment (points Aa/Ba) 6 months following weight reductive surgery (P = 0.05). Of 24 women who completed 3-day voiding diaries, 12 were incontinent at baseline with a median number of incontinent episodes of 6.5 per day (range, 3-34). After surgery, 6 incontinent women became continent. In the 6 women who remained incontinent after surgery, the number of incontinent episodes per day decreased by a median of 2.5 (range, 1-11). Pelvic Floor Distress Inventory scores improved following weight reduction (baseline, 115 ± 80; after 6 months, 58 ± 70; P < 0.01). Discussion: Obese women, after surgically induced weight loss, demonstrate an improvement in anterior vaginal support, urinary leakage and pelvic floor symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-267
Number of pages5
JournalFemale Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010


  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Weight reduction


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