Patients who have prolapse surgery for pelvic floor disorders do just as well if they resume exercise soon after the procedure compared to patients who restrict activities, researchers report.
The finding could change standard post-surgery instructions, which currently discourage patients from resuming exercise and activity levels for several weeks.
The researchers wanted to see whether resuming exercise immediately after prolapse surgery would result in similar anatomic and symptomatic outcomes when compared to standard guidelines.
They enrolled 108 women and randomly assigned them to two groups. In the first group, patients followed standard restrictions to avoid lifting more than 10 pounds for six weeks, and not return to work for two to six weeks.
A second group of patients had no lifting or activity restrictions and were permitted to return to work as soon as they were able.
After three months, the researchers found no statistically significant differences in anatomic and symptomatic issues among the two groups.
“This study is a paradigm shift for urogynecologists—it is practice changing,” says Matthew Barber chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Duke University School of Medicine and senior author of the study published in JAMA Surgery.
“For decades, surgeons have been instructing patients to avoid activity after reconstructive surgery, and we now know that is unnecessary.
“The findings of this study are consistent with trials in other fields, like orthopedics and hernia surgery, which have shown that early activity doesn’t impede outcomes and may improve them in some circumstances,” Barber says.
The EC Hamblen Endowed Professorship fund of the Duke University School of Medicine funded the work.
Source: Duke University