After years of suffering from pelvic pain that had progressed to the point where she was hesitant to even leave her house, J.M. is now living pain-free thanks to the pelvic floor specialists at the Women’s Pelvic Health Program of Suffolk County, part of North Shore-LIJ Health System.
J.M., who wishes to remain anonymous, experienced painful symptoms — including stomach pains and an irritable bowel — for years. She had seen gastroenterologists who tried treatment after treatment with no success. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan finally got to the root of the problem. J.M. was diagnosed with multi-compartment pelvic floor prolapse, including complete rectal prolapse. Surgery was her only treatment option.
Finding the Right Physician
J.M. started doing her research to find a physician who could treat her successfully. After seeing a surgical robot during her work at a school district, her specific interest was in robot-assisted surgical treatment.
“I wondered if someone could do my surgery this way (robotically),” she said. “My OB/GYN recommended Dr. Peter Finamore, and when I saw his reviews and background, I was very excited to know there was such a doctor not so far away from where I live and that I didn’t have to go into Manhattan to have my surgery.”
J.M. met with Peter Finamore, MD, chief of urogynecology at Southside Hospital, in January 2015. What struck her from her first visit was his personality and how he reassured her from the start.
“He was so patient and thorough,” she said. “He spent more than an hour talking to me and showing me diagrams. He told me everything about my condition, and I was very comfortable going into my surgery.”
Dr. Finamore referred J.M. to colorectal specialist David Rivadeneira, MD, to address her rectal prolapse. She notes that Dr. Rivadeneira was equally reassuring during her visits with him. His focus was that she not be embarrassed at any point in the process.
During her consultation and surgical process, the support staffs at both physicians’ offices were especially helpful. J.M. noted that if she needed anything at all, she felt comfortable calling either office and could be confident that the support staff would respond right away with the answer she needed. They also helped her coordinate her surgery and care, ensuring that she didn’t have to worry about doing anything besides following their instructions.
A Successful Procedure
Immediately after surgery, J.M. was surprised by the lack of pain she experienced. She did not take any pain medication other than Tylenol, and she was up and walking a week after her surgery. She even had to restrain herself from too much physical activity early on since she felt good enough to do more at early stages than her physicians advised.
Six short weeks after her surgery, J.M. felt great. She was very physically active before her symptoms sidelined her, and now she is back to the gym five to seven days a week and participating in Zumba and yoga classes.
“I’m back to where I was before,” J.M. said. “It’s such a relief.”
J.M. hopes that other women with similar conditions do not allow fear to delay their treatment.
“You can rest assured that these doctors will take care of you, whatever you need,” she said. “Don’t hesitate, because there is no reason to live with this problem anymore.”
To learn more about the services offered at the Women’s Pelvic Health Program of Suffolk County, visit bit.ly/nslij-pelvichealth. To schedule an appointment, call 631-273-3080.