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Assessing vaginal pressure profiles before and after prolapse surgery using an intravaginal pressure sensor (femfit®)

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Abstract

Introduction and hypothesis

The impact of surgery on pelvic floor muscle (PFM) function remains uncertain. There is a pressure differential along the length of the vagina, influenced by surrounding active and passive tissue structures, giving rise to a pressure profile. The aim of this study is to determine if an intravaginal pressure sensor, femfit®, can measure differences in pressure profiles before and after surgery for pelvic organ prolapse (POP).

Methods

This pilot study includes 22 women undergoing POP surgery. Intravaginal pressure profiles were measured with femfit® pre- and post-surgery and differences tested using paired Student’s t-tests. Patients completed validated questionnaires for vaginal, bowel, and urinary incontinence symptoms pre- and post-POP surgery and a femfit® usability questionnaire.

Results

Sixteen sets of vaginal pressure data were analysed. The highest pressure generated was identified as the peak PFM pressure, whilst all sensor measurements provided a pressure profile. Intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) was measured by the most distal sensor, 8. On average, the difference between peak PFM pressure and IAP was significantly greater post-surgery (p < 0.01). Urinary and vaginal symptom questionnaire scores were significantly improved after POP surgery. Femfit® usability questionnaires demonstrated high levels of patient acceptability.

Conclusions

Women generate higher peak PFM pressures compared to IAP post-POP surgery, with pressure profiles that are comparable to women without POP. This metric might be useful to assess the outcome of POP surgery and encourage women to maintain this profile via PFM training, potentially reducing POP recurrence risk.

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Acknowledgements

Jaijus Pallippadam Johny and John Thompson assisted with data analysis.

Funding for this study was provided by a NZ government grant from Ministry of Business and Innovation and Employment (Smart Sensors for the Medical Industry).

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Correspondence to Joy Marriott.

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Joy Marriott has no conflict of interest or financial disclaimer to declare.

DB, PN, JS, LH. and JK hold shares in Junofem Ltd.

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Marriott, J., Pedofsky, L., Smalldridge, J. et al. Assessing vaginal pressure profiles before and after prolapse surgery using an intravaginal pressure sensor (femfit®). Int Urogynecol J 32, 3037–3044 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00192-020-04576-y

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