Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Urogynecology & Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery-Patient Resources

Please be sure to bring completed packet with you to first office visit:

Your First Visit, What to expect:

At your first visit, we aim to gather important information about your symptoms, treatment goals, and medical history. Please bring a list of your current medications, medical problems, and past surgical procedures to your first appointment.

At the first appointment, a nurse or medical assistant will greet you, gather your medical history, collect vital signs, and gather information about your condition. You may be asked to complete a short questionnaire when you arrive to help us understand your symptoms.

You will meet with a doctor or nurse practitioner to discuss your symptoms, concerns, and treatment goals. You will undergo a pelvic examination.

After your examination, the doctor or nurse practitioner will discuss treatment options with you.

Preparing for Surgery

If you decide to proceed with surgery with one of our expert pelvic surgeons, we will work with you every step of the way to ensure that you are prepared for surgery.

Medical Leave of Absence / FMLA

Please check with your employer whether you are required to fill out family medical leave of absence forms. These are often called FMLA forms.        

  • If FMLA forms are required by your employer, please bring them to our office or fax to 813-259-8582.  ·        
  • Please provide the date you are planning to return from work. If you decide to return to work sooner than this date and a letter is required, we can provide the letter at that time.
  • There is a one-time $25.00 fee for completion of these forms which must be paid in full before the forms can be processed. You can call 813-259-0982 to pay via telephone if preferred.
  • Please allow 2 weeks to complete these forms.
  • To protect your privacy, please provide a secure fax number where we can send the forms and the name of the person who will receive the fax.
  • Please check with your employer to ensure they receive the forms. 

How much time to take off from work

  • If you are undergoing prolapse repair with hysterectomy, plan for 6 weeks.
  • If you are undergoing prolapse repair without hysterectomy, plan for 2–4 weeks.
  • If you are undergoing a sling, vulvar surgery, sacroneuromodulation, cystoscopic procedures, or other minor procedures, plan for 2–5 days.

Office appointments before and after surgery

Before surgery, our surgical schedulers and clinical office staff will help coordinate your preoperative appointments:

  1. You may undergo bladder testing, including urodynamic studies and/or cystoscopy. Our clinical office staff will let you know if you need this testing.
  2. You will have a preoperative consent appointment with your surgeon to review details about your surgery and to review results of bladder testing as needed. At this appointment, your medical history will be reviewed to ensure that there are no outstanding medical issues that need to be addressed before your surgery.
  3. You will meet with one of the urogynecology nurses to review recommendations and restrictions for before and after your surgery.
  4. Our surgical schedulers will let you know if/when a preadmission testing (PAT) visit will be scheduled.
  5. Most patients will go home on the day of surgery, but your surgical team will let you know if it is recommended that you spend the night in the hospital.
  6. After surgery, you will have at least one follow up appointment with your surgeon, fellow, and/or nurse practitioner. 

Eating well

Preparing your body prior to surgery can have a profound impact on your recovery. Nutrition plays a big role by helping you heal better and fight infection. “Eating to Heal” with enough calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals will help speed your recovery.

  • Choose foods that will help your body heal. Good choices are protein-rich foods, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products.
  • Eat at least three times a day. Avoid skipping meals.
  • Include protein-rich foods with each meal. Lean, quality proteins can be found in fish, poultry, beans, eggs, cheese, nuts, tofu, milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, and protein drinks.
  • Drink at least 6 to 8 eight-ounce cups of fluid each day to stay well-hydrated.
  • Add a daily protein drink if you cannot eat enough food. 

Talk with your doctor if you are currently underweight or have lost weight unintentionally. Your doctor may ask you to meet with a Registered Dietitian who will work with you to create a nutrition plan to help you meet your goals.   

Managing your weight

About two thirds of adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Achieving a healthy weight before surgery can improve your chances of having a better outcome after surgery. Excess weight can put you at risk for certain side effects and complications in surgery, such as prolonged surgery time and increased risk for infections, heart or lung issues and blood clots.   

Many women who want to start losing weight can understandably find it challenging to know how to start. USF Health offers resources specifically designed to help women lose weight and decrease risks associated with obesity. Ask your doctor if you are interested in a referral to accomplish your weight loss goals today. 

Smoking cessation

Smoking causes serious harm to your health, but did you know that it can also increase your risk for many problems after surgery? These include:

  • Greater likelihood of breathing problems or lung infections (pneumonia)
  • Higher risk of your wound (incision) getting an infection
  • Increased chance of having a heart attack   

Ask your doctor about how to quit smoking and the resources that USF Health offers to help you throughout the process. Quitting will not only reduce these risks, but it will also improve your overall health and even add years to your life. Remember that quitting takes time, so try to take it one day at a time rather than worrying about how you’re going to get through the next weeks and months. 

Controlling blood sugar

If you have diabetes, you know how important good blood sugar control is. Having surgery puts stress on your body, and stress can affect your blood sugar level. Blood sugar that is too high or too low can cause serious problems. Proper blood sugar control can:

  • Lower your risk of developing an infection
  • Help you heal better after surgery 
  • Decrease your risk of fluid, electrolyte, or kidney problems 
  • Shorten your length of stay in the hospital   

Your doctor will need to know what your recent blood sugar test results have been. On the day of your surgery, your doctor should check your blood sugar before your operation. Talk to your doctor to see whether there is anything else you can do to manage your diabetes.

Healing After Surgery

At your preoperative appointment, your doctor and the nurse will provide specific instructions on what to expect as you heal from your surgery. We will review your restrictions, what is normal and when to call the office with concerns.