In my Urological Biomechanics Laboratory, we investigate female pelvic floor dysfunction (FPFD), including stress urinary incontinence (SUI), fecal incontinence (FI), and pelvic organ prolapse (POP). FPFD often results from the maternal injuries of childbirth. We investigate the nature of maternal birth injuries and the post-injury healing process with the goal of improving prevention and treatment of FPFD. We have developed animal models of FPFD that simulate the maternal injuries of childbirth. We use genetic mouse models to investigate how genetic factors play a role in FPFD development. In collaboration with Dr. Marc Penn, we are investigating if homing of innate stem cells facilitates recovery from simulated childbirth injuries. This application of stem cell technology to facilitate injury recovery could help prevent and treat FPFD. In collaboration with Massarat Zutshi we have developed an animal model of FI and are using it to test methods of treatment and prevention. We are also developing devices for improved diagnosis and treatment of FPFD and have developed a simulation of the effects of cough on the bladder and pelvic floor. We are developing a functional virtual reality model of the human pelvic floor for use in research, teaching, and surgical simulation. We expect that this multifactorial approach will lead to improved methods of diagnosing and treating FPFD.
We investigate female pelvic floor dysfunction (FPFD), including stress urinary incontinence or leakage of urine, fecal incontinence or leakage of stool, and pelvic organ prolapse, in which the genitourinary organs fall out of their appropriate position in the pelvic region. These conditions are common among older women and, in part, are caused by delivery of children. Therefore we study how childbirth causes these conditions and have developed several therapeutic methods for treatment and prevention of these conditions. We use genetic mouse models to investigate how genetic factors play a role in FPFD development. We are also developing devices for improved diagnosis and treatment of FPFD.
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