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New Device Described as Objective Test of Pelvic Floor Musculature


 

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. — The Colpexin sphere, an intravaginal device for women with advanced genital prolapse that supports the prolapse above the levator musculature and helps patients strengthen their pelvic floor muscles, can also serve as a test to objectively assess pelvic floor muscle contractility and strength, Dr. G. Willy Davila said at a symposium on pelvic floor disorders sponsored by the Cleveland Clinic Florida.

An objective test of the pelvic floor musculature has long been needed, said Dr. Davila, chairman of the department of gynecology at the Cleveland Clinic in Weston, Fla. Until now, clinicians have had to rely on subjective methods, such as manual testing using the Brink classification system, which was first published in 1989. “You can see from the date it was published that we really haven't done very much to improve our assessment of pelvic floor contractions,” Dr. Davila said.

In using the Colpexin sphere pull test to objectively assess pelvic floor musculature strength and tone, a tensiometer is attached to the sphere and then the patient is asked to contract her pelvic floor muscles. The force required to extract the device while the woman is resisting its removal is then measured, explained Dr. Davila, who has received research funding from and is a consultant for Adamed Inc., the maker of the Colpexin sphere.

Early results with the Colpexin pull test show a significant improvement in contractile strength over a 16-week period in women with prolapse who performed Kegel exercises regularly with the sphere in place. “This is the first time that we have had the ability to objectively evaluate pelvic floor strength and to measure improvement over time in our patients,” he said. The Colpexin device, which was developed in Poland, has just won Food and Drug Administration approval and will be marketed within a few months, Dr. Davila said. He stressed the importance of evaluating pelvic floor muscular function, both before therapeutic intervention for prolapse and as a way of measuring the intervention's success. “We spend a lot of time and energy in urodynamics with very sophisticated equipment, yet we don't spend a lot of time and energy evaluating their muscular function in the pelvic floor, which is probably equally as important.”

We have the ability to evaluate pelvic floor strength and to measure improvement. DR. DAVILA

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