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Patient Testimonials - Pelvic Floor Reconstruction

Twenty-five years ago I had a bladder suspension, which lasted about 15 years. Then I started leaking again when I hit a ball playing golf, worked out at the spa or when I sneezed or coughed. It continued to get worse. Not only did I wet my pants, but I had difficulty with bowel movements. Before the procedure I always had to wear a big pad and keep my fingers and legs crossed. Whenever I walked into a place I always asked where the ladies room was just in case of an emergency.

The last eight years were a terrible experience for me, until I found out I was going to the wrong doctor! I thought I had a good urologist, but he kept advising me not to have surgery and had me trying medication after medication. Nothing worked, and there were side effects, like blurred vision and waking up at night with a dry mouth. My condition worsened. I told my G.P. (general practitioner) of my dilemma, and he recommended I see Dr. (Andrew) Cassidenti.

Even though he’s pretty busy, Dr. Cassidenti didn’t mind answering all of my questions. After consultation and tests, he performed a pelvic floor reconstruction. Everything went as planned and he took me out of misery. The results were immediate. This was a rebirth for me. I should have done this years ago. Having my plumbing fixed is like a miracle!

In the hospital, the nurses were upbeat and pleasant. They all love Dr. Cassidenti and told me I had a good doctor, which gave me confidence. They were also very thorough with their (post-operative) instructions.

This spring we’re going to take a nice vacation, possibly in our motor home, or we might take a cruise. I have a few more weeks of taking it easy, but I feel like a new person! Thank you, Dr. Cassidenti, and thank you St. Joseph Hospital staff.

- Marie P., age 79


I have told so many women (who complain of bladder problems) that if they want the best, go see Dr. (Andrew) Cassidente. I’m 46, and he’s helped me to feel like I did when I was in my 20’s, before I had my kids.

Whenever I laughed, coughed, walked fast or ran, I would lose urine. I constantly had rectal pressure and back pain. Sex was uncomfortable and it always felt like all of my organs were falling out. I stopped exercising because of the discomfort and because I could always count on having wet pants when I was finished. It was just easier and more comfortable for me to come home after work and lay down. I frequently suffer from chronic bronchitis. One year, during a particularly bad bout, I attended my daughter’s choir concert and coughed through most of the performance. By the end, I was completely soaked and needed my husband to walk in front of me and my daughter to walk behind me to the car. I was mortified. It was so embarrassing and unnecessary….

After a few more of those instances and of constantly dealing with the frustration and embarrassment, I saw my gynecologist, Dr. (Marc) Zepeda, and told him I was tired of the way that I was feeling and begged for relief. He referred me to Dr. Cassidenti and for that I will be eternally grateful. After Dr. Cassidenti ran some tests he told me that my bladder was leaking and that because my uterus and my bladder were not in the proper place, it was causing holes to wear in other areas that had caused a cystocele and rectocele. Because of a hole worn into the rectal area, my bowel movements weren’t clearing completely, which were making the problems with rectal pressure worse and making me even more uncomfortable.

Dr. Cassidenti’s office staff was great. Because I go to school, work full time and have kids, my schedule is very full. However, the scheduler worked with me and was able to get me in for surgery at a time that was convenient for me (at St. Joseph Hospital) which happened to be on the Friday before Christmas. She and the scheduler at Dr. Zepeda’s office had to coordinate schedules because I also had a hysterectomy, so it was quite a job to make sure that both doctors were available. However, they made it happen! After the surgery, Dr. Zepeda came to see me and told me what a beautiful job Dr. Cassidenti had done with repairing my bladder, the cystocele and the rectocele.

The day after surgery, the nursing staff had me up walking and I was able to manage my pain by taking some Vicodin. I went home on Sunday and was off work for six weeks. While I couldn’t do any heavy lifting or driving for a couple of weeks and just basically had to take it easy, it actually gave me a good excuse to rest – something I don’t often have a chance to do. Having the surgery was so worth everything! I can laugh, cough, evacuate my bowels completely, and there is no more back pain. I no longer have to wear Depends (pads). It’s incredible how much better I feel. I’m so much more comfortable!

My husband says this is the best thing that could have happened. He had sensed I was withdrawing - I didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything. Our sex life had become non-existent and I wasn’t the person he knew me to be. Now I have my life back and I’m very thankful for what Dr. Cassidenti did to make that happen for me! I have a few friends and even my mom who are experiencing some of the same things that I did. The first thing I have told them is to go see Dr. Cassidenti – they won’t regret it.

Cheryl H., age 46