Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

“After pelvic exenteration for gynecological malignancy, we can often use local tissue to reconstruct the vaginal canal and pelvic floor. This can reduce the risk of perineal evisceration and wound healing complications. In addition, although sensation is usually permanently altered, patients may be able to have sexual intercourse once fully healed — helping them regain some normalcy lost during treatment.”

Wai‑Yee Li, M.D., Ph.D., Plastic surgeon, associate clinical professor, Division of Plastic Surgery

City of Hope Offers Complex Pelvic Reconstruction

City of Hope is ranked among the Highest Performing Hospitals for Ovarian Cancer Surgery by U.S. News & World Report 2023-24
City of Hope is ranked among the Highest Performing Hospitals for Prostate Cancer Surgery by U.S. News & World Report 2023-24
City of Hope is ranked among the Highest Performing Hospitals for Colon Cancer Surgery by U.S. News & World Report 2023-24

Complex pelvic reconstruction is critical to the surgical management of locally advanced gynecological, colorectal, urological, bony pelvic and lower spine cancers. U.S. News & World Report has recognized City of Hope as one of best hospitals for cancer treatment in the nation and an elite cancer hospital for 16 consecutive years. We have also been singled out as a top performer in several oncologic procedures of the pelvis and genitourinary tract, including colon cancer surgery, ovarian cancer surgery and prostate cancer surgery.

Minimally Invasive Robotic-Assisted Surgery to Restore Pelvic Anatomy, Continence and Sexual Function

At City of Hope, our multidisciplinary surgical teams have expertise in state-of-the-art integrated care for gynecological, colorectal, urological, bony pelvic and lower spine malignancies. We specialize in eradicating a patient’s cancer while safeguarding or restoring pelvic floor function, pelvic anatomy, continence and sexual function. Our care teams design treatment plans that are highly individualized, taking into account every patient’s unique medical needs and personal treatment goals.

Our specialists use a variety of approaches to provide symptom relief and improve quality of life  for patients — even those with the most complex cases. Our surgical teams focus on robotic, laparoscopic and other less invasive approaches that minimize trauma, reduce postoperative pain and shorten recovery times. Sometimes, pelvic floor, vaginal and vulval reconstructions can be performed at the same time as surgical removal of malignancies, reducing the need for multiple operations.

Treatment may also include pelvic floor physical therapy, tissue flaps or native tissue repairs.

Comprehensive Screening for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Symptomatic pelvic floor dysfunction affects more than half of women with gynecologic cancers both before and after treatment. However, Medicare claims show that pelvic floor dysfunction often goes unaddressed in these patients.

At City of Hope, every patient seen in the gynecologic oncology program is screened for pelvic floor dysfunction.

Supportive Care Throughout the Patient Journey

With more than 160 supportive care staff, City of Hope has one of the country’s largest and most deeply integrated multidisciplinary professional programs.

We offer a full range of supportive care services and programs designed to help our patients with treatment, symptom management, wound care, ostomy care, adjusting to new diet and lifestyle habits, coping with stress and navigating the health care system.

Patients may access City of Hope’s extensive occupational and rehabilitation services and survivorship resources.

Our Pelvic Reconstruction Leadership Team

Kevin G. Chan, M.D.
Urologic Surgeon; Head, Reconstructive Urology

Kevin Chan, M.D., is a urologic surgeon specializing in bladder cancer and surgical treatment of male urinary incontinence.

Meet Neurosurgeon Mike Y. Chen, M.D., Ph.D. | City of Hope

A prolific researcher and talented surgeon, Mike Y. Chen, M.D., Ph.D., has been on City of Hope's neurosurgery team since 2007. He specializes in complex operations for the removal of brain and spine tumors.

Meet Dr. Seth A. Cohen
Seth A. Cohen, M.D.
Urologic Surgeon; Urogynecologist

Seth Cohen, M.D., is a urologic surgeon with a focus on female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery at City of Hope's community practice sites in Orange County.

Ernest S. Han, M.D., Ph.D.
Ernest S. Han, M.D., Ph.D.
Gynecologic Oncologist

Ernest Han, M.D., Ph.D., is a gynecologic oncologist with specialized training in minimally invasive and robotic-assisted surgery.

Andreas M. Kaiser, M.D., colorectal surgeon, Duarte, City of Hope
Andreas M. Kaiser, M.D.
Colorectal Surgeon

Andreas M. Kaiser, M.D., professor and chief, Division of Colorectal Surgery, Department of Surgery, specializes in colorectal diseases.

Wai Yee Li

Wai-Yee Li, M.D., Ph.D., is a plastic surgeon specializing in breast and skin cancer reconstruction and lymphedema.

Humberto Villarreal

Humberto Villarreal, M.D., is a urologic surgeon in the Division of Urology and Urologic Oncology and Department of Surgery at City of Hope.