Steve Kleeman Recognized in Nation’s Top Ten for Women Suffering from Pelvic Prolapse

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Steven D. Kleeman, M.D., head of the Urogynecology Division at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, has been recognized as one of the nation's Top Ten busiest surgeons performing robotic surgery for vaginal prolapse, the equivalent of a vaginal hernia. His mission is to help the 65 percent of women of child-bearing age nationwide who suffer from urinary incontinence or other pelvic problems that force them to limit physical activity.

Women can live more active lifestyles after non-invasive prolapse surgery.

"Our typical patient is an active woman in her 40s and 50s who has given birth to two or three children and begins to feel pressure or fullness, or as if something is ‘falling’ in the vaginal area.”

Steven D. Kleeman, MD, of Cincinnati, Ohio has been recognized as one of the nation’s Top 10 busiest surgeons performing robotic surgery for vaginal prolapse, according to Intuitive Surgical, Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., which monitors use of its robotic surgical systems.                                                

Kleeman uses Cincinnati’s Good Samaritan Hospital’s state-of-the-art, da Vinci system to help women in the 200-mile, four-state region of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia. He has offices in Clifton and West Chester, Ohio.                                                                     

Kleeman wants to lift the curtain on the image we have of the sedate, Mona Lisa-like mother or grandmother who sits in a chair and smiles as life goes on around her. He says the serene smiles of our mothers may be attempts to mask discomfort.                         

Kleeman, director for the division of Urogynecology and Fellowship in Urogynecology at Good Samaritan hospital in Cincinnati, is an expert and surgeon for women’s pelvic disorders.

Up to 65 percent of women nationally suffer from some form of incontinence, overactive bladder, sexual dysfunction or pelvic organ prolapse, with the majority of problems arising in women who have given birth multiple times.                                                                                            

“While some women begin having incontinence or pelvic floor discomfort as early as their 20s, our typical patient is an active woman in her 40s and 50s who has given birth to two or three children and begins to feel pressure or fullness, or as if something is ‘falling’ in the vaginal area,” said Kleeman.                                                                                                                                
“She may experience pelvic pressure or lower back pain which gets better when she lies down. This kind of discomfort stops her from doing things she would normally want to do, and she typically gives up sports or things she enjoys because activity makes her uncomfortable.”

Women who feel a sense of pelvic pressure or fullness may be experiencing what is called vaginal prolapse—the equivalent of a vaginal hernia.                                                                    

Kleeman offers physical therapy treatment options for patients with minor problems and performs minimally-invasive gynecological surgery for women with prolapse—enabling them to regain comfort and the confidence to lead physically-active lives.                                                                                                      

Physicians at Cincinnati Urogynecology Associates (CUA) specialize in urogynecology and pelvic reconstructive surgery, a branch of gynecology focused on treating bladder and pelvic floor disorders.                                             

Kleeman loves helping women gain their physical independence back, but often wonders why women wait to address their discomfort. The average time his patients tend to suffer from onset of symptoms to evaluation is seven years— a long time when women are in the prime years of their lives.

“Incontinence and prolapse really disrupt a woman’s quality of life,” said Kleeman. “I’m always gratified to talk to patients who lost the ability to do the things they enjoy, and we were able to give that back to them. Women feel excited and empowered after they get relief from their symptoms. Many women are surprised to learn that relief can come from minimally-invasive surgery.”

Women who suffer from urinary incontinence may be cured with a minor, outpatient procedure that takes 15 minutes and is performed under sedation, says Kleeman.                                 

For patients who require vaginal hernia surgery, the surgery consists of several small incisions, and patients typically go home the next day. Most patients can drive within a week.

This is a great contrast to the traditional approach to abdominal prolapse surgery, where the surgeon makes a 6- to 8-inch incision and a patient remains in the hospital for three days. Kleeman has been performing robotic surgery using the da Vinci system since 2003.

“A lot of surgeons do prolapse surgery, but most of them still perform it in the traditional fashion,” he said. “I’m one of the few in the greater Cincinnati region who performs vaginal prolapse surgery that is robotic-assisted, which means some surgery can be accomplished through minimally-invasive techniques. This allows patients less pain and a faster return to normal activities.”

Kleeman also travels to third-world countries annually to perform surgeries on women who cannot afford it through Light of the World Charities. Last February, he performed gynecological surgeries on 43 women in Honduras.                                                                                                                     

Kleeman wants women to know there is no need to suffer in silence any longer. “We have the technology available and the skill to dramatically improve women’s lives.”                                             

Cincinnati Urogynecology Associates specializes in patient care, education of Fellows, research and philanthropy. For more information about Cincinnati Urogynecology Associates or an appointment, call (513) 463-4300 or visit http://www.CincinnatiUrogynecology.com.

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