Local Physician Offers Innovative Procedure for Pelvic Organ Prolapse

How far would you travel for a minimally invasive medical procedure that is performed by an expert in the field? Betty Milburn traveled 32 miles from her home in Derry, Pennsylvania to Penn Highlands Connellsville in Fayette County Pennsylvania to have Michael Pelekanos, MD, perform the EnPlace procedure to correct her pelvic organ prolapse.

"I was in a great deal of discomfort," said the 72-year old mother of four. "I felt bloated and had to make frequent trips to the bathroom."

Mrs. Milburn's family practice physician suggested that she see Dr. Pelekanos who performs the mesh-free minimally invasive EnPlace procedure at Penn Highlands Connellsville. Dr. Pelekanos is a urogynecologist with Penn Highlands Healthcare, which is one of only a few health systems in the United States offering the unique, Food and Drug Administration-cleared procedure. In addition, he is one of only six instructors in the U.S. that teaches the EnPlace procedure.

Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the muscles and tissues supporting the pelvic organs (uterus, bladder or rectum) become weak and drop or press into or out of the vagina.

"Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) is a debilitating disease. Many women are uncomfortable talking with their doctor about their symptoms until the discomfort becomes too great," said Dr. Pelekanos. "POP is very treatable," he continued. "The EnPlace approach is an advanced procedure for fixation of pelvic floor ligaments."

Mrs. Milburn had the procedure to re-suspend her uterus thus preventing the need for a hysterectomy. Alice Burrell, an 80-year-old mother of four and grandmother of five from Plum Borough, Pennsylvania, had the procedure to correct a bladder prolapse.

"I'm not fond of going to the doctor so I lived with the discomfort of my bladder prolapse for nearly two years until my doctor suggested that I see Dr. Pelekanos," explained Mrs. Burrell. "I had my procedure nearly a year ago and I didn't experience any pain — in fact almost immediately I felt 100% better."

EnPlace can relieve pelvic organ prolapse without mesh or a biologic implant. The procedure is performed with almost zero cutting of the vaginal wall and without general anesthesia. EnPlace takes less than 45 minutes in an outpatient setting.

"We are excited to offer this approach to the women of Southwestern Pennsylvania. It is helpful to have expansion of bio-technology in our collection of resources so that we can help women rapidly resume their normal lifestyle activities," said Dr. Pelekanos. "Our EnPlace enables patients to go home the same day and are back to work or normal activities within 48-72 hours - which is amazing!"

Dr. Pelekanos is on staff at Penn Highlands Connellsville. His practice is limited to gynecology, urogynecology, infertility surgery, endometriosis surgery and routine annual women visits. His office is located at the Penn Highlands Connellsville Women's Health Center (the former Zach Connell School), at 700 Park Street, Suite 6, in Connellsville. Soon, Dr. Pelekanos will also be seeing patients in his Greensburg office located in the Walsworth Commons Building, 1275 S. Main Street, Suite 203, in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. For more information, call 724-603-2671.

About Penn Highlands Healthcare

Penn Highlands Healthcare was officially formed in 2011, and is comprised of eight hospitals - Penn Highlands Brookville, Penn Highlands Clearfield, Penn Highlands Connellsville, Penn Highlands DuBois, Penn Highlands Elk, Penn Highlands Huntingdon, Penn Highlands Mon Valley and Penn Highlands Tyrone - that have served area communities for the past 100+ years.

Its business continuum also includes home care agencies, long-term care facilities and residential senior living communities, as well as durable medical equipment companies and retail pharmacies.

Penn Highlands Healthcare has evolved into an organization with 6,651 workers in 150+ locations throughout 39 counties in Northwestern/Central and Southwestern Pennsylvania that include community medical buildings, outpatient facilities, surgery centers and physician practices. The facilities have a total of 1,498 inpatient, skilled nursing and personal care beds. The system, which has 827 physicians and 405 advanced practice providers on staff, offers a wide range of care and treatments with specialty units for cancer, cardiovascular/thoracic, neurosurgery, pulmonology, neonatal and high-risk pregnancy patients. Being focused on what is important - patients and families - makes Penn Highlands Healthcare the best choice in the region.

Dr. Michael Pelekanos
Dr. Michael Pelekanos, a urogynecologist with Penn Highlands Healthcare, explains to a patient how he uses a cystoscope to view the inside of her bladder.