Injury to Perineal Branch of Pudendal Nerve in Women: Outcome from Resection of the Perineal Branches

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Abstract

Background

This study describes outcomes from a new surgical approach to treat “anterior” pudendal nerve symptoms in women by resecting the perineal branches of the pudendal nerve (PBPN).

Methods

Sixteen consecutive female patients with pain in the labia, vestibule, and perineum, who had positive diagnostic pudendal nerve blocks from 2012 through 2015, are included. The PBPN were resected and implanted into the obturator internus muscle through a paralabial incision. The mean age at surgery was 49.5 years (standard deviation [SD] = 11.6 years) and the mean body mass index was 25.7 (SD = 5.8). Out of the 16 patients, mechanisms of injury were episiotomy in 5 (31%), athletic injury in 4 (25%), vulvar vestibulectomy in 5 (31%), and falls in 2 (13%). Of these 16 patients, 4 (25%) experienced urethral symptoms. Outcome measures included Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), Vulvar Pain Functional Questionnaire (VQ), and Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NPRS).

Results

Fourteen patients reported their condition pre- and postoperatively. Mean postoperative follow-up was 15 months. The overall FSFI, and arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction, and pain domains significantly improved (p < 0.05). The VQ also significantly improved (p < 0.001) in 13 (93%) of 14 patients. The NPRS score decreased on average from 8 to 3 (p < 0.0001). All four patients with urethral symptoms were relieved of these symptoms.

Conclusion

Resection of the PBPN with implantation of the nerve into the obturator internus muscle significantly reduced pain and improved sexual function in women who sustained injury to the PBPN.

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