Survivors of cancer have already climbed a steep uphill battle from diagnosis, to treatment, and then remission. It’s hard to imagine that there could be more medical concerns following remission. However, chemotherapy and radiation treatments can take a significant toll on the body. Many survivors of cancer, especially breast cancer, have reported vaginal atrophy. This is one of the most common side effects for female breast cancer survivors. At our office, we treat vaginal atrophy in breast cancer survivors using MonaLisa Touch, also known as MLT.
What Is MLT?
MLT is a non-surgical, minimally invasive laser treatment that restores hydration and elasticity to the vagina. The laser works by transforming carbon-dioxide into energy in order to stimulate the cells within the vaginal wall. During this process, a ring is first inserted into the vaginal canal to allow the laser to enter. Then, the laser is inserted and stimulation begins. By using energy and making tiny punctures within the vagina, MonaLisa Touch essentially awakens the cells beneath the vaginal wall, revitalizing the tissue, and encouraging new cell growth.
What Is Vaginal Atrophy?
Vaginal atrophy, most commonly occurring after menopause, is dryness, thinning, and inflammation to the vaginal wall caused by the absence of estrogen. Although most commonly found in those experiencing menopause, vaginal atrophy can occur in cancer survivors in the course of their treatment. Certain treatments, like radiation therapy, can take a toll on the hormones within the body and cause extreme physical changes. While most symptoms of vaginal atrophy are manageable, some patients have reported issues that make ordinary activity difficult, such as feeling pain when sitting down. That’s where MLT can help.
What Are the Signs of Vaginal Atrophy?
Some signs of vaginal atrophy include:
- Bleeding/spotting after sexual intercourse
- Frequent UTIs
- Pain during urination
- Sexual pain
- Thinning of the vaginal wall
- Tightening of the vaginal canal
- Vaginal dryness
What Can I Expect During Treatment?
Fortunately, MonaLisa Touch patients have reported little to no discomfort during the procedure. The treatment is fairly quick and most patients have reported only feeling a slight vibration while the device is working. Furthermore, since MLT is non-surgical and minimally invasive, there are little to no side effects and virtually no downtime.
Request an MLT Consultation In Hanford, California
If you are experiencing vaginal atrophy following cancer treatments, Drs. De Castro and Basit can help. Use the form below to request a MonaLisa Touch consultation, or call our Hanford office at (559) 582-9100 .