John O. L. DeLancey, MD is the Norman F. Miller Professor of Gynecology at the University of Michigan Medical School and Director of Pelvic Floor Research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. DeLancey has an active clinical practice specializing in clinical and surgical treatment for refractory problems of pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence. Together with Drs. Dee Fenner, Edward McGuire, and Quentin Clemens they have a highly regarded fellowship in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery that provides subspecialty training to both Gynecologists and Urologists. Their experience in treating highly complex pelvic floor problems and questioning current paradigms of treatment has led to a highly productive and clinically meaningful collaboration.
Dr. DeLancey developed an interest in human anatomy while working as a diener in the University of Michigan Necropsy room during college. Recognizing the conflict between what is seen in the body and anatomy depicted in standard clinical text books during residency, Dr. DeLancey’s early research career focused on developing an accurate and detailed understanding of the pelvic floor functional anatomy as it relates to urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.
In the early 1990’s, Dr. DeLancey met biomechanical engineer James A. Ashton-Miller, PhD. Together they began to apply the principles of biomechanical analysis to understanding pelvic floor function and dysfunction. Using detailed pelvic MR scans and advanced biomechanical modeling, DeLancey, Ashton-Miller and their trainees have elucidated the structural mechanics of the pelvic organ support system and issues related to urinary and fecal incontinence. In addition, they have examined the remarkable biomechanics of vaginal birth injury that is one of the dominant causes of incontinence and prolapse.
This research resulted in important discoveries about the fundamental biomechanics of pelvic floor disorders as well as the factors involved in birth related pelvic floor injury. In the late 1990’s they began collaborations with research going on nursing interventions to prevent pelvic floor damage during vaginal birth by Janis M. Miller, RN, AHNP, PhD and Carolyn Sampselle, RN, PhD, and the Michigan Pelvic Floor Research Group was formed. This broadly interdisciplinary group now includes 20 researchers in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Biomechanical Engineering, Nursing, Public Health, Anthropology, Radiology, Urology, Gastroenterology, Physiology, Economics, and Business. Dr. DeLancey has been continuously funded by the NIH Office for Research on Women’s Health and NICHD, and NIDDK for over 15 years.
Dr. DeLancey serves as a consultant for Johnson and Johnson and American Medical Systems and has received support for biomechanical research from these companies. He has previously served as a consultant for Boston Scientific. Although he is not on any speakers’ bureaus, the societies and groups that have invited him to present have often received support for travel and honoraria to these lectures from medical product companies.