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Pelvic Organ Prolapse

There are several types of surgery for pelvic organ prolapse. They are described on these two pages. The goal of each type of surgery is to repair the problem and relieve your symptoms. Your surgery may include one or more of these repairs, depending on your problem.

Female Reproductive System

Your incisions

During surgery, the doctor reaches your pelvic organs through the vagina or the abdomen. An incision may be made in the vaginal wall. If incisions are made on the abdomen (lower belly), they can be vertical (up and down) or transverse (across).

Cystocele

For Cystocele

A cystocele can be treated with an anterior repair. This type of surgery is done through the vagina. The prolapsed bladder is moved back into its normal position. Sutures (stitches) are placed in tissue between the bladder and the vagina. In some cases, another type of surgery is done to correct weakness in the front wall of the vagina. The vagina is attached to strong tissues in the side wall of the pelvis.

Rectocele and Enterocele

For Rectocele and Enterocele

To correct a rectocele, a posterior repair is done through the vagina. The rectum is restored to its normal position. Sutures (stitches) are placed between the vagina and the rectum. An enterocele can also be corrected during the posterior repair. To do this, the small intestine is moved away from the vagina. Sutures are then used to tie off the excess tissue that had bulged into the vagina.

Uterine Prolapse

For Uterine Prolapse

Hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) and surgery to support the vagina are done to repair uterine prolapse. This type of surgery can be preformed through the vagina or the abdomen. Sutures (stitches) are used to attach the vagina to strong tissue in the pelvis. This supports the top part of the vagina. During surgery, other procedures may be done to prevent vaginal vault prolapse.

Vaginal Vault Prolapse

For Vaginal Vault Prolapse

A vaginal vault suspension may be used to correct vaginal vault prolapse. This type of surgery can be done through the vagina or abdomen. The vagina is attached to strong tissue in the pelvis or to the sacrum (a bone at the base of the spine that forms the back of the pelvis).

Urinary Incontinence

For Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence (urine leakage) can be treated during pelvic organ prolapse surgery. This can be done through the abdomen or the vagina, or both. In some cases, sutures are used to attach the vagina to strong tissue in the pelvis. Or, a "sling" of tissue is wrapped under the bladder and urethra. The ends of the sling are sewn to strong tissue in the abdomen.

Colpectomy and Colpocleisis

Women who are no longer sexually active have another surgical option. In some cases, pelvic organ prolapse can be corrected by removing the vaginal lining (colpectomy) and closing off the vaginal canal (colpocleisis). This will prevent any further prolapse.

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