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Vaginal Prolapse Repair

Vaginal prolapse (also known as pelvic organ prolapse or vaginal vault prolapse) is a condition where your vagina and pelvic organs move out of their usual position. It’s typically caused by muscles and tissue in your pelvis weakening over time or through childbirth. Vaginal prolapse surgery can offer a long-term solution for pelvic organ prolapse.

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  • Time Icon

    Time in Theatre

    1 - 3 Hours

  • Hospital Stay

    1 Night

  • Briefcase Icon

    Return to Work

    2 Weeks

  • Recovery Icon

    Recovery Time

    4 - 6 Weeks

What is vaginal prolapse repair

There are two types of vaginal prolapse repair, and the one that you have will depend on your physical requirements. 

In general, the procedure tightens the walls of your vagina and uses stitches to hold your bladder, vagina and lower bowel in place.

The different approaches are anterior and posterior. Anterior repair focuses on the anterior vaginal wall (towards the front) and supports the urethra and bladder. Posterior repair targets the back vaginal wall and supports the rectum.

Benefits of vaginal prolapse repair

If you’ve had a vaginal prolapse and are suffering from the discomfort associated with it, having prolapse repair could:

  • Relieve discomfort

  • Improve sexual comfort and satisfaction

  • Improve urinary incontinence

  • Reduce the need to urinate frequently

Risks and side effects of vaginal prolapse repair

Like with any surgical procedure, vaginal prolapse repair comes with some associated risks. The risks and side effects associated with this procedure include:

  • Infection

  • Discomfort

  • Bleeding

  • Blood clot

  • Damage to the bladder and ureters

  • Difficulty passing urine

  • Bladder dysfunction

  • Pain during sexual intercourse due to a narrower vaginal opening

Procedure overview

As mentioned above, there are two different approaches to prolapse repair surgery, anterior and posterior. For both types, you’ll be given general anaesthetic to ensure that you remain asleep throughout the procedure.

For both types of prolapse repair, your surgeon will make incisions within your vagina and strengthen the supporting tissues with stitches. It may be done laparoscopically (a small abdominal incision), although this will depend on the extent of your prolapse. Your surgeon might also make repairs to the front and/or back walls of your vagina, depending on your prolapse. Supporting stitches might be made at the top of your vagina and cervix.

Once the alterations have been made, all incisions will be closed with dissolvable stitches. You might also have a catheter placed in your bladder to drain urine, and your vagina might be packed with dressing to minimise bleeding. Both of these are typically removed around 1-2 days after your surgery.

Is vaginal prolapse repair right for me?

If you’re suffering from discomfort caused by prolapse, having surgery to repair it could offer you relief. You’ll be able to discuss your options in detail with a patient coordinator during your consultation, who will give you all the information you might need about this procedure.

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Vaginal prolapse surgery recovery

Once you return home to recover, you should take some time to rest – make sure that you have someone nearby to help you settle in and keep you stocked up on essentials.

You should take at least 2 weeks off work, although this may be more if your job is particularly physical. You might have some light bleeding for the first week or so use sanitary pads to minimise this and wear loose clothing to avoid putting any pressure on your lower stomach.

You should avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting (including shopping, laundry or children) for at least 4 weeks following your surgery. You should also avoid having sexual intercourse for at least 4 weeks, and perhaps longer. Wait until you feel completely comfortable with your vagina before resuming intercourse or the use of tampons.

Any pain and swelling that you have post-surgery can be managed with appropriate pain medication and rest. You’ll notice this disappearing as you heal, and your stitches will dissolve within 2 weeks.

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FAQs about vaginal prolapse repair

Will I have to do pelvic floor exercises after my surgery?

Your surgeon may advise you to do regular pelvic floor exercises once you’re healed. These will help to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and help you maintain your results in the long term.

Will I be constipated after my surgery?
Is there a non-surgical alternative for vaginal prolapse?
Will the results of my surgery be permanent?

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