Vaginal Prolapse Surgery

Surgery Overview

Vaginal wall prolapse (vaginal vault prolapse) occurs when the upper portion of the vagina loses its normal shape and sags or drops down into the vaginal canal or outside of the vagina.

During vaginal prolapse surgery, the top of the vagina is attached to the lower abdominal (belly) wall, the lower back (lumbar) spine, or the ligaments of the pelvis. The prolapse is usually repaired through the vagina or an incision in the belly. It may involve use of either your tissue or artificial material.

What To Expect

General anesthesia is usually used for vaginal prolapse surgery. You may stay in the hospital for 1 to 2 days. You will probably be able to return to your normal activities in about 6 weeks. Avoid strenuous activity for the first 6 weeks. Then increase your activity level bit by bit.

Most women are able to resume sexual intercourse in about 6 weeks.

Why It Is Done

Vaginal prolapse surgery is done to manage symptoms such as sagging or drooping of the top of the vagina into the vaginal canal, urinary incontinence, and painful intercourse.

Learn more

How Well It Works

There are many surgical ways to fix a vaginal wall prolapse (vaginal vault prolapse). The kind of surgery you have will depend on the doctor performing it, where you have it done, and your own health situation. Experts disagree about which surgery gives patients the best results.footnote 1

Risks

Problems from vaginal prolapse surgery aren't common. They include:

  • Bleeding.
  • Mild buttock pain for 1 to 2 months after surgery.
  • Urinary incontinence.
  • Urinary retention.
  • Infection.
  • Formation of an abnormal opening or connection between organs or body parts (fistula).

References

Citations

  1. Lentz GM (2012). Anatomic defects of the abdominal wall and pelvic floor. In GM Lentz et al., eds., Comprehensive Gynecology, 6th ed., pp. 453–474. Philadelphia: Mosby Elsevier.

Credits

Current as of: February 11, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Femi Olatunbosun MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology