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These form because of a problem with the fascia, ligaments, and muscles of the pelvis.
Reasons for Procedure
Cystocele and rectocele can cause problems going to the bathroom such as frequent urination, urine leakage, and difficulty urinating. Pain during sex may also occur. This surgery is done to help relieve these symptoms.
Most often, this type of surgery is not done until all other treatments have been tried. Other treatments may include muscle exercises and the insertion of a supportive device called a pessary. If you have tried these treatments and have had no relief, your doctor may suggest surgical repair.
Talk to your doctor about your current medications. Certain medications may need to be stopped before the procedure, such as:
Eat a light meal the evening before the surgery.
Do not have anything to eat or drink after midnight on the night before the procedure.
If you are having a rectocele repair, you may need to have an enema the night before the surgery.
You will have either
regional anesthesia. With general anesthesia, you will be asleep. Regional anesthesia will numb your lower body, but you will be awake.
Description of the Procedure
You may be given an antibiotic just before surgery. A tube called a catheter will be inserted in the urethra. This will allow urine to drain and decrease pressure on the bladder.
A cut will be made in the skin to expose the involved muscle and tissue. In some cases, the muscles and tissue will be sewn back onto itself. This will make it stronger. In other cases, a mesh-type material will be used to strengthen the tissue. Any tissue that has been weakened by previous surgeries, pregnancies, or age will be removed. Excess vaginal lining will be removed as well.
In some cases, a suspension or elevation procedure may be done. These are special sutures that provide extra support to the bladder.
How Long Will It Take?
45 minutes to two or more hours
How Much Will It Hurt?
You will likely experience vaginal discomfort for 1-2 weeks following the surgery. You will be given medication to help relieve this.
Average Hospital Stay
The usual length of stay is 1-2 days. Your doctor may choose to keep you longer if complications arise.
At the Hospital
A medicated vaginal packing is usually left in the vagina overnight.
If you had a rectocele repair, the bladder catheter will be removed as soon as you are able to use the restroom on your own.
If you had a cystocele repair, the bladder catheter often needs to stay in longer—sometimes 2-6 days. This will allow the bladder more time to begin to work normally.
You may notice a smelly, even bloody, discharge from the vagina for 1-2 weeks.
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to reduce your chance of infection such as:
Washing their hands
Wearing gloves or masks
Keeping your incisions covered
There are also steps you can take to reduce your chances of infection such as:
Washing your hands often and reminding visitors and healthcare providers to do the same
Reminding your healthcare providers to wear gloves or masks
Not allowing others to touch your incisions
When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
Avoid lifting anything that weighs more than 10 pounds for about six weeks.
Avoid sexual intercourse for about six weeks.
Avoid inserting anything into the vagina, including tampons, for about six weeks.
Have someone to help you at home for a few days following the surgery.
Drink plenty of fluids and eat a healthy, high fiber diet to keep stools soft.
Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
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Kobashi KC, Leach GE. Pelvic prolapse.
Journal of Urology.
Pelvic organ prolapse. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated October 30, 2013. Accessed December 2, 2013.
Vaginal prolapse surgery. The Royal Women's Hospital website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) . Updated January 2008. Accessed December 2, 2013.
6/2/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance ...(Click grey area to select URL) Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.
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This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.