Prolapse surgery is needed to treat or prevent pelvic organ prolapse. Normally, your pelvic organs (your uterus, bladder, urethra, small bowel, rectum, vagina) are kept in place by muscles and ligaments in your pelvis. This series of muscles and ligaments are called your pelvic floor. These muscles and ligaments can permanently weaken or stretch as women age, after childbirth, or after hysterectomy. When these muscles and ligaments permanently weaken, one or more of your pelvic organs may drop or “prolapse” from its normal position because the muscles and ligaments cannot support the pelvic organs anymore. The prolapsed organ will fall against the vaginal canal, and may start bulging. This is called Pelvic Organ Prolapse.
There are several types of of Pelvic Organ Prolapse:
- Cystocele: prolapse of the bladder
- Enterocele: prolapse of the small bowel
- Rectocele: prolapse of the recturm
- Uterine prolapse: prolapse of the uterus
- Vaginal vault prolapse (or apical prolapse): prolapse of the top of the vagina vaginal canal
- Urethrocele: prolapse of the urethra
Prolapse surgery is performed to fix or prevent pelvic organ prolapse. It will be performed through the vagina, the body’s natural opening. During the procedure, you will be under general anesthesia. The surgeon will use stitches, or a products called a mesh or a sling to fix the prolapsed organ. Your scar will be hidden.
- Sokol, AI and Smithling, KR. What to do with the vaginal apex at the time of hysterectomy. OBG Management Supplement. Oct 2015.