What is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
Prolapse is a general term for a type of hernia in which a pelvic organ (uterus, vagina, bladder, small bowel, or rectum) has lost its structural support and falls or protrudes into the vagina or through the vaginal opening. Often, more than one organ is involved in prolapse.
- vaginal pessary
Types of Surgery
There are many different types of prolapse surgery, and the best method will depend on patient details and in some cases on surgeon’s skills. Surgery may or may not include a hysterectomy. Prolapse surgery may be performed abdominally (open incision or minimally invasively either via laparoscopy or robotically) or vaginally or as a combination therapy. In some cases, mesh or biologic graft is used to reinforce weakened vaginal walls.
In older women, who no longer plan to be sexually active, an obliterative procedure (colpectomy/ colpocleisis) can be performed, which is quite superficial, with low surgical risk and excellent long term results, but the vagina is left too short for sexual intercourse.
In many cases of prolapse, improving pelvic muscle function with a course of pelvic floor physical therapy is frequently recommended.