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Pelvic Organ Prolapse: Surgery for Vaginal Vault Prolapse

Side view cross section of female lower abdomen and pelvis showing bladder, pubic bone, urethra, pelvic floor muscles, vagina, and rectum. Uterus has been removed. Vaginal walls fall in on themselves.
Vaginal vault prolapse

Vaginal vault prolapse is when the walls of the vagina fall in on themselves. This can happen after the uterus has been removed. The goal of surgery is to repair the problem and relieve your symptoms.

Side view cross section of female lower abdomen and pelvis showing bladder, pubic bone, sacrum, urethra, pelvic floor muscles, vagina, uterus, and rectum. Vaginal vault suspension is tissue sutured to top of vagina and brought around rectum and sutured to sacrum.
Vaginal vault suspension

The Surgical Procedure

A vaginal vault suspension may be used to correct vaginal vault prolapse. This type of surgery can be done through the vagina or the abdomen. The vagina is attached to strong tissue in the pelvis or to the sacrum (a bone at the base of the spine that forms the back of the pelvis).

Possible Risks and Complications of Surgery

  • Infection

  • Bleeding

  • Risks of anesthesia

  • Damage to nerves, muscles, or nearby pelvic structures

  • Blood clots

  • Prolapse of the pelvic organ or organs occurring again

Your Incisions

During surgery, the doctor reaches your pelvic organs through the vagina or the abdomen. An incision may be made in the vaginal wall. If incisions are made on the abdomen (lower belly), they can be vertical (up and down) or transverse (across).

Outline of female pelvis with uterus and vagina visible. Small line indicates incision in vagina.
Incision made in vaginal wall.

Outline of female pelvis with lines in lower abdomen showing horizontal and vertical abdominal incisions.
Abdominal incisions.

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 1/15/2007
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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