Colporrhaphy

Page content

Purpose

This procedure is used to repair vaginal wall defects caused by bladder prolapse and rectal prolapse. When the bladder or rectum fall out of their normal places, they can protrude into the vagina and cause defects in the vaginal wall.

Diagnosis

In order to determine if colporrhaphy is needed, a doctor will perform a pelvic examination. Using a speculum, the physician feels inside the vagina for bulges while the patient strains or sits upright. Additional diagnostic testing may be needed to determine if a prolapse exists when it cannot be diagnosed based on a pelvic examination.

Preparation

Preparation for this procedure is relatively simple. You shouldn’t eat or drink anything after midnight on the night before the procedure is scheduled. This can help prevent the aspiration of food or drink into the lungs while you are anesthetized for the procedure. If a posterior colporrhaphy is planned, you may be asked to use an enema on the day before your procedure. This ensures that the surgical area is clean and can help to prevent infection.

Procedure

You will be given an anesthetic locally or have general anesthesia administered prior to the procedure. The vagina is held open by a speculum and the vaginal defect is sutured. The incision is closed with stitches.

Risks

There are several risks associated with this procedure. You may experience complications with the anesthesia that is used. You may also experience recurring prolapse or problems with pain during sexual intercourse.

Recovery

After the procedure, a Foley catheter may remain in place to drain urine from the bladder. You may be hospitalized until your normal bowel function returns. The recovery period for this procedure is approximately four weeks. During this time, you should refrain from sexual intercourse and very strenuous activities such as coughing, standing for long periods of time and straining at bowel movements. After the recovery period, the symptoms you experienced with your prolapsed bladder or rectum should be resolved. Report any pain or other symptoms to your doctor so they can be evaluated and treated promptly. You may be advised to follow up with your doctor approximately two weeks after the procedure so your recovery can be monitored.