Repair of Vaginal Wall Prolapse

Vaginal vault prolapse occurs when the upper portion of the vagina loses its normal shape and sags or drops down into the vaginal canal or outside of the vagina. It may occur alone or along with prolapse of the bladder (cystocele camera.gif), urethra (urethrocele camera.gif), rectum (rectocele camera.gif), or small bowel (enterocele camera.gif). Vaginal vault prolapse camera.gif is usually caused by weakness of the pelvic and vaginal tissues and muscles. It happens most in women who have had their uterus removed (hysterectomy).

Symptoms of vaginal vault prolapse include:

  • Pelvic heaviness.
  • Backache.
  • A mass bulging into the vaginal canal or out of the vagina that may make standing and walking difficult.
  • Involuntary release of urine (incontinence).
  • Vaginal bleeding.

During surgery, the top of the vagina is attached to the lower abdominal (belly) wall, the lower back (lumbar) spine, or the ligaments of the pelvis. Vaginal vault prolapse is usually repaired through the vagina or an abdominal incision and may involve use of either your tissue or artificial material.  

Why It Is Done

Repair of a vaginal vault prolapse is done to manage symptoms such as sagging or drooping of the top of the vagina into the vaginal canal, urinary incontinence, and painful intercourse.

Vaginal vault prolapse often occurs with other pelvic organ prolapse. So tell your doctor about other symptoms you may be having. If your doctor finds prolapse of other pelvic organs or during your routine pelvic exam, that problem may also be repaired during surgery.

Vaginal Prolapse Treatment

Most vaginal prolapses will gradually worsen over time and can only be fully corrected with surgery. However, the type of treatment that is appropriate to treat a vaginal prolapse depends on factors such as the cause and severity of the prolapse, whether the woman is sexually active, her age and overall medical status, her desire for future childbearing, and her personal preference.

Nonsurgical options may be most appropriate for women who are not sexually active, cannot undergo surgery because of medical reasons, or experience few or no symptoms associated with the condition.

Surgical repair is the treatment option that most sexually active women who develop a vaginal prolapse choose because the procedure is usually effective and durable.