Pelvic organ prolapse (when the vagina weakens and the uterus, bladder, and rectum appear at the opening of the vagina) can be repaired through the vagina with no visible abdominal incisions. For advanced conditions, abdominal surgery may be recommended.
If I decide to have surgery, what can I expect during the recovery period?
Depending on the extent of your surgery, the hospital stay usually lasts one to four days. Many women have difficulty urinating immediately after the surgery and have to go home with a catheter in place to drain the bladder. These catheters are usually only necessary for 3-7 days. Most patients require at least some prescription strength pain medicine for about one to two weeks after surgery. Following any of our surgeries to correct prolapse, we ask that patients take it easy for 12 weeks to allow proper healing. This means no lifting more than 8 pounds (the weight of a gallon of milk), no intercourse and no exercise other than walking.
If my surgery is successful, how long will it last?
The goal of continence or pelvic reconstructive surgery is to recreate normal anatomy permanently. However, none of these procedures are successful 100% of the time. According to the medical literature, failures occur in approximately 5-15% of women who have prolapse surgery. In these cases, it is usually a partial failure requiring no treatment, pessary use, or surgery that is much less extensive than the original surgery. Patients who follow our recommended restrictions for 12 weeks after surgery give themselves the best chance for permanent success.
What if I still have questions about reconstructive surgery?
Please feel free to discuss all of your questions with any of the doctors at your regular scheduled appointments. You may also contact us for more information.