A vaginal repair is a surgical procedure in which a gynecological surgeon makes a repair to a patient’s vagina to correct a problem such as a prolapse or fistula.
A vaginal repair is a surgical procedure in which a gynecological surgeon makes a repair to a patient’s vagina to correct a problem such as a prolapse or fistula. A related procedure is vaginoplasty, a cosmetic procedure that aims to change the shape or appearance of the vagina for cosmetic reasons. Sometimes the two procedures can be combined. Patients who need a vaginal repair should plan on spending several days in the hospital.
Surgery to correct any abnormalities of the vagina is performed during vaginal repair.
One of the reasons for the need for vaginal repair is fistula, in which a connection is created between the vagina and the bladder or between the vagina and the rectum. Fistula repair surgeries close this opening so the patient does not experience incontinence, infections and pelvic pain. Another type of vaginal repair surgery, known as a vaginal wall repair, is used to treat prolapse.
A vaginal repair will require the patient to stay in the hospital for a few days to recover.
Prolapse occurs when an organ moves out of position. In vaginal vault prolapse, the vagina itself moves out of place and the inside of the vagina can be compressed, with vaginal tissue sometimes protruding from the vulva. Women can also have bladder prolapse, in which the bladder pushes into the vagina. Prolapse causes discomfort and can lead to incontinence, pelvic pain, and abnormal vaginal bleeding, as well as discomfort during sex.
Vaginal repairs are usually performed under general anesthesia.
In a vaginal prolapse repair, the surgeon pinches and lifts the vaginal wall. The surgeon may also make repairs to other organs in the pelvis. These organs are interconnected and a prolapse can involve multiple organs that require repair. Depending on the nature of the procedure, a urologist may also be involved to address problems with the bladder and urethra.
Like other operations, vaginal repair surgery can cause infection or other complications.
Vaginal repairs are usually performed under general anesthesia and patients will need to stay in the hospital for the first few days of recovery so they can be monitored. The patient may be given a catheter to drain the urine and will also be used to monitor urine output to confirm that the patient is recovering well. The hospital also offers advanced pain management options that can help treat surgical pain experienced in the days immediately following surgery.
Pain management immediately after vaginal repair surgery usually includes small doses of intravenous pain relievers.
Patients preparing for a vaginal repair should ask about the risks of the procedure and the expected outcome of the surgery. They will also meet with an anesthesiologist to discuss anesthesia and pain management options, and screening tests will be performed to check for risk factors that could complicate the surgery. Patients may want to ask about healing times and advice on care during recovery so they know what to expect.