As with most medical conditions, conservative approaches are employed first, primarily pelvic exercises designed to strengthen the muscles in the entire region. Women whose age or physical condition may prohibit exercise may be fitted with a pessary, a vinyl ring inserted in the vagina to hold the prolapse in place.
If conservative measures fail, surgery may be employed after thorough consultation with specialists. Subjects that may be discussed during consultation include the woman's age and general health, desire for future pregnancies, her wish to preserve vaginal function, the degree of prolapse and anatomic conditions that affect decisions as to which surgical procedure to pursue. For instance, a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) may be required when significant prolapse is present.
There are two primary approaches depending on the condition. Many surgeries are conducted through the vagina, an approach that leaves no scars, while laparoscopy is an increasingly sought after method of repairing prolapse. These surgical procedures are conducted through narrow tubes inserted through incisions less than an inch long. These procedures have been shown to reduce scarring, blood loss, and hospital stays, and speed recovery times.
A surgical procedure called anterior colporrhaphy tightens the front walls of the vagina, while posterior colporrhaphy tightens the back walls. Laparoscopic procedures are employed to relieve stress incontinence, repair hernias at the top of the vagina, and to create support for vagina’s that have become weakened by a hysterectomy. In instances in which supporting tissues have been weakened, additional natural tissue or artificial materials (mesh) may be placed to support the repair.
Hospitalization is brief, usually a day, sometimes two and seldom more than four. Patients are released with prescriptions for pain killers and antibiotics to prevent infection.
Additional Treatment Information
Further information on our therapy options and surgical procedures are available in our latest guide publication.