Vaginal Prolapse (cont.)
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Vaginal Prolapse Surgery
A generalized weakness of the vaginal muscles and ligaments is much more likely to develop than are isolated defects. If a woman develops symptoms of one type of vaginal prolapse, she is likely to have or develop other types as well. Therefore, a thorough physical examination is necessary for the surgeon to detail what surgical steps are necessary to correct the vaginal prolapse completely. The typical surgical strategy is to correct all vaginal weaknesses at once.
Surgery is usually performed while the woman is under general anesthesia. Some women receive a spinal epidural. The type of anesthesia given usually depends on how invasive and lengthy the surgery is expected to be.
Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that involves slender instruments and advanced camera systems. This surgical technique is becoming more common for securing the vaginal vault after a hysterectomy and correcting some types of vaginal prolapse such as enteroceles or uterine prolapses.
Women who undergo surgery for vaginal prolapse repair should normally expect to spend 2-4 days in the hospital depending on the type and extent of surgery involved. After surgery, women are usually advised to avoid heavy lifting for approximately 6-9 weeks.
George Lazarou, MD, FACOG
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