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Pelvic organ prolapse surgery is done to treat pelvic organ prolapse by addressing the underlying cause, repositioning the prolapsed organs and securing them to the surrounding tissues and ligaments. In some cases synthetic mesh is used to hold the organs in place. Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition that affects women. Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition in which the tissue and muscles of the pelvic floor can no longer support the pelvic organs such as the vagina, uterus, bladder, urethra, and rectum. Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) cause these organs to drop downward and bulge into or out of your vaginal canal.


Pelvic organ prolapse surgery is generally advised for those with severe symptoms of pelvic fullness or pressure, incontinence, uncomfortable intercourse, pain in the pelvic area unrelated to menstruation, lower back pain and difficulty to fully void stools. Surgery may be advised for different types of pelvic organ prolapse including:

  • Cystocele

    in which the bladder has dropped into the vagina.

  • Enterocele

    in which the small intestine bulges into the vagina.

  • Rectocele

    when the rectum bulges into the vagina.

  • Uterine Prolapse

    where the uterus drops into the vagina.

  • Vaginal Vault Prolapse

    in which the top of the vagina loses its support and drops.

Surgery is generally advised only after childbearing.

What happens during pelvic organ prolapse surgery?

There are many types of surgeries that can be done for pelvic organ prolapse. Surgery may involve repairs to any pelvic organs, including the various parts of the vagina, the perineum (the region between your vagina and anus), bladder neck and anal sphincter (anus). The goal of surgery is to eliminate your specific symptoms. These surgeries may be done using laparoscopic techniques with small incisions and a thin tube-like tool known as a laparoscope. This laparoscope is fitted with a camera and light which allows your surgeon to visualize the organs while operating. Alternatively, some surgeries may be done through the vagina, without incisions, using similar tools. These approaches allow for quicker and easier recovery with minimal pain.

Depending on the underlying cause for the prolapse, surgery may involve reconstruction as well as:

  • Repositioning the vaginal wall (vaginal vault prolapse surgery)

  • Repositioning of the bladder (cystocele surgery)

  • Repositioning the urethra (urethrocele surgery)

  • Repositioning of the rectum (rectocele surgery)

  • Repositioning of the small intestine (enterocele surgery)

Thereafter the organs will be secured to the surrounding tissues and ligaments, and vaginal mesh or a synthetic mesh may be used to support the organs. Alternatively, in suitable cases, pelvic organ prolapse surgery may include a hysterectomy.

What to expect after surgery

The recovery time after surgery will largely depend on the type of pelvic organ prolapse surgery performed. In general you can expect a day or two in hospital before being discharged. While in hospital you may have a catheter placed to drain urine from the bladder. After surgery, you will likely be able to return to your normal activities in about 6 weeks. Until then you will need to refrain from heavy lifting, any sort of straining and long periods of standing.


Tel: +27(0)12 993 1160 Fax: +27 (0)12 993 3986
Address: Suite M27, Second Floor, Netcare Pretoria East Hospital, Cnr Garsfontein & Netcare Roads, Moreleta Park, Pretoria

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Lynette van der Merwe

Tel: +27(0)12 993 1160
Fax: 012 993 3986

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Tel: +27(0)12 993 1160
Fax: 012 993 3986

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Tel: +27(0)12 993 3121
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Lena Meintjies

Tel: +27(0)12 993 1160
Fax: 012 993 3986