Pelvic Organ Prolapse: Surgery for Cystocele

Cystocele occurs when the bladder sags (prolapses) into the vagina. The goal of surgery is to repair the problem. This will help relieve your symptoms. Your surgery may include one or more repairs.

Side view cross section of female pelvis showing bladder sagging into vagina, called cystocele.

The surgical procedure

Cystocele can be treated with surgery done through the vagina. The sagging bladder is moved back into its normal position. Stitches are placed in tissue between the bladder and the vagina. Sometimes a graft or mesh is used to support the repair. This helps hold the bladder in place. In some cases, another type of surgery is done. It can help correct weakness in the front wall of the vagina. The vagina is attached to strong tissues in the side wall of the pelvis.

Your incisions

During surgery, the doctor will reach your pelvic organs through the vagina or the abdomen. An incision may be made in the vaginal wall. Surgery through the abdomen may be done with a single incision made up and down (vertically) or across (transverse), or through several small incisions (called laparoscopy).

Possible risks and complications of this surgery

  • Infection

  • Bleeding

  • Risks of anesthesia

  • Damage to nerves, muscles, or nearby pelvic structures

  • Blood clots

  • Prolapse of the pelvic organ or organs occurring again

  • Vaginal pain or painful intercourse

  • Urinary tract infection

  • Urge incontinence

  • Urinary retention

  • Fistula. This is an abnormal connection between the bladder and the vagina.

  • Sac or pocket forms in the urethra (urethral diverticulum)

Online Medical Reviewer: Daniel N Sacks MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Donna Freeborn PhD CNM FNP
Online Medical Reviewer: Heather Trevino
Date Last Reviewed: 6/1/2020
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