Surgery for Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Surgery is often recommended for women with moderate-to-severe pelvic organ prolapse that is causing symptoms, or when nonsurgical treatments do not provide adequate relief.

If you wish to become pregnant in the future, your surgeon can help you choose a surgical treatment that relieves your symptoms but doesn’t affect your ability to become pregnant. For example, although hysterectomy is frequently used to treat uterine prolapse, doctors at NYU Langone can sometimes surgically correct the prolapse without removing the uterus.

Vaginal Surgery

Vaginal surgery is generally associated with a rapid recovery and requires no abdominal incisions. Therefore, it can be beneficial for most women with pelvic organ prolapse, especially those who have had previous abdominal surgery, are older, or have other medical conditions. 

In this procedure, which is performed with general or regional anesthesia, a surgeon operates through the vagina to put the prolapsed organ back in its original location. Most women go home within 24 hours of the surgery and feel well soon afterward. Your surgeon may still ask you to limit some activities—such as lifting, exercise, and sexual activity—for at least six weeks after the procedure.

Laparoscopic Surgery

Laparoscopic surgery is a less invasive method of treating pelvic organ prolapse that may be a reasonable option for younger women who don’t want the uterus removed for childbearing or other reasons. Most women go home the same day, or within 24 hours after surgery.

In laparoscopic surgery, which requires general anesthesia, small incisions are made in the abdomen. A long, thin surgical instrument with a small camera at the tip is then inserted. This allows surgeons to obtain a magnified view of the pelvic area as the procedure is performed. Most often, the prolapsed organ is returned to its original position and anchored with a synthetic material.

As with vaginal surgery, recovery time is short, typically about two weeks, and your doctor may recommend limiting activities, such as lifting, exercise, and sexual activity, for about six weeks.

Robotic-Assisted Surgery

Surgeons at NYU Langone's Robotic Surgery Center are specialists in correcting pelvic organ prolapse with robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery. This technique provides surgeons with greater visibility of the surgical area through magnification and allows them to make more precise movements than with traditional laparoscopy. 

Like laparoscopic surgery, robotic-assisted surgery for pelvic organ prolapse typically involves the use of a synthetic material to support organs, such as the uterus, vagina, and bladder. Robotic-assisted surgery is performed with general anesthesia. Recovery takes about two weeks. During recuperation, your surgeon may recommend that you restrict certain activities, including lifting, exercise, and sexual activity, for approximately six weeks.

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