Pelvic organ prolapse is the abnormal descent or herniation of the pelvic organs from their normal attachment sites or their normal position in the pelvis. The pelvic structures that may be involved include the uterus (uterine prolapse) or vaginal apex (apical vaginal prolapse), anterior vagina (cystocele), or posterior vagina (rectocele). Many parous women may have some degree of prolapse when examined; however, most prolapses are not clinically bothersome without specific pelvic symptoms, and they may not require an intervention.
Of 302 patients recruited, 250 (82.8%) completed 1-year follow-up. There were 157 (62.8%) patients who had a tension-free vaginal tape sling alone, and 93 (37.2%) had tension-free vaginal tape sling and concomitant pelvic floor surgery for pelvic organ prolapse. All patients had urodynamic studies before and 1 year following surgery. The objective cure rate was 87.3% for patients with tension-free vaginal tape sling alone, and 80.6% for tension-free vaginal tape sling with concomitant procedures (Chi squared test, P>0.05). The subjective cure rates for tension-free vaginal tape sling alone and tension-free vaginal tape sling plus concomitant procedures were 89.2% and 86.0% at 4 months, and 93.0% and 94.6% at 1 year, respectively (Chi squared test, P>0.05). The most common complication was postoperative urinary retention (15.2%), followed by de-novo detrusor overactivity at 1 year (10%), and bladder perforation (8%).
If you do not have any symptoms or if your symptoms are mild, you do not need any special follow-up or treatment beyond having regular checkups. If you have symptoms, prolapse may be treated with or without surgery. Often the first nonsurgical option tried is a pessary. This device is inserted into the vagina to support the pelvic organs. Targeting specific symptoms may be another option. Kegel exercises may be recommended in addition to symptom-related treatment to help strengthen the pelvic floor. Weight loss can decrease pressure in the abdomen and help improve overall health. If your symptoms are severe and disrupt your life, and if nonsurgical treatment options have not helped, you may want to consider surgery.
Research conducted by the Pelvic Floor Disorders Network, an initiative funded by the National Institutes of Health, has revealed that the long-term success rates of a surgery to treat pelvic organ prolapse are lower than expected. Nearly one-third of women develop anatomic or symptomatic treatment failure within five years of undergoing sacrocolpopexy for pelvic organ prolapse.