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What is a colpocleisis?

Colpocleisis is the surgical closure of the vaginal canal. This procedure is done in an attempt to support the bladder, rectum and vagina and requires incisions in my vagina.

When is it used?

Colpocleisis is treatment of uterine prolapse or complete vaginal vault prolapse for patients that are:

  • Not sexually active
  • Have no future plans for sexual activity
  • Medically fragile
  • Elderly

What are the benefits of this procedure?

Improvements in pelvic floor symptoms and quality of life. There should be no recurrent prolapse.

What are the risks associated with this procedure?

  • Damage to a vein or artery that could cause serious bleeding.
  • Making a hole in your bladder that could cause a tract (fistula) between your vagina and bladder.
  • Making a hole in your rectum that could cause a tract (fistula) between your vagina and rectum.
  • That any urine leakage that you have may not be improved.
  • That your bulging bladder (cystocele) or rectum (rectocele) may not improve or could return.
  • That you may have difficulty emptying your bladder.
  • Damage to your ureters, the tubes that carry urine from your kidneys to your bladder.
  • That you may develop bulging in your vagina (vaginal vault eversion).
  • That you may develop infection in your incisions or your bladder.
  • You will not be able to have sexual intercourse following this procedure.

How do I prepare for colpocleisis?

Plan for your care and recovery after the operation. Allow for time to rest. Try to find other people to help you with your day-to-day duties. 

Follow your health care provider's instructions about not smoking before and after the procedure. Smokers heal more slowly after surgery. They are also more likely to have breathing problems during surgery. For this reason, if you are a smoker, you should quit at least 2 weeks before the procedure. It is best to quit 6 to 8 weeks before surgery. Also, your wounds will heal much better if you do not smoke after surgery. 

Follow any other instructions your provider gives you. If you are to have general anesthesia, eat a light meal, such as soup or salad, the night before midnight. Do not eat after midnight.  Do not even drink coffee, tea, or water.

What happens after the procedure?

You may stay in the hospital about 1 to 2 days.

When should I call Greenville OB/GYN

Call our emergency number at any time if:

  • You have a fever over 100 F (37.8 C).

Call during regular office hours if:

  • You have questions about the procedure or its result.
  • You want to make another appointment.

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