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Anterior Vaginal Repair
What you need to know about anterior vaginal repair:
An anterior vaginal repair is a procedure to lift or tighten the front vaginal wall. This can help prevent you from leaking urine. The procedure is also called an anterior colporrhaphy.
How to prepare for surgery:
Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for surgery. He may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. He will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery. Arrange to have someone drive you home and stay with you.
What will happen during surgery:
- You may be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. You may instead be given spinal anesthesia to numb you from the waist down. With spinal anesthesia, you may still feel pressure or pushing during surgery, but you should not feel any pain.
- Your surgeon will use a speculum to widen the vagina and hold it open. He or she will make an incision through the skin of your vagina. This will show the damage in the front vaginal wall, particularly in the supporting tissues. The damaged area is then folded and stitched after it has been separated from the vaginal skin. This will hold the bladder and other organs into proper position. Any extra vaginal tissue may also be removed. The incision will be closed with stitches. You will need to wear a sanitary pad to help control and monitor bleeding. The pad will also protect your surgery area.
What will happen after surgery:
Healthcare providers will monitor you closely for any problems. You may be able to go home the same day of surgery. You may have a Foley catheter in your bladder to drain urine after surgery. Healthcare providers will remove it as soon as possible after surgery.
Risks of surgery:
You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Problems may develop during surgery that require an abdominal incision. Your bladder or uterus may be injured during surgery. Your symptoms may only be relieved for a short time, or they may not be relieved at all. You may need additional surgeries if complications develop.
Seek care immediately if:
- You feel something is bulging out into your vagina or rectum and not going back in.
- You cannot urinate.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You soak a sanitary pad with blood every hour for 4 hours.
- You have vaginal pain that does not go away even after you take pain medicine.
- You have pus or a foul-smelling discharge from your genital area.
- You see blood in your urine.
- You have a fever, chills, a cough, or feel weak and achy.
- You have nausea and are vomiting.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
You may need any of the following:
- Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
- NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
- Bowel movement softeners make it easier for you to have a bowel movement.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Care for your incision as directed. You can take a shower after 2 days. Do not take a bath or get in a pool or hot tub. Your healthcare provider will tell you when it is okay. He or she may tell you it is okay to take a sitz bath. Your healthcare provider will give you more information if a sitz bath is okay to do. Change your sanitary pad regularly. Keep track of how often you change the pad.
- Do not have sex until your healthcare provider says it is okay.
- Do not put anything in your vagina for 6 weeks after the surgery. This allows time for the wound to heal.
- Do not lift more than 10 pounds for at least 6 weeks. Heavy lifting puts pressure on the surgery area and slows healing.
- Avoid heavy exercise the first few weeks after the surgery. You may try light activity, such as short walks, 3 to 4 weeks after the surgery.
- Try not to cough or strain to have a bowel movement. This may cause damage to the surgery area. Ask your healthcare provider about ways to make bowel movements easier so you do not have to strain.
- Eat healthy foods and drink liquids as directed. This will help prevent constipation. Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.