Skip to Content

Posterior Vaginal Repair


A posterior vaginal repair is surgery to fix a rectocele or vaginal hernia.


Before your surgery:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
  • Anesthesia will make you comfortable during the surgery. Healthcare providers will work with you to decide which anesthesia is best for you.
    • General anesthesia will keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. You may get anesthesia through your IV. You may breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.
    • Spinal (epidural) anesthesia is injected into the lower spine to numb the pelvic area where the surgery will be done. You will remain awake during the surgery. You may still feel pressure or pushing during surgery.

During your surgery:

An incision will be made in the middle of the back wall of your vagina. The incision will start near the vaginal opening. It will continue over the bulging area and a bit above the bulge. Your surgeon will remove the vaginal skin covering this area. He will place stitches in the septum (tissue between your vagina and rectum) to stop the bulging. He may also put in a graft or mesh to make the repair stronger. He may need to put some absorbable stitches into nearby muscles. He will then close your vaginal skin over the septum with stitches. The stitches will be absorbed by your body, so you do not have to get them removed. A bandage is placed inside your vagina to reduce bleeding. A catheter may be placed to remove urine from your bladder. Healthcare provider will remove it as soon as possible after surgery.

After your surgery:

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. Healthcare providers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. When your healthcare provider sees that you are okay, you will be taken to your hospital room.

  • Pain medicine will help take away or decrease your pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe to ask for your medicine. Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy.
  • Ice helps decrease swelling and pain. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Healthcare providers will place an ice pack on your skin between your vagina and anus. An ice pack may be used every 2 hours.
  • Bandages will be placed in your vagina to reduce bleeding. The bandages are removed within 2 days.
  • A voiding test may be done the day after surgery. Healthcare providers will have you drink liquids until you feel the urge to urinate. Then they will use an ultrasound wand to measure the amount of urine left after you empty your bladder. You may need to use a catheter if too much urine is still in your bladder after you urinate.
  • A Foley catheter is a tube healthcare providers put into your bladder to drain your urine into a bag. Keep the bag below your waist. This will help prevent infection and other problems caused by urine flowing back into your bladder. Do not pull on the catheter, because this may cause pain and bleeding, and the catheter could come out. Keep the catheter tubing free of kinks so your urine will flow into the bag. Healthcare providers will remove the catheter as soon as possible, to help prevent infection.


  • You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Damage to your rectum may occur. You may get a bladder infection if a urinary catheter is used. The bulging may come back, or you may need more surgery. You may have trouble having a bowel movement after the surgery. You may have discomfort when you have sex. A mesh put in during surgery may damage the vaginal tissues and cause bleeding or discharge.
  • Without treatment, symptoms such as straining to pass a bowel movement may get worse. The bulging may increase and even come out through your vaginal opening. You may feel a dragging sensation in your vagina. You may have trouble emptying your bowel completely, or your bowel may leak at the anus.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.