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Posterior Vaginal Repair

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 31, 2022.

What do I need to know about posterior vaginal repair?

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

How do I prepare for surgery?

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for surgery. He or she may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. Your provider may tell you to shower the night before your surgery. He or she may tell you to use a certain soap to help prevent a surgical site infection. Your healthcare provider 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. You may also be given an antibiotic to help prevent an infection.
  • Your surgeon will make an incision 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 or she will place stitches in the tissue between your vagina and rectum to stop the bulging. Mesh or a graft may also be placed to make the repair stronger. Your surgeon may need to put some absorbable stitches into nearby muscles. He or she 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. 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.

What are the risks of surgery?

You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Damage to your rectum may occur. Problems may develop during surgery that require an abdominal incision. 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.

Care Agreement

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Further information

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