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Retropubic Colposuspension


Retropubic colposuspension is surgery to lift your bladder and urethra back into place. The urethra is the tube urine flows through when you urinate.


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.
  • Enema: You may need to have an enema the morning before your surgery. This is liquid put into your rectum to help empty your bowel. Healthcare providers will teach you how to do this.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
  • General anesthesia will keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Anesthesia may be given through your IV. You may instead 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.
  • Pre-op care: You may be given medicine right before your procedure or surgery. This medicine may make you feel relaxed and sleepy. You are taken on a stretcher to the room where your procedure or surgery will be done, and then you are moved to a table or bed.

During your surgery:

  • Your abdomen and genital area will be cleaned with soap and water. Sheets will be put over you to keep the surgery area clean. A catheter may be inserted to inject iodine dye through, and it is also used to drain your urine.
  • Healthcare providers may give general anesthesia to keep you completely asleep. A wide abdominal incision just above the pubic hairline will be made. Two to four stitches may be placed to suspend the bladder and support the pelvic ligaments. These stitches will pass into the vaginal wall on either side of the neck of the bladder. Healthcare providers may tie the stitches into the ligaments or pubic bone. A dye will be injected through the catheter to check for any damage to the bladder. Thin rubber tubes may also be put into your skin to drain blood from your incision. The incision is then closed with stitches or surgical staples and covered with bandages.

After your surgery:

You may be taken to a recovery room until you are fully awake. You may need to lie flat and still in bed for a few hours. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. The bandages keep the area clean and dry to prevent infection. A healthcare provider may remove the drain or bandage soon after your surgery to check the incision. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about ways to prevent bleeding and take care of your incision.

  • Activity: You may need to walk around the same day of surgery, or the day after. Movement will help prevent blood clots. You may also be given exercises to do in bed. Do not get out of bed on your own until your healthcare provider says you can. Talk to healthcare providers before you get up the first time. They may need to help you stand up safely. When you are able to get up on your own, sit or lie down right away if you feel weak or dizzy. Then press the call light button to let healthcare providers know you need help.
  • You will be able to drink liquids and eat certain foods once your stomach function returns after surgery. You may be given ice chips at first. Then you will get liquids such as water, broth, juice, and clear soft drinks. If your stomach does not become upset, you may then be given soft foods, such as ice cream and applesauce. Once you can eat soft foods easily, you may slowly begin to eat solid foods.
  • Medicines: You may need any of the following:
    • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
    • Antinausea medicine: This medicine may be given to calm your stomach and to help prevent vomiting.
    • Pain medicine: Healthcare providers may give you medicine to take away or decrease your pain.
      • Do not wait until the pain is severe to ask for your medicine. Tell healthcare providers if your pain does not decrease. The medicine may not work as well at controlling your pain if you wait too long to take it.
      • Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling for help when you want to get out of bed.
  • Heart monitor: This is also called an ECG or EKG. Sticky pads placed on your skin record your heart's electrical activity.
  • Intake and output may be measured. Healthcare providers will keep track of the amount of liquid you are getting. They also may need to know how much you are urinating. Ask healthcare providers if they need to measure or collect your urine.
  • You may need extra oxygen if your blood oxygen level is lower than it should be. You may get oxygen through a mask placed over your nose and mouth or through small tubes placed in your nostrils. Ask your healthcare provider before you take off the mask or oxygen tubing.
  • You may need to wear inflatable boots after surgery. The boots have an air pump that tightens and loosens different areas of the boots. This device improves blood flow and helps prevent clots.


  • You may have bleeding or an infection from surgery. Your bladder or intestines may get injured during surgery. Your symptoms may only be relieved for a short time, or they may not be relieved at all. Sometimes, your risk of another prolapse may also increase. You may have an increased risk of a blood clot in your leg or lungs.
  • Without treatment, you may have difficult, painful, or frequent urination, especially at night. You may continue to leak urine when coughing, sneezing, or laughing. You may also have pain when having sex. If you have a prolapse, it may push the bladder out of the vaginal opening even further. This may lead to other serious medical problems.


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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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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.

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