Colpocleisis

Colpocleisis (colpectomy) is a surgical procedure to partially or completely remove and stitch (suture) the vagina closed, including the opening. A reason for the surgery is to help with problems caused by the falling down (prolapse) of one or more organs. Prolapse could involve the uterus, bladder, or rectum and is often caused by having babies, heavy straining and lifting for a long period of time, previous pelvic surgery, obesity, chronic constipation with straining, and aging.

Colpocleisis may be done in women who:

  • Have stopped menstruating.

  • Have already had their uterus removed (hysterectomy).

  • Do not desire to have sexual intercourse.

  • Have medical problems that might make more advanced surgery very risky.

LET YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER KNOW ABOUT:

  • Any allergies you have.

  • All medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbs, eye drops, creams, and over-the-counter medicines.

  • Previous problems you or members of your family have had with the use of anesthetics.

  • Any blood disorders you have.

  • Previous surgeries you have had.

  • Medical conditions you have.

  • Any colds or infections you have had recently.

RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS

Generally, this is a safe procedure. However, as with any procedure, complications can occur. Possible complications include:

  • Injury to surrounding pelvic organs.

  • Bleeding.

  • Infection.

  • Blood clots to the legs or lungs.

  • Problems with the anesthetic.

BEFORE THE PROCEDURE

  • Ask your health care provider about changing or stopping any regular medicines.

  • Do not eat or drink anything for 6–8 hours before the procedure.

PROCEDURE

  • An IV tube will be placed in a vein. You will be given one of the following:

  • A medicine that numbs the area (local anesthetic).

  • A medicine that makes you sleep (general anesthetic).

  • A medicine injected into your spine that numbs your body below the waist (spinal anesthetic).

  • The protruding organs are reduced back to their normal position.

  • The top and bottom of the vagina are removed out through the opening of the vagina.

  • The opening of the vagina is closed using absorbable sutures. These will dissolve in 1–2 months.

AFTER THE PROCEDURE

  • You will go to a recovery room until your blood pressure, pulse, breathing, and temperature (vital signs) are okay. Then you will be transferred to a regular hospital room.

  • You will still have an IV tube in your vein for about 2 days. You will also have a catheter in your bladder for about 2 days.

  • You may be given an antibiotic medicine to prevent an infection.

  • You may be given pain medicine.