After childbirth, menopause, or a hysterectomy, some women may suffer from a cyctocele, or a protrusion of the bladder into the vaginal wall. This condition may also be known as a bladder prolapse. A cyctocele repair is a surgical procedure performed to restore the bladder and urethra to their proper position. This can relieve severe symptoms such as stress urinary incontinence, pain during intercourse, or urinary frequency.
The goal of surgery for a cystocele repair is to return the bladder and urethra to their proper position, and is usually performed by a surgeon who specializes in gynecology or urology. The cystocele repair can be accomplished either laparoscopically, using a camera and other tools inserted through a small incision. The surgery is usually minimally invasive, and the choice of either surgical option is dependent on the severity and placement of the cystocele.
Cystocele repair involves the restoration of the ligaments and tissue required to strengthen the muscle wall that holds the bladder and urethra in place. Additionally, some women who have a cystocele often also have other pelvic organ prolapse. This can usually be repaired at the same time.
Most hospital stays for this procedure are one to two days in length, and a bladder catheter may be placed temporarily. Normal activities can be resumed in approximately six weeks. Care must be taken to limit heavy lifting or long periods of standing for about three months, as too much activity too soon could cause the prolapse to recur.
Surgical cystocele repair is usually not the first option for those diagnosed with a cystocele. The severity of the symptoms usually dictates the course of treatment. Many cystoceles can be managed through Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles, hormonal replacement therapy, or the use of a pessary support device. Surgical cystocele repair is normally reserved for those who exhibit intense symptoms that interfere with normal daily activities.
According to some experts, women may have a recurrence of a bladder prolapse even after a cystocele repair. The surgical procedure may relieve some, but not all, of a woman's symptoms. It is imperative for a patient to discuss all symptoms with her doctor in order to make the right decision about whether or not cystocele repair is the best choice for her.