Anterior Vaginal Wall Repair

Written by Erica Roth | Published on August 15, 2012
Medically Reviewed by George Krucik, MD

What Is Anterior Vaginal Wall Repair?

Anterior vaginal wall repair is a surgical procedure that corrects a condition called vaginal prolapse. “Prolapse” means to slip out of place. Another medical term for prolapse is cystocele.

In the case of a vaginal prolapse, the bladder or urethra—the tube that carries urine out of the body—slips down into the vagina. Anterior vaginal wall repair surgery tightens the front wall of the vagina. The tightening of the muscles and soft tissues helps the bladder or urethra stay in its proper position.

Causes of Prolapse

A number of factors contribute to the formation of a cystocele, or the prolapse of the bladder into the vagina. Women who fall into the following categories are more likely to develop a cystocele that requires anterior vaginal wall repair surgery:

  • being pregnant
  • delivering a baby vaginally
  • being overweight
  • straining during bowel movements
  • participating in heavy lifting
  • having a chronic cough

Lifting properly by bending your knees, treating a chronic cough, and maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent prolapse.

Risks of Vaginal Surgery

Anterior vaginal wall repair is highly successful in most cases, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Many women who undergo surgery show long-term improvement of prolapse symptoms.

In some cases, women who have had anterior vaginal wall repair may suffer from post-operative symptoms and complications, including:

  • painful urination
  • frequent, sudden urge to urinate
  • leakage of urine
  • damage to the urethra, vagina, or bladder

Discuss these risks with your doctor before having anterior vaginal wall repair. Most often, the benefits of the surgery outweigh the risks.

Preparing for Surgery

You will be required to fast for a period before surgery, usually at least eight hours. You should also stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen several days before your surgery date. This will reduce your risk of experiencing excessive bleeding. Ask your doctor about proper medication usage if you take warfarin or other blood-thinning medications.

Surgical Procedure

Surgical repair of the vagina is performed under either a general or spinal anesthetic. Under general anesthetic, you are asleep and experience no pain. Under a spinal anesthetic, you are numb below the waist and unable to feel pain, but you will be awake.

The surgeon will make an incision in the front wall of the vagina. He or she will replace the bladder or urethra to its normal location through the incision. Surgical stitches in the tissues between the vagina and bladder help hold the organs in place. Your surgeon may remove additional vaginal tissue in order to tighten the muscles and ligaments effectively.


You will most likely remain in the hospital for several days following anterior vaginal wall repair. Your bladder will most likely be traumatized by the surgery, and you’ll need to use a catheter for one to two days. A catheter is a small tube that is placed in your bladder to remove urine from your body.

A liquid diet is common after prolapse surgery. Once you are able to urinate and have normal bowel movements, you can resume a regular diet.

Was this article helpful? Yes No

Thank you.

Your message has been sent.

We're sorry, an error occurred.

We are unable to collect your feedback at this time. However, your feedback is important to us. Please try again later.

Show Sources

Trending Now

Timeline of an Anaphylactic Reaction
Timeline of an Anaphylactic Reaction
From first exposure to life-threatening complications, learn how quickly an allergy attack can escalate and why it can become life threatening.
Famous Athletes with Asthma
Famous Athletes with Asthma
Asthma shouldn’t be a barrier to staying active and fit. Learn about famous athletes who didn’t let asthma stop them from achieving their goals.
Understanding the Progression of Ankylosing Spondylitis
Understanding the Progression of Ankylosing Spondylitis
One serious potential cause of back pain is ankylosing spondylitis. Get an understanding of what this condition is, how it progresses, and potential complications in this slideshow.
The Best Multiple Sclerosis iPhone and Android Apps of the Year
The Best Multiple Sclerosis iPhone and Android Apps of the Year
These best multiple sclerosis apps provide helpful information and tools to keep track of your symptoms, including medication reminders.
Migraine vs. Chronic Migraine: What Are the Differences?
Migraine vs. Chronic Migraine: What Are the Differences?
There is not just one type of migraine. Chronic migraine is one subtype of migraine. Understand what sets these two conditions apart.