Vaginal vault prolapse: choice of operation

Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2005 Dec;19(6):959-77. doi: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2005.08.011. Epub 2005 Oct 10.


The surgeon who faces a patient with vaginal vault prolapse is dealing with a complex and intriguing challenge. Part of the complexity is due to the lack of standardization and routine application of tools to assess pre- and postoperative anatomical and functional outcomes. Patient satisfaction is a major endpoint for surgical success; thus all aspects of the prolapse pathology and the patient's lifestyle should be considered. The surgeon needs to be well versed and flexible in order to choose the most appropriate operative approach to achieve optimal results for an individual patient. In this chapter we present the vaginal and abdominal approaches for the correction of vaginal vault prolapse, with discussion of the surgical outcomes and complications for each technique. A comprehensive comparison of the various techniques is offered on the basis of current published literature. In addition, we focus on various controversies, including the prevention of vault prolapse at the time of hysterectomy, issues regarding uterine preservation, the management of overt or occult concomitant stress incontinence, and the place-if any-for combined anti-incontinence procedures at the time of prolapse surgery. New minimally invasive techniques for vault prolapse are also reviewed. We emphasize areas that call for further research and for standardized outcome criteria.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy / methods
  • Intraoperative Complications
  • Laparoscopy / methods
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress / complications
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress / surgery
  • Urologic Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Uterine Prolapse / complications
  • Uterine Prolapse / prevention & control
  • Uterine Prolapse / surgery*
  • Uterus / surgery
  • Vagina / surgery*