Anterior colporrhaphy: a standard operation? Systematic review of the technical aspects of a common procedure in randomized controlled trials

Int Urogynecol J. 2018 Jun;29(6):781-788. doi: 10.1007/s00192-017-3510-5. Epub 2017 Dec 6.


Introduction: Anterior colporrhaphy (AC) is considered a standard procedure and is performed all over the world. However, not a single step of the procedure has ever been truly standardized and the rates of failure show a wide range in the literature from 0% up to 92%. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the differences in technique and procedure worldwide.

Methods: We performed a systematic literature search up to March 2016 using the MeSH terms "(anterior AND (colporrhaph* or colporhaph* or repair* or cystocel*)" using Preferred Reporting Items for Sytematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). Only randomized controlled trials (RCT) were included in the systematic review. A 14-point checklist was used to assess the quality of surgery undertaken in each RCT.

Results: Forty RCTs from all over the world were included in the review. The indication for AC was urinary incontinence and/or pelvic organ prolapse. A detailed description of colporrhaphy was not provided even in the well-conducted RCTs. The review showed differences in each step of the procedure, in perioperative care, in anesthesia and in surgeon' experience.

Conclusion: Our results highlight the problems concerning AC with the great range in postoperative outcomes. There is diversity in the anatomical structures used in the repair, in perioperative care and in the procedure itself.

Keywords: Colporrhaphy; Cystocele; Outcome; Prolapse; Surgery.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Colpotomy / methods*
  • Female
  • Gynecologic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Humans
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Pregnancy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic*
  • Surgical Mesh*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urinary Incontinence / etiology*
  • Vagina / surgery*