What is a posterior repair?

Posterior repair is a procedure to repair a prolapse of the back wall of the vagina (rectocele). It is carried out vaginally.

What does the operation involve?

It involves making a cut on the back wall of the vagina and repairing the wall between the rectum and vagina to cure the vaginal bulge. The operation normally takes around 20-30 minutes to complete. It is performed under a general or a regional (spinal) anaesthetic.

Other procedures

Reconstruction of the perineal body is often performed at the same time as a posterior repair.

Also, rectoceles commonly exist together with prolapse at other sites, such as the uterus( womb) or the front wall of the vagina (cystocele). If there is a prolapse at any other site, the surgeon may suggest repairing this at the same time.

What is recovery after surgery like?

You will stay in the hospital over night. On the first morning after your operation, your catheter will come out and your drip will usually come down. You will be able to eat and drink and move around.

Recovery time varies from woman to woman. It is important to remember that everyone's experience is different, and it is therefore best not to compare your own recovery with that of others on the ward.

The stitches used to repair the rectocoele take approximately 6 weeks to dissolve and can be quite sore for about a fortnight after surgery. Your body will be using extra energy to build new cells and repair itself and patients may therefore feel tired for 4-6 weeks after surgery. Most women will resume driving and work in about 4 weeks.

Most women suffer with constipation for several weeks after surgery, this will require laxatives which we prescribe. No stitches will be damaged when the bowels do open; this usually takes 2-3 days to occur after surgery

Further information

For more information about recovering from the operation, and what to expect on going home, read our information leaflet: Posterior vaginal wall repair

External links:

Posterior repair After posterior repair and perineal body reconstruction