Pelvic Prolapse: Before Your Surgery

Skip Navigation

What is surgery for pelvic prolapse?

Your pelvic muscles hold your pelvic organs in place. If they become weak, your uterus, bowel, or bladder may press against your vagina. This is called a pelvic prolapse. Surgery puts your organ back in place. It also adds support to your muscles.

You will be asleep during the surgery. You will not feel pain. The doctor can do the surgery in several ways. In open surgery, the doctor makes a cut in your belly. The cut is called an incision. In laparoscopic surgery, the doctor puts a lighted tube and other surgical tools through small incisions near your belly button and groin. This tube is called a scope. It lets the doctor see your organs. Surgery can also be done through the vagina. With vaginal surgery, the doctor makes a small cut in the vagina instead of the belly.

If you have open surgery, you will go home in 1 to 4 days. It usually takes about 4 to 6 weeks to fully recover. If you have vaginal or laparoscopic surgery, you may go home the day of surgery or in 1 or 2 days. It usually takes 1 to 2 weeks to fully recover. At home, you may need to wear a catheter. This is a tube in your bladder. It carries urine out of your body.

After surgery, you may have less pain during sex. The surgery may also help with any bladder or bowel problems you may have had. If you still have your uterus, your ability to get pregnant will not be affected.

How do you prepare for surgery?

Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.

Preparing for surgery

  • You may need to take a laxative or enema before surgery. Your doctor will tell you how to do this.
  • Be sure you have someone to take you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own.
  • Understand exactly what surgery is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
  • If you take a medicine that prevents blood clots, your doctor may tell you to stop taking it before your surgery. Or your doctor may tell you to keep taking it. (These medicines include aspirin and other blood thinners.) Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do.
  • Tell your doctor ALL the medicines, vitamins, supplements, and herbal remedies you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your surgery. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the surgery and how soon to do it.
  • Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance directive. If you don't have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It's a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.

What happens on the day of surgery?

  • Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking. If you don't, your surgery may be canceled. If your doctor told you to take your medicines on the day of surgery, take them with only a sip of water.
  • Follow your doctor's instructions about when to bathe or shower before your surgery. Do not apply lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or nail polish.
  • Do not shave the surgical site yourself.
  • Take off all jewelry and piercings. And take out contact lenses, if you wear them.

At the hospital or surgery center

  • Bring a picture ID.
  • The area for surgery is often marked to make sure there are no errors.
  • You will be kept comfortable and safe by your anesthesia provider. You will be asleep during the surgery.
  • The surgery will take 45 minutes to 2 hours.

When should you call your doctor?

  • You have questions or concerns.
  • You don't understand how to prepare for your surgery.
  • You become ill before the surgery (such as fever, flu, or a cold).
  • You need to reschedule or have changed your mind about having the surgery.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

Enter G789 in the search box to learn more about "Pelvic Prolapse: Before Your Surgery".

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.