Transabdominal repair of cystocele by wedge colpectomy during combined abdominal-vaginal surgery


The aim of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of transabdominal wedge colpectomy as surgical treatment for cystocele. One hundred and sixty-three women with either first or second-degree cystocele (Beecham classification), rectocele and concomitant stress urinary incontinence or benign pelvic masses were submitted for a combined operation. Transabdominal repair of the cystocele was performed by wedge colpectomy employing two different absorbable sutures, Vicryl and PDS. The choice of suture was not random but depended on the period at which surgery was performed. Data obtained were analyzed with Student’st-test and Fisher’s exact test. The cystocele cure rate was 90.2% (110 out of 122) at 3-year follow-up and was significantly associated with the preoperative degree, being 95.5% and 76.5% in first and in second degree, respectively (P=0.003). At 1-year follow-up the cure rate was significantly associated with the type of the suture employed (P=0.01). At 2-year follow-up rectocele cure rate was 97.2% and vaginal vault prolapse appeared in 3.5% of cases. Stress urinary incontinence relapsed in 10% of patients after Burch colposuspension. After the operation 94.1% of the women declared normal coitus. In the present series wedge colpectomy was found to be effective in repairing first-degree cystocele, whereas a high incidence of relapse was observed when second-degree cystocele was present preoperatively. The suture material employed influenced the cure rate.

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Correspondence to G. Quadri.

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EDITORIAL COMMENT: Wedge colpectomy of the anterior vaginal wall has been described by Weinstein and Roberts (1949), Macer (1978) and Drutz (1991) as a means of abdominally correcting anterior vaginal wall relaxation. Although the present authors did not find as high a success rate with the procedure as the previous investigators, they do show that an abdominal approach to cystocele repair is feasible. There are instances when such an approach would be advantageous to avoid repositioning for a vaginal anterior wall repair. The danger of abdominal anterior wedge colpectomy lies in the dissection of the bladder base from the underlying vaginal wall. Dissection in this area must proceed carefully to avoid trauma to the bladder, ureters and, more distally, to the urethrovesical junction. Performed carefully, with attention directed at avoiding these structures, the abdominal wedge colpectomy is a potentially useful procedure to add to the armamentarium of the urogynecologic surgeon.

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Quadri, G., Magatti, F., Belloni, C. et al. Transabdominal repair of cystocele by wedge colpectomy during combined abdominal-vaginal surgery. Int Urogynecol J 8, 278–283 (1997).

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  • Burch colposuspension
  • Combined operation
  • Cystocele
  • Stress urinary incontinence
  • Wedge colpectomy