A cystocele or “dropped bladder” occurs when the anterior vaginal wall stretches out or tears away from its connections (most common) to the pelvic sidewall muscles causing the bladder to fall. Women will then feel or see a bulge vaginally and may also suffer symptoms of urinary urgency/frequency or urinary leakage. This is a common condition that can occur following childbirth and/or aging.
A cystocele or dropped bladder can be repaired vaginally with an anterior repair, or abdominally with a paravaginal repair. The vaginal approach has been shown to have a high failure rate; however is the one that is used by most surgeons, especially if a woman has stress urinary leakage and being treated with a mesh tape sling, as this is placed vaginally as well. A laparoscopic approach (non-mesh) is used to treat female urinary leakage as well as a cystocele or dropped bladder. No vaginal incision is necessary (i.e. less risk of nerve damage vaginally) and both bladder support and urinary leakage can be achieved at the same time. The dropped or prolapsed bladder is repaired via the Laparoscopic Paravaginal repair (re-attaching the vaginal wall that supports the bladder back out to the pelvic sidewall muscles) and the urinary leakage is corrected with Laparoscopic Burch sutures. Both procedures have cure rates in the range of 80-90% and are considered gold-standard procedures for these conditions.
Our surgical team has completed more Laparoscopic Paravaginal Repair/Burch procedures than any other surgery center in the US and is considered worldwide leader in this minimally invasive treatment option.