Recurrence of Prolapse Following Vaginal Hysterectomy With and Without Vaginal Vault Fixation: A Retrospective Review

  • Lisa Teresa Prodigalidad-Jabson
  • Ira Dominique Malonzo University of the Philippines - Philippine General Hospital
Keywords: pelvic organ prolapse, recurrence, vaginal hysterectomy


Background. The rate of prolapse recurrence after vaginal hysterectomy ranges from 6% to 12%. Vaginal vault fixation procedures like the iliococcygeus fixation and the cul-de-sac obliteration (McCall culdoplasty) have been used to address the loss of apical support in patients with advanced-stage prolapse to prevent this recurrence.

Objectives. This study aims to assess the rate of prolapse recurrence and risk factors for recurrence as well as urinary, bowel, and sexual symptoms in women who have undergone vaginal hysterectomy with and without vaginal vault fixation for pelvic organ prolapse stage 2 or higher.

Methods. This study is a retrospective study that included patients with pelvic organ prolapse stage 2 or greater who underwent vaginal hysterectomy with and without vaginal vault fixation from 2009 to 2014 seen at the urogynecology clinic of a Philippine tertiary referral center. The cohorts were divided into those with iliococcygeal fixation (n=171) and those without (n=83). The Z test of mean difference was used in comparing average values between the two groups. Chi-square test of independence was used in comparing the proportion of patients as stratified by various variables and their corresponding groups, while some variables were adjusted for 2x2 Fischer Exact test. Any associated p-value less than 0.05 alpha were considered statistically significant.

Results. Of the 876 patients operated on for prolapse between 2009 to 2014, 254 were included in the study. They were divided into those with iliococcygeal fixation (n=171) and those without (n=83). Recurrence was significantly lower in the group who underwent iliococcygeal fixation (23.39% vs 36.14%, p=0.037) after a median follow-up of 28.98 months for those with fixation and 31.08 for those without. The posterior compartment prolapse recurrence rate is higher in those without fixation (16.87% vs 6.43%, p=0.013). Longer duration of menopause (16.96 ± 7.16 vs 13.37 ± 7.1, p=0.001), unemployment (52.85% vs 36.41%, p=0.22) and longer time from surgery (37.84 ± 15.69 vs 26.55 ± 12.59, p=0.000) were significantly associated with recurrence. Moreover, higher pre- (6.24 ± 1.41 vs 5.78 ± 0.95, p=0.003) and post-operative genital hiatus (4.53 ± 0.97 vs 4.23 ± 0.54, p=0.002) and shorter pre-operative perineal body (1.86 ± 0.35 vs 1.97 ± 0.35, p=0.025) measurements were also significantly associated with recurrence. Both groups have no significant difference in urinary, sexual or bowel symptoms.

Conclusion. Iliococcygeus fixation is an effective method of preventing prolapse recurrence. Increased duration of menopause, longer time from surgery, longer genital hiatus, and shorter perineal body all contribute to recurrence. Moreover, urinary, sexual and bowel symptoms do not differ significantly between those with and without iliococcygeus fixation. Thus performing prophylactic vaginal vault fixation should be contemplated in patients undergoing prolapse surgery, with careful consideration of patient factors and potential morbidities.