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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1992 Aug;167(2):399-404; discussion 404-5.

The incidence of genital prolapse after the Burch colposuspension.

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  • 1Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30303.



Our objective was to determine the incidence of postoperative genital prolapse after the Burch colposuspension and to identify risk factors for the development of subsequent prolapse.


The charts of 131 patients who had a Burch colposuspension performed by the senior author (S.L.S.) between 1977 and 1986 were reviewed at the Urodynamic Unit of St. George's Hospital, London. Emphasis was placed on the degree of genital prolapse on clinical examination and whether further surgery was required to correct the prolapse.


Thirty-five patients (26.7%) required a total of 40 operations to correct genital prolapse after colposuspension. At 20 operations, more than one procedure was required to correct combined prolapse. The patient's age, weight, parity, menopausal status, and prior pelvic surgery did not affect the incidence of postoperative prolapse. The only preoperative risk factor identified was the presence of a large cystocele.


Postoperative genital prolapse is a significant complication of the Burch colposuspension. It is unclear whether this is due to a disruption of the vaginal axis or to an intrinsic weakness of the pelvic floor in these women.

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