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J Reprod Med. 1999 Aug;44(8):679-84.

True incidence of vaginal vault prolapse. Thirteen years of experience.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Florence, Italy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the true incidence of vaginal vault prolapse after hysterectomy.

STUDY DESIGN:

The records of 2,670 patients who had undergone hysterectomy between 1983 and 1987 were reviewed. From this population, 448 patients were selected for follow-up study. The mean follow-up phase was 11 years (range, 9-13). Patients were divided into two groups according to the presence or the absence of genital prolapse at hysterectomy. Pelvic examination was performed in order to identify the presence of vault prolapse. Pelvic support was assessed using Baden and Walker's "halfway description."

RESULTS:

Five of the 2,670 patients who had undergone hysterectomy at our institution returned on their own initiative for surgical correction of vault prolapse. Using the modalities in the literature, the incidence of vault prolapse was 0.4%. Instead, on pelvic examination, the incidence of vault prolapse was 4.4% (20 patients in a group of 448). Fourteen of the 20 with vault prolapse had previously undergone vaginal hysterectomy for genital prolapse: six had had abdominal hysterectomy for benign disease, excluding genital prolapse. Therefore, the incidence of vaginal vault prolapse was 11.6% (14/120 patients) when hysterectomy had been performed for genital prolapse and 1.8% (6/328) when hysterectomy had been performed for other benign diseases. In the latter group (328 patients), all the cases of vault prolapse developed after abdominal hysterectomy: the incidence was 2% (6/308 patients); no case (0/20 patients) of vault prolapse developed after vaginal hysterectomy that had been performed on patients without genital prolapse. The primary risk factor for vaginal vault prolapse in this study, was obesity. Obese subjects were significantly more susceptible to developing the condition when compared to nonobese (P < .001).

CONCLUSION:

Our data show that there is a low incidence of vaginal vault prolapse when hysterectomy is performed in the absence of defects in pelvic support. A comparison of our method and those described in the literature to determine the incidence of vaginal vault prolapse showed that this event is often underevaluated if long-term follow-up after hysterectomy is not carried out.

PMID:
10483537
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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