Rectocele Surgery

When Rectocele Surgery May Be Needed

Rectocele surgery, when required, is an in-patient surgery, often requiring general anesthesia, and a hospital stay of several days.  A rectocele is a disorder that many women suffer, most often during childbirth, but due to other reasons as well. Rectocele surgery is not always necessary. In milder cases no treatment may be called for, or if it is, the treatment may primarily consist of specific exercises.


Just what is a rectocele, and why is strictly a "women's disorder"?  There is a thin wall of tissue that separates the rectum from the vagina. If something causes this wall or a portion of it to be weakened, the wall of the rectum may bulge into the vagina. A rectocele is to a certain degree comparable to a hernia. This wall of tissue is called the fascia, and it is subjected to significant stress during childbirth. In most cases the rectocele may be quite small, causing no problems and even having no noticeable symptoms, and is often discovered only during a routine pelvic or rectal exam. In such cases, there is usually no need for treatment.

A larger rectocele may result in some discomfort, although actual pain in rarely experienced. Women who have several pregnancies are more apt to develop a rectocele as the fascia tends to be stretched and weakened when multiple pregnancies occur.


Rectocele Surgery - When rectocele surgery is necessary is most often involves the placement of a supportive mesh between the vagina and the rectum, at the same time pushing the bulge away from the vicinity of the vagina. The recovery time for rectocele surgery is usually several weeks, after which time recovery will be complete. This type of surgery does not involve more risk than most other surgeries. There is always some risk attendant with the use of a general anesthesia, and there is also the possibility of a postoperative infection setting in. The latter, which is really not all that common, is usually effectively dealt with by administering antibiotics. In rare cases the vagina could be damaged during surgery. When that happens a second surgical procedure may be needed.

At times, self-care measures are all that may be needed to deal with a rectocele. Kegel exercises, designed to strengthen the muscles and supportive tissues in the pelvic region may be prescribed. While Kegel exercises can be self taught, it is usually advantageous to have a therapist give some instruction on how best to proceed. In exercises involving the pelvis, the movements need to be the correct ones in order to exercise the right muscles in the right manner. Contracting the correct muscles is the key to these exercises. Kegel exercises are not only used to lessen the symptoms of a lower grade rectocele, but can also be done in the earlier stages of pregnancy, to help strengthen tissues and ligaments, thereby helping to avoid a rectocele altogether.

Ways To Avoid Rectocele Problems - Rectocele treatment and prevention methods also include a diet that promotes good bowel movement and prevents constipation. This would be a high fiber diet accompanied by plenty of fluids. Coughing, especially chronic coughing can weaken the pelvic walls or make a rectocele condition worse, so such a cough should be treated as part of the rectocele treatment. This would include avoiding smoker's cough, and all that entails. Obesity also contributes to rectocele problems, so maintaining a healthy weight is helpful.

The presence of a rectocele is probably more common than most tend to believe, but by and large the more serious occurrences are not particularly common. Sometimes genetics is involved, and sometimes lifestyle plays a role. When all is said and done, if a woman can avoid heavy or improper lifting, and avoid childbirth, or deliver the baby through cesarean section, a rectocele is unlikely to ever occur, and rectocele surgery will never be needed.