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Conditions We Treat: Prolapse

Pelvic organ prolapse, including uterine and vaginal prolapse, occurs when a woman’s pelvic floor muscles, ligaments and vaginal wall weaken and stretch, often due to aging, childbirth or a prior hysterectomy. Without adequate support of the pelvic floor, the pelvic organs slip out of place (prolapse) and bulge into the vagina, in some cases protruding out of the vaginal opening. 

We treat all types of pelvic organ prolapse, including prolapse of the anterior vagina (cystocele), posterior vagina (rectocele), uterine prolapse and top of the vaginal (vaginal vault after hysterectomy).

If you are suffering from vaginal prolapse, trust your care to the Johns Hopkins Women’s Center for Pelvic Health and Reconstructive Surgery. If you are experiencing rectal prolapse (prolapse of the rectum through the anal opening), you may benefit from consultation with one of our colorectal surgeons.

Prolapse Treatment: Why Choose Johns Hopkins

  • We listen closely to our patients and work with other specialties, including physical therapy, gastroenterology, colorectal surgery and urology, when appropriate, to develop individualized plans to address each patient’s concerns and specific condition.
  • We use evidence-based treatments to address pelvic organ prolapse, including pelvic floor physical therapy, medical devices, such as pessary, and reconstructive surgical approaches with minimally invasive techniques, such as laparoscopic, robotic and vaginal surgery.
  • Our researchers are at the forefront of exploring the link between pregnancy and delivery and pelvic floor disorders later in life. Understanding this link will allow us to develop new, advanced therapies for treating and preventing pelvic floor disorders.

Prolapse Treatment: What to Expect

A complete evaluation will allow your doctor to offer you the right solution for your specific condition.

At your initial appointment, your doctor will review your medical and surgical history and complete a physical exam. If you’ve had treatment or surgery in the past, your doctor may also review your medical records. Additional testing may include:

  • Imaging studies, such as a ultrasound, CT scan or MRI
  • Diagnostic procedures, such as urodynamics, to evaluate bladder function

After your initial consultation, we will review your results with you and work together to develop a treatment plan. Treatment will depend on the severity of the condition and can range from pelvic floor exercises for mild cases to vaginal pessaries (vaginal support devices) or minimally invasive surgery for moderate to severe cases.

Our Specialists

Pelvic health team poses in white coatsThe Pelvic Health and Reconstructive Surgery Center Team.

Our team of urogynecologists partners with a multidisciplinary team of urologists, colorectal surgeons, nurse practitioners and physical therapists, to ensure that you are restored to a greater quality of life using the most appropriate intervention for your condition. To make an appointment with our urogynecology team, please call us at 443-997-0400.

Urogynecology Experts

Grace Chen, M.D.
Victoria Handa, M.D.
Danielle Patterson, M.D.
Catherine Wehner, N.P.

Partnering Specialists

Colorectal Surgery

Alodia Gabre-Kidan, M.D., M.P.H.
Susan Gearhart, M.D.

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