Atrium Health Navicent Women's Care Urogynecology & Pelvic Surgery

Le Fort colpocleisis

What is a Le Fort colpocleisis?

Elderly woman standing and smiling with her arms crossedLe Fort colpocleisis is a vaginal procedure that is classified as an obliterative procedure. This means that after undergoing the procedure, a woman no longer has a functional vagina. Therefore patients who are considering this procedure must fulfill three criteria:

  • Not currently or have future plans for penetrative intercourse
  • No evidence of uterine disease
  • Understand that this is a permanent procedure

It is a highly effective treatment option (90-95%) for women who choose to undergo this prolapse procedure. What makes this surgery unique is that it is performed with the uterus in place. Therefore, adequate work up for any uterine disease should be performed before considering this procedure. Furthermore, it is safe procedure that can be performed in a short amount of time, making it an excellent procedure for patients who have additional medical comorbidities.

How is the procedure performed?

Le Fort colpocleisis is performed vaginally in women who develop uterovaginal prolapse (prolapse of the cervix, uterus and vagina). It involves removing the vaginal epithelium (lining of the vagina) with subsequent closure of the vagina. Channels are left in place to allow for any bleeding that may occur since the uterus is left in place. Permanent sutures are used to sew the anterior and posterior vaginal wall together that ultimately reduces the prolapse and closes the vagina.

What to Expect?

Elderly woman standing and smiling with her arms crossedAfter initial consultation with Dr. Kow, you may be asked to undergo some bladder testing (urodynamics) prior to surgery. Prior to surgery, you will need to attend a preoperative visit with Dr. Kow and draw some basic lab work. Should you need surgical clearance, you will be asked to obtain this prior to surgery.

The surgical procedure takes approximately 1 hour to perform when performed with additional procedures to correct a cystocele or rectocele. You will be under general anesthesia during the procedure.

What is my recovery time?

Typical recovery time is one overnight stay at the hospital. While pain tolerance is variable among patients, most patients report minimal pain after a Le Fort colpocleisis. Overall recovery time includes six weeks with some activity restrictions, however patients are often able to return to a normal routine shortly after surgery. Restrictions including the following:

  • No heavy lifting of more than 10 lbs for 6 weeks
  • No tub baths for 6 weeks
  • No driving while on narcotic pain medications

What are the risks of the procedure?

Complications from a Le Fort colpocleisis are typically very low. However with every procedure there always some risks including anesthesia problems, postoperative pain, intraoperative bleeding, infection, blood clots and damage to adjacent organs. With regards to the Le Fort colpocleisis, some specific risks include the following:

  • 5-10% risk of postoperative urinary tract infection
  • Feelings of regret
  • Future uterine disease necessitating work up or hysterectomy

Will my insurance company cover the procedure?

Most insurance policies will cover Le Fort colpocleisis. Our office will help you with obtaining prior authorization if your insurance policy requires it. If you have further questions, contact your insurance carrier to determine the details regarding your coverage.