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Vaginal Closure Surgery (Vaginal Obliteration)

Surgery Overview

Vaginal closure surgery (vaginal obliteration) is done when the uterus has moved from its natural position to press uncomfortably into the vagina (uterine prolapse). It may also be done if the vagina severely sags or drops into the vaginal canal (vaginal vault prolapse). Sometimes it's done during a gender-affirming surgery.

After the surgery, you can't put anything in your vagina. So the type of sex you have may change.

The surgeon removes the entire vaginal lining except for 1 in. (2.54 cm) to 1.5 in. (3.81 cm). The vagina is then sewn shut. If the uterus is still present, a small opening is left in the vagina to allow fluids to drain from the uterus.

Vaginal obliteration is a fairly brief surgery. So it may be done when you have one or more severe long-term (chronic) medical conditions, such as asthma or heart disease, that make a longer procedure more risky.

What To Expect

General, regional, or local anesthesia may be used for vaginal closure surgery (vaginal obliteration). You may stay in the hospital for 1 to 2 days. You will probably be able to return to your normal activities in about 4 weeks, but this can vary widely. Avoid strenuous activity for the first 2 weeks. Then increase your activity level bit by bit.

Why It Is Done

Vaginal closure surgery (vaginal obliteration) is done to correct severe uterine or vaginal vault prolapse. Sometimes it's done during gender-affirming surgeries. It's also done if someone has other chronic health problems that make a longer procedure riskier. In this surgery, the vagina is sewn shut. So the type of sex you have may change.

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How Well It Works

Vaginal closure surgery (vaginal obliteration) is an effective treatment for vaginal vault or uterine prolapse. Sometimes a surgical procedure for urinary incontinence is done at the same time.

Risks

Problems from vaginal closure surgery (vaginal obliteration) aren't common.

Credits

Current as of: February 11, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Femi Olatunbosun MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology